Kung Pao

You can make this with a variety of main components such as Butler’s Curls, Fried Tofu, Mushrooms, Eggplant, Potatoes, and more.  This is the version using Butler’s Curls.


  • 1 package of Butler Curls (can use tofu or mushrooms)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil for frying
  • 5 scallions (green onions) including green tops, diced
  • Optional veggies (broccoli, onions).  I like using one head of broccoli and one onion.
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced or minced
  • ⅓ cup unsalted raw peanuts or cashews (can also use roasted)
  • 1  tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper

For the marinade:

  • 1 T water
  • 4 T tamari, soy sauce or Bragg Liquid Aminos™
  • 2 tsp dry sherry or rice wine (substitute with water if necessary)
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch or arrowroot powder
  • 1 tsp Butler’s Chik Style Seasoning (optional)

For the sauce:

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 T dark brown sugar
  • 2 T rice vinegar
  • 4 tsp tamari, soy sauce or Bragg Liquid Aminos™
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp cornstarch or arrowroot powder
  • 1-2 T grated ginger
  • White or brown riceTechnique:Cook rice in a rice cooker.

    Soak curls in warm water for 10 minutes minimum.  Remove curls and press out water.

    Mix together the marinade ingredients except the cornstarch and Butler’s Chi Style Seasoning in a zip-lock bag. Add the curls, seal and shake to coat. Set aside while you prepare the rest of the recipe but shake occasionally to redistribute.

    After a minimum 10 minutes, add in cornstarch and the optional Chik Style Seasoning to ziploc bag and coat all the pieces by shaking the bag (with some air in it).

    Combine the ingredients for the sauce in a small dish, whisking well to ensure the starch is fully dissolved. Set aside.

    Thinly slice the garlic and set aside in a bowl with the grated ginger and diced green onions.

    In a wok or deep skillet, add the vegetable oil  to about 1/8″ deep and place over high heat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Fry curls while constantly stirring and flipping until you see a crust start to form on the outside.  Taste to make sure they are seasoned properly…try not to eat them all!

    If you are cooking any added veggies such as onion and broccoli, remove cooked curls and set aside.  Fry veggies in the same skillet. Use extra oil or a bit of water to avoid sticking.

    In same skillet or wok, add the red pepper flakes to the cooked veggies (if using cooked veggies) and sauté about 30 seconds.  If not using cooked veggies, you are adding the red pepper flakes to the curls.

    To the pan add in any nuts and cook for 5 minutes to mix the flavors.

    Add the ginger, garlic and green onion mixture and sauté an additional minute or two.

    Add the sauce, toss well, and sauté until the sauce begins to thicken.

    Serve over cooked rice.