Do you ever go through “food phases,” where all you want to eat is a certain type of food? Lately, all I’ve been craving is spicy Asian food, so I decided to make this easy homemade kung pao chicken.
This is an update of a recipe I’ve been making for many years, from a cookbook I’ve had so long its cover is ripped off and pages are falling out. It’s one of the first stir fry dishes I learned how to make, and it’s still a family favorite. It’s an Americanized version of the Szechwan classic, but that doesn’t make it any less tasty.
Every week, as I plan my dinner menus, I ask the family what they would like to eat that week, and my son Jake usually asks for this Korean beef and noodle stir fry. Jake is our only son and youngest child. He was born in South Korea, and he has been an adopted member of our family since he was 12 months old. He is a terrific kid, and I’m incredibly lucky I get to be his mom. Jake is proud of where he came from, and maybe that’s the reason he loves this dish. Or maybe he just loves it because it’s so tasty.
This quick and easy stir fry has the flavors of bulgogi, a marinated grilled beef that is one of Korea’s signature dishes. A bulgogi-style marinade becomes a cooking sauce for a stir fry of ground beef, Napa cabbage, noodles, edamame and green onion, for a quick and easy weeknight dinner. I would describe this dish as a glorified hamburger helper, but it’s a whole lot tastier and better for you.