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Kung Pao Chicken

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malcontent
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Kung Pao Chicken

Post by malcontent » Sun, 24 Jan 2021 10:29 pm

Can anyone tell me where I can find the best Kung Pao Chicken in Singapore?

I’m pretty sure I have found the best Hot & Sour Soup (Westlake) and the best Sweet & Sour Pork (Por Kee). But Kung Pao Chicken is more rare, and those that do offer it do not do it justice at all.

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Re: Kung Pao Chicken

Post by PNGMK » Mon, 25 Jan 2021 8:41 am

Isn't that an American dish (like Chop Suey)?
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Re: Kung Pao Chicken

Post by malcontent » Mon, 25 Jan 2021 11:57 am

It is commonly served at American Chinese restaurants, but it is a Szechuan dish. Chinese food here tends to be dominated by Hokkien, Teochew, Hainanese & Cantonese cuisine. When I’ve asked locals about it, their first reaction is surprise that I know the term “Kung Pao” - but they all know of the dish and tell me it is considered nothing special here, even some economy mixed rice stalls serve it - which is true, but somewhat rare.

One confusing thing is, they don’t use the term “Kung Pao” for the English name of the dish here, so you need to read Chinese (宫保) to identify it.

The other dish common to American Chinese restaurants is Chow Mein, which doesn’t translate here because it simply means fried noodles. Yet, you can find this dish here - locals call it “crispy noodles” and when you ask for the Chinese name... they don’t seem to know, it’s just crispy noodles!

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Re: Kung Pao Chicken

Post by PNGMK » Mon, 25 Jan 2021 1:05 pm

IT sounds a a bit like another szechuan dish I like - crispy spicy little bit of battered chicken.

I can never recall the name and it's very rare here too.
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Re: Kung Pao Chicken

Post by therat » Mon, 25 Jan 2021 10:23 pm

“crispy noodles”, we call it 生面 Sheng mian (Hanyupinying)

“Kung Pao” is 宫保鸡丁
Almost 99.9% of those coffee shop fry stall have both of it.
Both are very common in Singapore

But if you want them to taste like American Chinese restaurant in US.
It might disappointed you.

American Chinese restaurant is way too sweet for us.
Our reaction after eating Kung Pao, what the hack is this.

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Re: Kung Pao Chicken

Post by malcontent » Tue, 26 Jan 2021 1:41 pm

I agree, there are many American Chinese restaurants that put Chinese food to shame, but there is usually a decent one or two in every town (if you know where to go). One clue - look for places with Asian people eating there, otherwise expect it to be heavily Americanized. The same can be said for western cuisine here, if you only see only locals there, don’t expect western food that is very authentic.

Still, there are a few Chinese American dishes that we miss (including my wife who is Chinese), such as egg rolls, beef & broccoli and my personal favorite “moo shu pork” which is a Hunan dish 木须肉 that you will not find anywhere in Singapore (but I did cook it myself here once!).

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Re: Kung Pao Chicken

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 26 Jan 2021 2:22 pm

malcontent wrote:
Tue, 26 Jan 2021 1:41 pm
Check your whatsappp. :cool:

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Re: Kung Pao Chicken

Post by abbby » Tue, 26 Jan 2021 9:47 pm

I like the kungpao chicken served up at ABC Market at the stall 'Gu zao ren'. Also their other local delights are pretty awesome as well.
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Re: Kung Pao Chicken

Post by malcontent » Tue, 26 Jan 2021 11:12 pm

Is that ABC Brickworks on Bukit Merah near Alexandra? We have been there many times, we mainly go for the claypot rice stall which is (was?) one of the best (edit: the recent reviews make me wonder). Will check out Gu Zao Ren!

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Re: Kung Pao Chicken

Post by Lisafuller » Fri, 05 Feb 2021 2:04 pm

The kungpao chicken that you are thinking of is rare in singapore. While most Zichar stalls do serve it (宫保鸡丁), this is not the same breaded chicken in sauce that you may be expecting. Instead, it is made up of small diced chicken pieces, fried in dry spice and chilies. Still delicious, but not the same.

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Re: Kung Pao Chicken

Post by malcontent » Fri, 05 Feb 2021 3:30 pm

Nope, I’ve lived here 24 years and have found the dish at some zi char and some mixed rice stalls... I just haven’t found a particularly good one. The last one I tried about a month a ago was at Westlake - it had to be one of the worst excuses for kung pao chicken that I’ve ever experienced. Even typical Chinese restaurants in the US can do a better job #-o

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Re: Kung Pao Chicken

Post by malcontent » Sun, 07 Feb 2021 11:14 am

If I saw breaded chicken, my first reaction would be - this is not kung pao chicken. On the other hand, sweet & sour chicken should be breaded... and if it’s done right, it’s crispy on the outside, with a generous, tender piece of pork on the inside. I believe Por Kee is the best one in Singapore, just the right amount of tanginess, crispness & tenderness, with warm chunks of pineapple mixed in - oh, it makes my mouth water just thinking about it!

For Kung Pao, the chicken should be braised and the spice should hit your tongue instantly, with an almost mala bight, but not as bitter.

The other thing I’m looking for is some good beef dishes. Most zi char places soak the beef in some kind of starch/tenderizer which almost makes the beef slightly glutinous (ugh, makes me wanna gag, honestly). The best one I’ve ever had here was Teo Chew City (now closed) in Centrepoint - pricey, but worth it.

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Re: Kung Pao Chicken

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 07 Feb 2021 12:06 pm

Probably one of these products.....MSG
Image or baking soda.

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