Do you have a go-to sauce to use whenever you're in the mood for a quick stir-fry?
I was recently asked that question on a phone interview and, after a few seconds of thinking, realized that I often make my kung pao chicken sauce or some variation of it for meals, without thinking twice about it.
I mean, it's just so easy and tasty. The mixture of sweet, savory, tangy, and smoky sauce with a tinge of spiciness takes just 1 minute to mix together. And it's versatile. In addition to chicken, I've used it for shrimp, tofu, and brussels sprouts. My friend Dave even made Kung Pao Fiddleheads when fiddlehead ferns were in season last month.
A few weeks ago I went to Mission Chinese for lunch and ordered a plate of their Kung Pao Pastrami, a great mix of thickly cut pastrami, potato, celery, and dried chilis. Inspired to try out different cuts of meat, I made Kung Pao Bacon a few days later. Here, I relax a bit on my idea that kung pao anything should have a limited amount of vegetables in order for the protein, chilis, and peanuts to shine through. Lightly cooked red bell peppers actually works really well here in contrast to the crisp bacon. And the advantage of using bacon is that you don't need any oil to start off the cooking process, though you should remember to drain out most of it before cooking the rest of the ingredients. Read More