Kung Pao chicken is a famous Chinese dish made with diced chicken, chilies, and peanuts. In some Western countries, this world-famous dish is synonymous with Chinese cuisine.
It is said that the dish was created by Ding Baozhen (1820–1886), a governor of Sichuan Province during the Qing Dynasty. He came from Niuchang Town, Zhijin County, Bijie City, Guizhou Province.
According to the legend, Ding Baozhen was very interested in cooking. He liked eating chicken and peanuts, and especially loved spicy flavors. He created a delicacy made of diced chicken, red chilies, and peanuts while in office.
It was originally a Ding family recipe, but as time passed it became a well-known dish. However, few people know why it is named Kung Pao…
Ding Baozhen was a good governor during his 10-year service in Sichuan, contributing a lot to the local people’s wellbeing. So the Qing government conferred upon him posthumously an official title: Kung Pao (Wade-Giles romanization of 宫保 Gōng Bǎo ‘Palace Defender’), which meant an officer who tutors the crown prince.
Therefore, Ding’s delicacy was named “Kung Pao chicken” to commemorate his great contributions.
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