Kung Pao Chicken

Low Carb Chinese Food

Low Carb Kung Pao Chicken

I can’t think of one person who doesn’t like Chinese food. But on the keto diet, enjoying your favorite Chinese dish can be a struggle. Most Asian dishes tend to be carb heavy featuring large amounts of sugar, rice, noodles or flour. So, I searched around for an Asian dish to knock the carbs right out of. Because of my love of spicy food and a lack of most of your worst carb culprits in the dish, I settled on Kung Pao Chicken(Gong Bao). This is one of those dishes where you can bump down the carb count without anyone noticing, kinda like my Chicken Paprikash recipe. All we really had to do to make this Kung Pao Chicken more keto friendly is switch out the sugar for Swerve Sweetener(you could use stevia though) and lessen the amount of peanuts. Serve it with cauliflower rice or eat it by itself, it’s delicious either way.

American Chinese Food

Here in the United States Chinese food typically takes two main forms. The first is the ubiquitous Sichuan IngrediantsChinese takeout places. For these restaurants, no matter where you go, the food tends to taste extremely similar to almost exactly the same. I’m going to lump the typical American Chinese buffet in this category too. There’s actually a good reason why all these places taste similar, with similar menus and even names and decor. Thats because its worked for Chinese immigrants in the past. Relocating to a new country is difficult. If the tried and true works, the risk is less. Another reason is that most of these places also get their food frozen from the same restaurant suppliers, like Sysco or Bakers and Chefs. This is NOT authentic Chinese cuisine. I classify this as Americanized Chinese food.

The second type of Chinese food place is your more authentic Chinese Cuisine restaurant. The easiest areas to find these restaurants are either in areas where there is a large ethnic Chinese population, think China Town, or in an expensive upscale restaurant that might specialize in Hot Pot or Sichuan Cuisine. Between the two types of Chinese places, I’ll choose the latter. The flavors are unique and much more complex. You can really break out your food explorer side and go on a trip. Half the time, I’m not even really sure what I’m ordering. In this recipe, I’m shooting for the latter type of food. This recipe is not meant to taste like Americanized Chinese food. This recipe is trying to recreate authenticity.

Authentic Sichuan Cuisine and Kung Pao Chicken

Keto Stir FryLet’s be clear, I’ve never been to Sichuan Province, China. Actually, I’ve just straight up never been to China in general. The way I came to trying to recreate an authentic Kung Pao Chicken recipe and then making it keto was through a lot of research. First, I  went to a few of the most authentic Chinese restaurants I could find and tried theirs. Then, I watched all the videos I could find of actual Sichuan chefs making the dish and what their recipes were. I scoured the internet for authentic Sichuan recipes for the dish as well. Finally, I raided my local library for cookbooks that could shed some light on the topic. The same few ingredients and techniques continued to pop up. Eventually, it became clear that the best recipes were all mild variations on the same theme and basic ingredients. Then I played with those recipes until I arrived at a dish that I felt was delicious, mostly authentic and good enough to share with you. That being said, when watching the video keep in mind that my wok skills suck. Cooking in a wok is its own skill set and one I’m still working on. I actually slightly burned the chilies and yet it still tasted AMAZING!

So, watch the video and try the recipe and let me know what you think and how you liked it. If you’d like to see more Chinese Food recipes in the future let me know about that too!

 

 


Print Recipe
Keto Kung Pao Chicken BigOven - Save recipe or add to grocery list Yum
Keto Kung Pao Chicken
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Chinese
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Marinade
Sauce
Stir-Fry
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Chinese
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Marinade
Sauce
Stir-Fry
Keto Kung Pao Chicken
Instructions
  1. Cut the chicken breasts into 1/2 inch cubes. Mix together 5 teaspoons light soy sauce and 3 teaspoons Shao Xing cooking wine. Set the chicken to marinating in the mixture and place in refrigerator.
    Marinating chicken
  2. Grind the peppercorns in a mortar and pestle. Mince the garlic and ginger root. Cut the green onion into 1/2 inch pieces. Cut the dried peppers into 1/2 inch pieces and remove seeds.
  3. Coat the inside of the wok with a light coating of oil over high heat. When the wok beings to smoke, turn the heat off and add another 2-3 tablespoons of oil. Next, add the dried chilies and peppercorns stirring frequently to avoid burning. Stir-fry until fragrant, about 5 to 10 seconds.
  4. Add your chicken and turn the heat back on. Cook until the chickens outsides are no longer pink.
  5. Add the garlic and ginger and stir-fry until fragrant. Then add the green onion and peanuts. Stir-fry for about another half minute.
    Kung Pao Stir-Fry
  6. Lastly add the sauce and a small pinch of xanthan gum (if you want a thicker sauce). Stir-fry until all ingredients are coated. Serve immediately.
    Keto Kung Pao Chicken
Recipe Notes

It's very easy to burn things at high heats(no duh!) in a wok so please be sure to keep and eye on that heat and stir frequently. It's called STIR-fry for a reason.

Also, for the most authentic and delicious flavor try to find the Shao Xing cooking wine, Chinkiang Vinegar and a LIGHT soy sauce. Your local Asian or Chinese market should have all of those ingredients, no-problem. There's also links below if you simply want to order them, no fuss. If you want to churn out this great recipe tonight and can't wait you can substitute Chinese black vinegar, rice vinegar or even balsamic vinegar in place of the Chinkiang vinegar. Also, the Shao Xing could be replaced with a dry cooking sherry. But, this will alter the flavor.

 

Nutritional Facts Per Serving:

Marinade:  9 Calories, 0 grams Fat, 1 grams Carbs, 1 grams Protein

Sauce: 28 Calories, 2 grams Fat, 1 grams Carbs, 1 grams Protein

Stir-Fry: 314 Calories, 13 grams Fat, 7 grams Carbs(2 grams Fiber), 40 grams Protein

--this is not counting the fat from the amount of cooking you use --

 



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *