Any dish that goes by the name Kung Pao chicken must surely arouse your interest, right? We couldn’t agree more!
Kung Pao chicken, or Gongbao Jiding, is diced chicken sauteed with chili and peanuts. Originating during the Qing dynasty and named after Ding Baozhen, a Sichuan government official, the dish was the result of a meal prepared for Ding by a villager who saved his life. The villager was so delighted with his creation he began making it for other guests. In time, this simple dish became known as gongbao jiding. And although jiding is somewhat unfair in translation – it literally means ‘chicken bits’ – the popularity of the dish usurps many others that have found their way into the hearts and palates of westerners.
Kung pao flavors are distinctive for the unique combination of tangy, sweet, salty, and just a hint of heat. Locals enjoy it with shrimps and beef too, but if you’re in Chengdu, we recommend at least one round of the original version.