Are you finding it difficult to eat Chinese food because you’re watching your sodium intake? Try this lower sodium version of homemade Kung Pao Chicken.
Chinese New Year is coming up this weekend and 2017 will be the Year of the Rooster, specifically the Fire Rooster. Can you think of a better way to celebrate than with a fiery chicken stir-fry?
When I think of Chinese chicken dishes that are sweet and spicy, Kung Pao Chicken comes to mind. I never order it when I’m out because restaurant versions always contain those nasty peanuts. I hate peanuts! When I make Kung Pao Chicken at home, I use cashews instead.
Although it might look like a long list of ingredients, this dish comes together quickly. Have the kids (or your partner) make the sauce while you chop the chicken, bell pepper, and scallions.
Serve with Low-Carb Cauliflower Rice and something green like broccoli or bok choy.
Kung Pao Chicken with Cashews (Lower Sodium)
- 1/2 cup cold low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon ketchup
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
- 1 teaspoon chili sauce
- 2 boneless chicken breasts about 1 pound
- Ground white pepper
- 1 tablespoon peanut coconut, or canola oil
- 4 dried red chilies
- 1 tablespoon dry sherry
- 1 red bell pepper seeded and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 2 scallions white part thinly sliced and green part cut into 1-inch lengths
- 2 tablespoons roasted cashews
Make the sauce: Place COLD broth and cornstarch into a glass jar with a screw-top lid (like a mason jar). Shake vigorously until cornstarch dissolves. Add tamari/soy sauce, ketchup, vinegar, hoisin sauce, and chili sauce. Replace lid and shake again until mixture is well-combined. Set aside.
Slice each chicken breast in half lengthwise, then crosswise into 1/2-inch slices. Place in a bowl and season with white pepper.
Heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat, then add the oil. Add chilies and stir-fry for a few seconds, then add the chicken. Stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes or until chicken starts to look opaque. Add sherry and mix well.
Shake the sauce in the jar, then add to wok. Bring to a boil, then add the red bell pepper. Stir-fry for another 2 to 3 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and sauce has thickened.
Remove from heat and stir in scallions and cashews. Serve immediately.
I used japones because they were the only small dried red chilies I could find. Also note the chilies flavor the dish, but you probably don't want to eat them.
Cornstarch dissolves much better when mixed with a COLD liquid. Refrigerate your broth ahead of time.