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Szechuan Peppered Calamari & Kung Pao Chicken

Late last week I was trying to figure out what to make for the weekend and ran across @Dyal_SC 's post and it got me thinking about the wok. 

We decided to try for some Calamari and I remembered a post @Mickey had back in March about P.F. Chang's Copycats and I found the Calamari Recipe on that site. 

I also wanted to try another Grace Young recipe from Stir-frying to the Sky's Edge which she won a James Beard Award for this cookbook. Every recipe I have tried has been very good. Her other book The Breath of a Wok is also a very good read and has a few recipes in it. 

We decided to go with the Kung Pao Chicken so after a trip to the grocery store we were ready to start prepping. 

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The calamari was up first as we were going to cook it for an appetizer and take the wok off the egg to allow it to cool and eat then fire it back up to make the chicken. 
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Once the Large BGE was ready we took it outside and started frying it in batches. 
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I also got to try out my new Stainless Scoop from the Wok Shop I got for Christmas
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We made two dipping sauces one hot and one sweet. Also had a couple Tsingtao Beers to go with the meal. 
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They were some of the best calamari I have had! 

After a nice break it was time to get back to it and make the Kung Pao Chicken. 
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Once everything was prepped we brought it all outside. 
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First up was the peppers and Szechuan Peppercorns (we didn't have the dried chilies so we used Fresno chilies and it didn't end up being spicy at all.)
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Then the chicken / garlic / ginger mixture, sear the chicken for one minute undisturbed then flip it over and cook one minute longer. 
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Add the red bell pepper 
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Then the dark soy sauce, rice wine vineager mixture, then the scallions and peanuts
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The smell was incredible! 
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It was really good nothing like a Kung Pao Chicken you would get at a buffet or take out place. This would be a great dish to serve to someone who says they do not like chinese food. 
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I can not wait to try another Grace Young recipe as they all have been so good. 

Hope everyone is having a good weekend! 

Large & Small BGE, CGW Two-Tier Swing Rack for BOTH EGGS, Spider for the Wok, eggCARTen & and Cedar Pergola my Eggs call home in Edmond, OK. 
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Comments

  • BrownieBrownie Posts: 1,022
    Nice work!
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  • caneggercanegger Posts: 537
    I'll have to try that because I am one of those people that aren't a fan of Chinese food. Thanks
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  • ... and Tsingtao to top it off.  :-bd Everything looks scrumptious!
    I'm Kristi ~ Live in FL ~ BGE since 2003.
    I write about food & travel on Necessary Indulgences -
    You can find me on Facebook & Instagram, too! 
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  • Solson005Solson005 Posts: 1,907
    Thanks @Brownie it was a great meal! 

    @canegger please do it was really great and Fresno Chilies gave it a good flavor without the heat. I found a online version of her recipe, but I would recommend her books if you are the least bit interested in Stir-frying. 

    Thanks @NecessaryIndulg I haven't had Tsingtao in a long time and it was a great beverage to go with the meal! 
    Large & Small BGE, CGW Two-Tier Swing Rack for BOTH EGGS, Spider for the Wok, eggCARTen & and Cedar Pergola my Eggs call home in Edmond, OK. 
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  • Dyal_SCDyal_SC Posts: 2,431
    That looks....waaait for it.... Larruping! :D
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  • BotchBotch Posts: 3,210
    Great pics, thanks!  
    A couple of questions:  I've only recently started playing with Szechuan peppercorns, and I really don't like their texture in the finished meal (small and hard).  Is it acceptable to toast them in a dry wok, and then bust them up in a mortar/pestle or spice grinder?  What's-her-name on the Easy Chinese cooking show doesn't seem to do that, but...
    Other question, do you do anything to the wooden handle on your wok?  It looks like its a bit charred from the coals, do you wrap it with a wet rag or anything?  
     
    Again, a mouth-watering cook, yum!  
    :-bd
    _____________________________________________
     
    Live fast, die young, and leave a well-marbled corpse.  
     
    Ogden, Utard.  
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  • Solson005Solson005 Posts: 1,907
    Thanks @Dyal_SC That is going to be the word of the week!  :)]

    @Botch That is exactly what I did with the Szechuan peppercorns I did it in a dry pan on the stove and used my thai granite mortar and pestle to grind it up. 

