Kung Pao or Kung Po or Gong Bao is a spicy, stir-fried Chinese dish made with cubes of chicken, peanuts, vegetables, and chili peppers. The classic dish in Sichuan cuisine originated in the Sichuan Province of south-western China and includes Sichuan peppercorns. It is highly addictive with its perfect blend of sweet, salty, crunchy and slightly numbing taste. I have managed to create a vegan version and the family has certified that the vegan version lives up to its reputation.

Gong Bao Tofu


450g firm tofu

200g mushrooms, cut into cubes

5 spring onions, white portion only, cut into 2 centimetre pieces

300g celery sticks, peeled and finely diced

3-4 cloves garlic, finely sliced

3 centimetres piece fresh ginger, thinly sliced

Handful of peanuts, roasted with skin on

5-6 hot dried red chillies, seeds removed

1 teaspoon Sichuan peppers

4 tablespoons vegetable oil

For the sauce:

1 tablespoon sugar

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon potato starch

1 teaspoon light soy sauce

1 teaspoon dark soy sauce

1 tablespoon Chinkiang vinegar

1 tablespoon water


In a small bowl or measuring jug, mix all ingredients for sauce and keep ready.

Prepare tofu by pressing down under a heavy weight for 20 -30 minutes. Wipe dry and cut into even 1 centimetre cubes.

Heat oil in a large wok, Fry the Sichuan peppers and dried chillies taking care not to burn. Toss the mushrooms in and continue frying for a few minutes.

Stir in the tofu to ensure the tofu is heated through. You should see slight caramelization on the edges.

Stir in the garlic, ginger and spring onion whites. When you can smell the fragrance, add the celery and heat through.

Give the sauce a stir before pouring into the hot wok. Let the sauce bubble away for minute and toss the peanuts.

Garnish with spring onion greens and serve hot with steamed sushi or Jasmine rice. Serves 4 -6


Chow Mein

Chow means stir-fried and mein (shortened from meing) meaning noodles. It is served all over the world with variations in Westernized Chinese restaurants.  Just as with any other dish, it has been noted that chow mein tends to be very different from what is served in China and is heavily modified to fit the taste preference of the local dominant population.

What most people don’t know about India, is that there are a number of Chinese that settled down in India in the late 18th century and so there is a distinct Indo Chinese cuisine.

I have tasted many a time in India and my version is based on that memory.


 400 grams dried egg noodles

300 grams firm tofu

200 grams mushrooms, sliced

1 red pepper, cored and sliced

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Sometimes spelt Gong Bao, this is a spicy stir fried chicken dish with its origins in Sichuan province of south west China. The Sichuan peppercorns are a bit numbing but the combination of crunchy peanuts and juicy spring onions, complement the juicy chicken. I have adapted this recipe from Fuchsia Dunlop’s version in Every Grain of Rice.


400 grams chicken thigh fillets, cut into 1 cm cubes

3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 thumb ginger, finely sliced

Continue reading “KUNG PAO CHICKEN”