Kung Pao Chicken
Kung Pao Chicken-a classic dish
Kung Pao chicken, also transcribed as Gong Bao or Kung Po, is a spicy stir-fry dish made with chicken, peanuts, vegetables, and peppers. The classic dish originated in the Sichuan Province of south-western China and includes Sichuan peppercorns. It was named after a court official, Ding Baozhen, in the late Qing Dynasty (1616-1911). The dish features fresh, tender, spicy, savory, a little sweet and sour.
Ding Baozhen, became a Jinshi (a third degree candidate in the national civil service examination) during the reign of Emperor Xianfeng in Qing dynasty. Legend has it that Ding Baozhen was a gourmet, relishing “stir-fried diced chicken” in particular, and he often treated his guests with this dish. While he served as governor in Sichuan, where the local people liked hot chilies, he improved his favorite dish “stir-fried diced chicken” by adding chili pepper as an ingredient.
As a result, the dish with its spicy flavor tasted even more delicious. Later, the recipe was leaked and restaurants started to serve the dish. Since Ding was later granted the title Taizi Shaobao, which literally means “Protector of the Crown Prince”, by the imperial court, he was also referred to as Kung Pao, which was short for Taizi Shaobao. Because of Ding Baozhen, people named his favorite dish Kung Pao Chicken. Now the dish has become very popular all around China. The way of cooking and the taste of the dish may vary in different provinces. Some even invented a new dish called Kung Pao Pork by replacing chicken with pork.