    I do not do anything to the handle. That wok is 30+ years old and has gotten a little charred when using it on the large egg, but thats ok with me. You of course could protect it if you wanted or maybe even use a 16" wok that less of the handle would stick out. I really prefer the "helper handle" and don't use my 12" wok with just the D loops I got for my small egg very often. 

    Thanks it was a great meal and I will be doing more wok cooking now when the weather is nice. 
    Large & Small BGE, CGW Two-Tier Swing Rack for BOTH EGGS, Spider for the Wok, eggCARTen & and Cedar Pergola my Eggs call home in Edmond, OK. 
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  • calikingcaliking Posts: 6,978
    Beautiful cook! Love the photoessays of your cooks too.

    We are big fans of Schezwan peppercorns and that slight tingly numbing effect they have on the tongue.

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
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  • MrCookingNurseMrCookingNurse Posts: 4,144
    I've gotta get a wok. Got a little egg money and can't decide what to get.

    Nice cook!


    _______________________________________________

    LBGE & SBGE (big momma and pat)
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  • Solson005Solson005 Posts: 1,907
    Thanks @caliking I'm fairly new to cooking with Szechuan peppers but love the flavor and will be using them often in upcoming cooks.

    Thanks @MrCookingNurse woking on a egg is a million times better than any takeout or buffet you've had. I would highly recommend getting a wok with the "helper handle" much better than woking with welding gloves on. It is definitely a cheaper eggcessory than most for the egg and produces some great meals. I'm amazed just about every time I break out the wok. Even the "clean out the fridge cooks" are really good.
    Large & Small BGE, CGW Two-Tier Swing Rack for BOTH EGGS, Spider for the Wok, eggCARTen & and Cedar Pergola my Eggs call home in Edmond, OK. 
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  • Solson005Solson005 Posts: 1,907
    I hope everyone is having as great of a weekend as we are. Doing a early dinner then heading downtown for the Thunder / Rockets Playoff game!
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    Large & Small BGE, CGW Two-Tier Swing Rack for BOTH EGGS, Spider for the Wok, eggCARTen & and Cedar Pergola my Eggs call home in Edmond, OK. 
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  • texaswigtexaswig Posts: 878
    Looks good. I use this batter a lot when I make orange chicken. try it sometime and tell me what you think.  http://blogchef.net/chinese-lemon-chicken-recipe/
    Scott
    Greenville ,Tx

    Xl bge with woo2 and ajustable rack
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  • Village IdiotVillage Idiot Posts: 6,951
    texaswig said:
    Looks good. I use this batter a lot when I make orange chicken. try it sometime and tell me what you think.  http://blogchef.net/chinese-lemon-chicken-recipe/
    That method is called "velveting" and most good Chinese restaurants do it.  I've been doing that for quite a while and it makes a big difference.
    __________________________________________

    Dripping Springs, Texas.
    Just west of Austintatious

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  • Solson005Solson005 Posts: 1,907
    Thanks @texaswig I've done something similar, but will give your recipe a try and let you know how it turns out!
    Large & Small BGE, CGW Two-Tier Swing Rack for BOTH EGGS, Spider for the Wok, eggCARTen & and Cedar Pergola my Eggs call home in Edmond, OK. 
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  • GriffinGriffin Posts: 6,926
    Man....I need to get my wok out. That is one great looking meal. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Richardson, Texas

    Griffin's Grub or you can find me on Facebook

    The Supreme Potentate, Sovereign Commander and Sultan of Wings

     

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  • SmokeyPittSmokeyPitt Posts: 6,593
    Now I need to order a paella pan and a wok!  That all looks amazing. 


    Which came first the chicken or the egg?  I egged the chicken and then I ate his leg. 

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  • Solson005Solson005 Posts: 1,907
    Thanks @Griffin I need to cook with it more often, the meals turn out SO good especially the Grace Young recipes. 

    @SmokeyPitt those are two eggcesories on the cheaper side of the scale but make for some really good meals! I would suggest you get a Wok with the wooden "helper handle" like the one I used in this post. I don't like my smaller one that doesn't have that handle and it doesn't get used very much. 
    Large & Small BGE, CGW Two-Tier Swing Rack for BOTH EGGS, Spider for the Wok, eggCARTen & and Cedar Pergola my Eggs call home in Edmond, OK. 
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