Earls Hunan Kung Pao

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Last week, we mentioned that Earls, a long-standing Canadian restaurant chain, came out with a cookbook about the food trends that have shaped how Canadians eat over the past 30 years. The cookbook is filled with recipes of its signature dishes, one of which is the Hunan Kung Pao, which came into popularity in the 90s for the restaurant. It was a recipe that was inspired from Henry's Hunan Kitchen and has since been tweaked for Earls

Make it tonight for a quick and easy meal.

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1½ lb fresh Chinese egg noodles
2 tbsp vegetable oil, divided
2 bird's eye chilies, or to taste
8 oz. diced chicken breast or thigh
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup diced red pepper
1/2 cup diagonally cut carrots, sliced 1/8 inch thick
1/2 cup diagonally cut celery, cut 1/4-inch thick
2 cups chopped yu choy, cut 1-inch thick
Hunan sauce, recipe below
1/4 cup roasted peanuts

Bring a pot of salted water to a full boil over high heat. Blanch the noodles for 2 minutes, stirring well to loosen up the clumps of noodles.

Drain the noodles immediately and flush them with cold water to stop cooking. Allow to drain and cool completely. Coat lightly with 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of vegetable oil to prevent sticking.

Heat the remaining tablespoon (15 mL) of vegetable oil in a wok or nonstick skillet over high heat until it ripples.

Add the desired amount of chilies to the oil and cook until blistered. Toss in the chicken and allow to sear on one side, separating each piece to ensure that the chicken cooks evenly, approximately 2 minutes. Flip each piece of chicken to sear the second side.

Add the onion, pepper, carrots and celery, cooking for 2 minutes until the vegetables are blistered and begin to soften.

Toss in the yu choy and continue cooking until it turns bright green from the heat, approximately 1 minute.

Add the Hunan sauce and bring to a simmer.

Push the chicken and vegetables to one side of the pan. Add the noodles to the empty side.

Toss very well to coat each ingredient with sauce. The sauce will thicken slightly as the chicken and vegetables cook thoroughly. Check to see if the largest piece of chicken is cooked. The vegetables should be tender but not limp.

Divide into bowls and garnish each bowl evenly with roasted peanuts.


1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp minced ginger
2 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp cornstarch

Mix all ingredients together. Can be prepared ahead and stored refrigerated up to 4 days. Stir well before use.