Tag Archives: szechuan

Kung Pao Chicken

Kung Pao Chicken

Always a family favorite, this stir-fry comes together quickly for a last minute dinner.

Because the dried peppers are left whole in this recipe, it is not spicy. If you like a little more heat, simply cut up the peppers on your plate and eat them along with the stir-fry.

Szechuan peppercorns and Chinese black vinegar can be found in Asian markets or online. The peppercorns usually come whole. You can use any pepper mill/grinder to crush them. You can also use a small coffee grinder to grind the peppercorns.

RECIPE:

Kung Pao Chicken

Kung Pao Chicken

3 chicken breasts, diced
2 Tbs soy sauce
1 Tbs sherry
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
½ tsp ground Szechuan peppercorns

2 Tbs oil
8-10 dried small red chilis (Arbols)
1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
2-3 stalks celery, diced
1 small onion, diced
½ cup roasted peanuts
1 bunch green onions, sliced diagonally into 1 ½” pieces

Sauce:
1/3 cup chicken broth
3 Tbs soy sauce
1 Tbs sherry
1 Tbs Chinese black vinegar or rice vinegar
1 ½ Tbs cornstarch
1 Tbs sugar
1 Tbs sesame oil

Combine chicken with 2 Tbs soy sauce, 1 Tbs sherry, ginger, garlic, and ground peppercorns. Marinate 1 hour.

Combine sauce ingredients and set aside.

Heat 1 Tbs oil in large skillet or wok over high heat. Add whole dried chilis to hot oil and cook until they just begin to blacken. Remove chilis from oil and place in serving dish. Add vegetables to the hot oil in pan and cook over high heat until crisp-tender. Remove from pan and place in serving dish. Add additional 1 Tbs oil to pan. Add chicken to pan and cook over high heat until chicken is cooked through. Reduce heat to medium, add sauce to pan, and cook until thickened (2-3 mins). Stir in peanuts, green onions, vegetables and chilis. Heat for 1 minute.

Serve over rice.

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Szechuan Beans

Szechuan Beans 3

Szechuan Beans are one of my favorite dishes at Chinese restaurants. Often at restaurants, they are made with Chinese long beans. When I make them at home, I use the skinny French filet beans.

These beans are slightly spicy, flavored with Szechuan peppercorns, a good dose of garlic, ginger and chili paste. Szechuan peppercorns are actually less spicy than regular black pepper or chili peppers. They have a slightly lemony taste and leave your tongue with an interesting tingly, slightly numb sensation.

Szechuan Peppercorns

Szechuan Peppercorns

I buy whole Szechuan peppercorns from Penzeys. If I am grinding a large quantity of the peppercorns, I use a mini electric coffee grinder. For times when I only need a small amount of ground peppercorn, I have a separate peppermill (the wooden kind you turn by hand) that I keep full of these peppercorns. Don’t use your regular black peppercorn mill to grind the Szechuan peppercorns and then refill with the black ones. As straight Szechuan peppercorns can leave your tongue feeling numb, your kids might not appreciate that sensation when they are expecting regular pepper.

I like to include a small amount of ground pork when I make these beans, but you could leave that out for a vegetarian dish.

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RECIPE:

Szechuan Beans 3

Szechuan Beans

1 Tbs oil
¼ lb ground pork
4 green onions, chopped
1 Tbs minced garlic
2 tsp chopped fresh ginger
2 Tbs soy sauce
1 tsp ground chili paste (use more for spicier beans)
1 tsp honey
½ tsp ground Szechuan peppercorns
1 lb Chinese long beans or French filet beans, ends trimmed

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground pork, green onions, garlic and ginger. Cook until pork is cooked through.

Add soy sauce, chili paste, honey and ground peppercorns to skillet. Stir to mix, then add green beans to skillet. Cook for 2 minutes. Add 3 Tbs water to the skillet and cover with a lid. Cook beans for about 3 minutes, or until beans are not quite done.

Remove lid and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated and beans are crisp-tender. Do not overcook beans. Serve immediately.

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Super Simple Szechuan Shrimp

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Easy prep, easy cooking, easy clean-up, and ready to eat in under 30 minutes, start to finish (even if your shrimp are frozen). Simple enough for a quick mid-week meal, but elegant enough to serve to company.

This is a recipe that I adapted from Kalyn’s Kitchen. I had bought some Szechuan peppercorns from Penzeys and thought that this would be a great recipe to add them to. Szechuan peppercorns are not spicy in the same way that some other hot peppers are. Rather than a burning feeling, they produce kind of a “numbing” sensation on your tongue. But when used sparingly, they add a great flavor!

To save on clean up, I like to prepare this recipe using Ziploc bags and a foil lined roasting pan.

Combine fresh green beans with a little olive oil, coriander, cumin and ground Szechuan peppercorns (you could also use red pepper flakes or other spicy pepper if you don’t have the Szechuan ones).DSC06536-1

To save on time, I bought raw, peeled shrimp (they still had tails, and I left them on). To thaw frozen shrimp, place them in a colander and run cool water over them until thaw.

Combine shrimp with olive oil, lemon zest and salt and pepper.DSC06545-1 Arrange beans on a foil-lined pan in a single layer .DSC06541-1

Roast  beans at 425°F for 5 minutes.

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After 5 minutes, arrange shrimp on top of beans and roast 8-10 minutes more, until shrimp are done but still tender and juicy. DSC06550-1 Serve with lemon wedges.

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RECIPE:

DSC06557-1

Szechuan Shrimp and Green Beans
—————–(((adapted from Kalyn’s Kitchen)

For the green beans:
1 lb. green beans
1 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. whole Szechuan peppercorns, ground**

For the shrimp:
1  lb. medium-large raw shrimp, thawed and peeled
2 Tbs. olive oil
zest from one lemon (save the lemon and cut into wedges)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 425°F.

If shrimp are frozen, place in a colander and rinse with cool water until thawed. Peel and devein.

Grind whole Szechuan peppercorns (I use my regular black pepper grinder). Place with green beans in a Ziploc bag with remaining “green bean” ingredients.

Combine shrimp and remaining “shrimp” ingredients in a separate Ziploc bag. Reserve lemon wedges for later.

Line a roasting pan with foil. Spray with non-stick cooking spray. Arrange beans on pan in a single layer as much as possible. Roast  beans at 425°F for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, arrange shrimp on top of beans and roast 8-10 minutes more, until shrimp are done but still tender and juicy.

Serve the shrimp and beans immediately with lemon wedges.

**NOTE: If you don’t have Szechuan peppercorns, you can substitute crushed red pepper flakes, or other hot peppers. I get my peppercorns from Penzeys.

Makes 3-4 servings

 

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