About this time of year, among all the holiday baking, I start to think about what sort of food I want to have during the playoffs and for the bigger bowl games. (Sorry Music City Bowl, you’re not on the list of snack-worthy events.) Hearty snacks that are easy to make and can be made ahead of time if needed. People love Kung Pao chicken and they love egg rolls, and few things are better on game days than a finger food made for some serious munching. (As I have said many times before, I am a nervous eater so crunchy things like egg rolls are perfect for the playoffs.) The heat from the peppers goes with great with beer while the meatiness of the peanuts help round out the egg rolls.
Don’t get hung up on if this is a traditional Kung Pao recipe, it’s not. There is no need to rush out for Shaoxing wine or black vinegar, you can use cooking sherry and rice wine or white wine vinegar just fine. If you have access to Asian facing heaven peppers, go ahead and use them for your red chiles. If you don’t, use the small thin dried red chiles you can find in most grocery stores, often labeled “Asian chiles” or “Chile Japones.” And if you’re really in a pinch, you can use a couple of teaspoons of dried red chili flakes in place of the dried chiles, but they don’t have the same richness and “pop” as freshly sliced chiles. I use eight chiles in my egg rolls and they have a fair amount of heat, but if you like your food even hotter, you can add in one or two more without ruining the Kung Pao.
Full post and recipe for Kung Pao Chicken Egg Rolls: Football Foodie Hearty Snacks is over at KSK.
Probably one of my favorite recipes of the year. Looks like a lot of work, but comes together surprising quickly with a ton of favor out of only a few ingredients.