White Man’s Favorite Chinese Dish

In Recipes, The Piglet Oinking on November 16, 2010 at 8:53 pm


A perfect Gongbaijiding 宫保鸡丁, has different components to be labeled delicious: the tenderness of the chicken with the right amount of peanuts, the savory thick sauce that spoons off with the meat, the flavor that holds the perfect balance of salty, slightly sour, with a kick of numbing spiciness and the aroma of garlic and ginger.

Buenos Aires’ Chinese food pales in comparison to Beijing’s dirt cheap prices with the flavors singing their every note in one’s palate. Over here, I am reminded of what lacks in flavor, is replaced by oil, salty soy sauce and cornstarch. I sheepishly admit it has come down to even missing Gongbaojiding: 宫保鸡丁, aka ‘White Man’s Favorite Chinese Dish’. A dish that I don’t eat in Beijing, unless my other half and his friends secretly orders in a restaurant behind my back. And here I am, kicking myself in the arse, as I am excited to recreate this dish for dinner here in Buenos Aires.

Serves 2 as main dish or 4 as accompanying

*Note: Keep in mind the stir-frying process is fast and hot, so prep beforehand and have everything within your reach.

Gong Bao Ji Ding

Marinate to tenderize the chicken

  • 2 chicken breast (300grams), semi-frozen for 40 minutes, cut into bite-size cubes
  • 1/2 tsp of beaten egg (or egg white)
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp of cooking wine
  1. Mix together and set aside while preparing the rest. Can put in fridge for the day.

Sauce Prep

  • 2 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp dark vinegar
  • 1 tsp cooking wine
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch mix in 6 tbsp of stock (or water)
  1. Mix everything in bowl and set aside

Cutting Prep

  • good handful of unsalted roasted peanuts, skin removed
  • 2 spring onion, chopped 1 inch
  • 4 garlic, smashed with the cleaver, skin removed and roughly chopped
  • 6 slices of ginger
  • 8 red dried chilies roughly chopped
  • 4 tsp Sichuan peppercorn


  1. Fill a wok with 1/4 cup of vegetable oil, heat until 120 degrees F; tip half the chicken cubes, move around gently for 2 min. Remove with slotted spoon and drain from oil. Repeat for the other half.
  2. Reserve 3 tbsp of oil in heated wok, add chillies, peppercorn, garlic, ginger and spring onion; stir-fry for 2 minutes, add peanuts and stir-fry for another 2 min.
  3. Add chicken cubes, stir-fry for about 3 minutes, or until chicken is almost cooked.
  4. Pour sauce and simmer until the dish thickens, about 3 minutes.
  5. Garnish with salt and ground Sichuan peppercorn; serve with rice.
  1. That’s a very delicious looking dish!!! Love the simple flavors I could almost smell it!

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