Gong Bao Chicken from Dini’s Kosher Restaurant
At Dini’s, Beijing’s only kosher restaurant, the chefs cook authentic Chinese food along with traditional Jewish dishes and Western favorites that travelers expect (there’s a sushi bar, too). The restaurant is named for Dini Freundlich, the local Chabad shlicha. Local Chinese residents also enjoy eating at Dini’s because they feel that kosher food is safer to eat; the Chinese term for kosher is Jie Shi, “clean food.”
- 1 pound chicken breast, cubed
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons water
- Pinch coarse black pepper
- Oil for frying
- 2 Chinese leeks or scallions
- 3 tablespoons salted peanuts
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 4 teaspoons vinegar
- 2 teaspoons hot sauce
- 4 teaspoons ketchup
- Place chicken into a small bowl. Sprinkle with cornstarch; top with water and black pepper. Mix to coat the chicken. Let stand for 2 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in a wok or sauté pan over high heat. When oil is very hot, add chicken cubes in batches; fry for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels. Drain oil from the pan. Add soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, hot sauce and ketchup. Cook until sauce thickens slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Add chicken and scallions; toss to coat. Top with peanuts.
- Tidbit: Dini makes her own version of hot chili sauce to use in the restaurant. She says it’s the Asian equivalent of Israeli red s’hug.
- Home Cook: We’ve tested this with all different types of hot sauce and they’ve all been successful. Halve the quantity if serving this dish to children. -L
- Reprinted from Everyday Secret Restaurant Recipes by Leah Schapira and Victoria Dwek with permission from the copyright holders ArtScroll/Mesorah Publications.