Make and Freeze: Kung Pao Sauce
Spicy Kung Pao sauce at a moment’s notice? It seems too good to be true, doesn’t it? On busy days, if a sauce has more than five ingredients, I probably won’t give it a second look. That’s why I love things that can be made in advance. This Kung Pao sauce has an armful of ingredients, but the flavor is definitely worth the trouble. And, as long as you have the ingredients out, it makes sense to whip up a large batch and freeze the extra.
The only glitch is that cornstarch doesn’t freeze well. It basically loses its thickening power. The easiest thing to do is to leave the cornstarch out initially. Then, whisk the cornstarch into the thawed sauce, and pour it into the stir-fry. Even with that extra step, you’re still way ahead of the game.
The sauce can be frozen in tupperware containers, small plastic buckets, small freezer bags, or ice cube trays. I prefer to freeze it in 1/2-cup portions (6-oz. container, or 4 ice cubes, etc.), so I have exactly the amount I need for Kung Pao Chicken.
Kung Pao Sauce
makes 1/2 cup
- 2 Tbs. chicken or vegetable stock
- 2 Tbs. Chinkiang black vinegar or balsamic vinegar
- 1-1/2 Tbs. Shoaxing wine or sherry
- 1 Tbs. hoisin sauce
- 1 Tbs. soy sauce
- 1 tsp. sesame oil
- 1 tsp. sambal oelek or chili garlic sauce
- 1/4 tsp. ground Sichuan pepper
- 1 tsp. cornstarch – added later
Stir together all ingredients except for the cornstarch. Pour into ice cube trays, tupperware container, or freezer bag; freeze.
To use: thaw sauce, stir in cornstarch and use according to recipe.