Gong Bao Ji Ding (Gong Bao Chicken)

By • February 3, 2011 • 75 Comments



Author Notes: A perfect Gongbaijiding ????, has different components to be labeled delicious: the tenderness of the chicken with the right amount of peanuts, the savory thick sauce that spoons off with the meat, the flavor that holds the perfect balance of salty, slightly sour, with a kick of numbing spiciness and the aroma of garlic and ginger.
* I prefer using chicken thighs, for more flavors, though chicken breast is almost just as good. - FrancisRenHuang
FrancesRenHuang

Food52 Review: Tender morsels of chicken eagerly soak up FrancesRenHuang's fragrant, velvety sauce in what is a remarkably quick and forgiving recipe. If you can't find Sichuan peppercorns, don't sweat it (you'll just miss out on their mysteriously addictive numbing quality). Use any small, dried red chiles that suit you. And customize at will, by adding sliced mushrooms, water chestnuts, or diced celery to the stir-fry. Lastly, to those with healthy appetites: Double this recipe! Your guests will praise you. - A&MA&M

Serves 3~4

Tenderizing the Meat

  • 2 chicken thighs, deboned and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (if yours are tiny, you may want to throw in 1-2 more)
  • 1/2 teaspoon beaten egg
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon chinese cooking wine

Stir-Frying

  • 2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chinese dark vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 6 tablespoons of water or stock
  • 1 generous handful of peanuts
  • 2 green onions, chopped into 1-inch lengths
  • 4 garlic cloves, skin removed, smashed and chopped
  • 6 slices of ginger
  • 8 red dried chiles, chopped
  • 4 teaspoons Sichuan peppercorns
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  1. Mix together the marination with the meat; set aside while preparing the rest. *Can put in fridge for the day.
  2. Mix the liquid ingredients, brown sugar and corn starch and set aside to use as the sauce for stir-frying. Heat up wok with vegetable oil until shimmering and hot, about 120 F.
  3. Dip half of the meat into the oil and move around until half-cooked, around 2 minutes; remove with slotted spoon and drain from oil. Repeat for the other half.
  4. Drain off all but 2 tbsp of oil in heated wok, throw in chiles, peppercorns, garlic, ginger and spring onion; stir-fry until fragrant, about 2 minutes; add peanuts and stir-fry for another 1~2 min.
  5. Add chicken cubes, stir-fry for about 3 minutes, or until chicken is cooked.
  6. Pour on reserved sauce and simmer until the dish thickens, about 3 minutes.
  7. Garnish with ground Sichuan peppercorn; serve with rice.
  • This recipe is a Wildcard Contest Winner!
Jump to Comments (75)

Tags: chicken, chinese, chinese, savory, savory

Comments (75) Questions (6)

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5 months ago Mary b

We loved this...especially the burn afterwards! Quick, easy and delicious.

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9 months ago Elizabeth Star

I tried this recipe and think it is a wonderful way to tenderize chicken. I did pulverize the sichuan peppercorns in a mortar, but it made the dish taste like it had sand in it. Next time I will try the whole peppercorns. Way too much oil for my taste, sauce was mediocre, the best part was the way to tenderize the chicken.

Stringio

9 months ago michelle_brown

This recipe is the best yet. I love the peppercorns and the sauce is perfect. I add a little bit of vegetables.

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11 months ago pokolik

This has been my favorite Chinese dish since I lived in China, long ago. After some years of recipe research and practice, I can say this is one of the most authentic I've seen online. If you could just add a good tablespoon of doubanjiang (the spicy fermented bean paste) right after chilis and garlic, that would make it near perfect. A tablespoon of sesame oil mixed in right at the end and chopped green scallion leaves sprinkled on top: total pleasure. To get the crunch out of the peanuts, I recommend buying them raw, then peeling and roasting them with a bit of oil on a slow fire.

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11 months ago Megha

I made this tonight, followed recipe except i omitted the Sichuan peppercorns and peanuts (never been a huge fan of either)..absolutely amazing! The best stirfry i have made to date. Loved how tender the chicken was. Thank you for a lovely recipe :)

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about 1 year ago Kitchen Butterfly

STUNNING. Made this for lunch - the technique of marinating the chicken will now be part of my essential prep for chicken and beef. I've done it occasionally....but hence forth, it shall be ESSENTIAL. Thanks for a great dish. Truly delicious

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about 1 year ago DanaYares

I added a little black bean sauce to the meat and it was great!

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about 1 year ago havefaith

Would be nice to have a weight of chicken as not all chickens are created equal. :)

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over 1 year ago Trena

My family absolutely loves this dish! I took AntoniaJames advice and now crush the Sichuan peppercorns with a mortar and pestle and push through a fine sieve for a less assertive flavor. Additionally, I now use the meat tenderizing technique offered in this recipe for all of my chicken stir fry recipes. Great tip!

Stringio

over 1 year ago Lilismom

Are the peanuts salted or not? This looks wonderful!

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11 months ago pokolik

Unsalted. Buy them raw if you can, peel them and roast them with a bit of oil on a slow fire.

