(Family Features) - Kung Pao, a classic wok-prepared dish from China's Sichuan Province, was named to honor a 19th Century Chinese official whose title was actually Gong Ba, meaning "palatial guardian." Today it is a popular item on the menus of Szechuan-style restaurants here in the U.S. Restaurant critics often use the quality of Kung Pao's hot and tangy sauce as a measure of the chef's skills.
As is true of many Chinese dishes, the most difficult part of the recipe is in the sauce, and making it can be daunting for the home cook. But now, dishes such as Kung Pao Chicken are easy to make at home when using a purchased bottled sauce, such as Annie Chun's Kung Pao sauce. Traditional Kung Pao sauce is made with naturally brewed soy sauce, roasted sesame oil, ginger, garlic and chili.
When compared to dining out, this is a budget friendly dish that will please a hungry family and add some Asian flair to a week's line-up of dinners. The recipe below is an easy jumping off point for basic Kung Pao and can be made with many variations such as substituting tofu for chicken for a vegetarian entree, or by adding more seasonal fresh vegetables for color, fiber and nutrition.
For more recipes and tips for using Annie Chun's products, visit www.anniechuns.com.