Kung Pao Chicken; doggie update

This is the first time I have ever had Kung Pao Chicken, so I have no idea if I did it correctly.

It’s based on a recipe from the book ‘the food of Asia, a food lover’s journey’.

Right or wrong, it was one of the best dishes I’ve made lately.

As usual, I didn’t add the hot pepper….

We were very happy.

Kung Pao Chicken

Total time: 35 minutes


  • 2 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1/2 medium leek, sliced
  • 1/2 cup unsalted peanuts
  • 4oz (120gr) water chestnuts, sliced
  • 8oz (240gr) fresh spinach
  • 3 tsp minced ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tbs light soy sauce
  • 4 tbs mirin
  • 2 tsp Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 3 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup (3oz, 90ml) chicken stock
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp olive oil

Kung Pao Chicken


  • Mix 2 tbs soy sauce, 2 tbs mirin and 2 tsp cornstarch.
  • Add chicken, stir to coat and set aside to marinate while you prepare everything else, or 20 minutes.
  • Combine 1 tbs soy sauce, 1 tbs mirin, chicken stock, vinegar, sugar and 1 tsp cornstarch and set aside.
  • When ready to cook:
  • In large skillet or wok heat half of both oils over medium-high heat.
  • Add chicken in 2 batches, and stir-fry quickly. Do not ‘drain well’ but do not add marinade.
  • Remove chicken to a plate. Discard remaining marinade.
  • Wipe out the skillet.
  • Reheat skillet and fry peanuts (no oil).
  • When lightly toasted remove and add to chicken
  • Add remaining sesame oil to skillet and heat.
  • Add 2 tsp garlic, 1 tbs mirin and spinach.
  • Stir-fry until spinach is just starting to wilt. Remove to a platter.
  • Add remaining olive oil, leek, remaining garlic, ginger, water chestnuts and stir-fry 2 minutes.
  • Return chicken and peanuts to skillet and heat through.
  • Give the cornstarch mixture a stir to recombine and add it to the pan, stirring constantly until thickened.
  • Spoon on to the spinach and serve.

Print Recipe

It was nice today…. sunny and warm.

The girls were resting on the soft grass after our training sessions.

It seemed a good time for their official ‘Third Birthday’ photo.

Bonnie and Guapa

Speaking of training…..

When we are ‘working’ they are both very good about sitting and staying and coming when called.

When we’re not ‘working’ they’re a bit less obedient.

Our favorite game / training session involves me telling them to stay, then walking a bit and tossing a piece of kibble into the field. I tell them to ‘fetch’ and they go searching for it. They find it, eat it, then come running back to me and get another piece of kibble.

This is Guapa on lizard patrol…. the lizards like to be on the sunny walls of the house. Guapa thinks it’s her duty to make certain none of them actually get to rest on the wall.


And this is Bonnie, waiting for me to take the photo so she can finish her nap.


Back to the training….

I would like to teach them to fetch balls or sticks or something. You know, the traditional ‘human throws it /  dog brings it back’ game.

I’ve tried, occasionally, and what usually happens is that I throw the ball, Guapa races off and gets it, then she and Bonnie run around playing keep-away with each other. Or Bonnie gets it and tries to play keep-away with me.

I thought I’d try it one dog at a time.

Guapa and I went out for our training session.

I threw the ball.

It hit her in the head (it’s a tennis ball). She ignored it.

I threw a piece of kibble and she caught it mid-air.

I threw the ball and it hit her in the head.

She just looked at me like I was crazy…. Why was I throwing the stupid ball when I was supposed to be throwing food?

We did this a few more times until I got tired of it.

Bonnie’s turn.

Bonnie caught the ball first time!

Yay Bonnie!

Then she promptly dropped it, ran to me and sat for her treat.

We did this a few more times.

Now if I can only teach her to bring the ball with her when she comes to me instead of dropping it.

Maybe if I can teach Bonnie she can teach Guapa.

If not I’ll be chasing a lot of tennis balls.

I wonder if it’s because they are two and used to playing with each other. Both Sedi and Emma chased balls and brought them to me without me having to teach them anything. But they didn’t play with each other.

I just thought If I could teach them to chase balls I could give them a lot of exercise so they wouldn’t be so intent on chasing the bunnies.

Yeah, I know…. Dream on.

5 thoughts on “Kung Pao Chicken; doggie update”

  1. I LOVE kung pau chicken! The only major difference I can see between yours and ours is that ours has lots and lots of green onions. But I like the idea of using leeks! (We use the recipe from “A Taste of Chinatown” by Joie Warner. However, my sister’s favourite Kung Pau chicken (translated as “gongbau jiding”) is in “Mrs. Chiang’s Szechwan Cookbook” by Ellen Schrecker (ISBN: 006015828X) – a great cookbook! I think you’d really like it. It’s available on ebooks. Here is the preface to the first edition of the book that I have: http://books.google.com/books?id=e5rLVM5SknQC&lpg=PP8&pg=PT8)

    I must admit that I never thought of serving Kung Pau chicken with spinach. What a great idea. (We usually serve it with stir-fried broccoli.)

    Ha. It sounds like you are a few steps further than I teaching the dogs to bring back the ball than I am with trying to teach our cat to stay off the table whether we can see him or not. At this point, he leaps off obediently the moment he sees that we see him….

  2. I love your recipe for Kung Pao chicken, especially the addition of spinach. So glad that your weather is warming up. The girls look so clean and tidy. Wish we lived where we could let our Daisy run free. When she is free she is a naughty girl. We had to buy our neighbor a new pool cover last year after Daisy attempted to walk on it and scratched big holes in it. Luckily the insurance company paid for it.

  3. Cora has no interest in balls, either. But she LOVES to chase another dog who is chasing a ball. Different strokes for different folks, I guess. 🙂

  4. Elizabeth, I had been hoping for green garlic, but there wasn’t any yet…. and green onions are even harder to find, thus the leeks. And the recipe I was looking at had spinach – I thought it was perfect. Didn’t even have rice LOL Thanks for the link. We had a cat like that once LOL

    Penny, they don’t run free – I keep trying to let them off leash in our field and they keep running after rabbits – real or imaginary. They’ll be for for 4 or 5 walks, then gone LOL I keep trying.

    Zoomie, they play with the ball together, just not with me…. Unless I run with it, then they chase. I don’t want to be tackled by the two of them LOL

  5. Pingback: The Dinner Party

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