Stringio

over 1 year ago Jeremy Bernozzi

Got a BURNING QUESTION!! What on earth is the green vegetable they use for this dish in Sichuan? Not celery, not green pepper, but tastes a little like both, but with a rich, zesty broccoli flavor. I have yet to see an english recipe that includes this wonder-vegetable, sadly. Also, just an observation: I'd never once encountered ground hua jiao (peppercorns) in any gong bao ji ding; they were always fried with the other aromatics in the oil-and of course, some places would just have a bottle of "hua jiao you" (oil) handy. I ate (and watched) this all the time, while living in Chengdu for a year. Now, I know--its not "really" a Sichuanese dish, but it has come to have many sichuanese add-ons, and there are as many variatons as a Thanksgiving turkey.

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over 1 year ago FrancesRenHuang

Is it chinese broccoli? :)

Stringio

over 1 year ago Jeremy Bernozzi

No, I'd seen it in Chengdu a lot, and finally found it here in Boston, and it was the right one!! I just made it tonight. Can't find the name! It looks sort of like a giant green, conical asparagus with the leaves plucked. There is a peel that is a bit fibrous, that you shave off, and inside its an emerald green thing that they cube, along with green onions, chicken, etc. I've been wondering what it was for 3 years. Highly recommend it. The rest of the recipe was great, btw! Brought back memories.

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over 1 year ago FrancesRenHuang

I know what you are talking about and I love it as well- make it as a chinese cold dish. Yes, you are also right. You can omit the sichuan pepper powder if you have a very good authentic sichuan peppers to start with, or even the oil. :) Mine here in this country isn't as good as the ones in China- so I like to finish it with the powder. Thank you for sharing !!

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over 1 year ago ashleynickel

Jeremy, I lived in Chengdu and I love the vegetable you are talking about. It is called celtuse, or bosun in chinese. I have yet to find it here in the states which makes me really sad. WHat I am trying to figure out is what they use for the mini onion they put in this recipe. I think its the white end of green onions.

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over 1 year ago ashleynickel

* I meant bosun in chinese, sorry

Stringio

over 1 year ago Jeremy Bernozzi

I agree, the hua jiao here is usually stale and, I believe, radiated, as per import laws. So, I packed a carry bag full. But now, I totally agree, to get that real tingle and floral taste, it's best to add extra toasted ones at the end. Any body know about the green hua jiao? I thought my esophagus was closing up!

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almost 2 years ago amp156

I finally got around to making this recipe and loved it, however, found biting into the whole sichuan peppercorns unpleasant after a while. I could omit them, but love the flavor and was wondering if anyone had experience with grinding them up.

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almost 2 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I crush them well with a mortar and pestle, then press the bits through a fine sieve. It works great, and although you don't get as sharp a bite of flavor, you also don't get the tongue numbing effect of chewing the whole peppercorns. ;o)

Stringio

over 2 years ago molls to the wall

This was AMAZING, and such a good excuse to get my butt to the Asian market. I'm definitely going to try that stir fry sauce on other stuff as well. I love this site and this is the best recipe I've seen so far.

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over 2 years ago FrancesRenHuang

Thank you! Glad you enjoy it-- tell me how it goes!

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almost 3 years ago Christina GK

yum! Made this last night, with forced substitutions for the ingredients I couldn't find. Very dry sherry for the Chinese wine, and a mix of balsamic and red wine vinegars for the dark vinegar. Lots of black pepper for the peppercorns. Hope my substitutions help other culturally-isolated cooks!

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about 3 years ago Skinny bitches

OMG, so good! No more chinese gong bau chicken take-out for me..I am making this at home!! Thank you so much!

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over 3 years ago aurora504

Thanks...would balsamic due...better than red?? Thanks for your help it has been helpful. Take Care

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over 3 years ago aurora504

Hi there !! I live in a small area with little Asian food products. I would love to make your dish but am having trouble finding the dark vinegar. Even on the Asian Grocery website there is only a dark seasoned vinegar for sale. Is this the product ?? What can be a good replacement for it? Thanks so much for your help !!

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over 3 years ago FrancesRenHuang

you could use any other rich color vinegar as substitute: red rice wine vinegar ???, aged dark vinegar ??, or dark color vinegar with chinese label on it. I hope this is helpful!

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over 3 years ago Midge

Finally made this last night. Beyond delicious! Wondering what else I might use my black vinegar for, though I'm sure I'll make this again and again.

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over 3 years ago FrancesRenHuang

Glad that ppl are still trying this recipe! Happy you enjoyed it.

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over 3 years ago thebreukelenlife

I enjoyed this recipe! Had to make a few substitutions because I was missing Chinese Cooking wine and the vinegar. To sub I just used a basic white wine I had leftover from a dinner party and some sort of vinegar I got in Chinatown. Close enough! I was also missing the red chilis which was kind of a bummer. I added in about 4 cups of chopped broccoli which was a nice addition. Overall - highly recommended. Especially if you have all the ingredients. The chicken tenderizing bit was great!

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over 3 years ago FrancesRenHuang

The sauce is great for variations. Glad you optimize that to its potential!

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over 3 years ago matchbox

I made this once according to the sichuanese recipe.sis i think you can make it better.GO!but i like your other recipes,thanks for sharing!