Kung Pao in the Time of COVID

👨‍🍳 Cooking in the Time of COVID 👨‍🍳

(Click on any image to view it in high resolution.)

As a hedge against renewed COVID angst and the current wave of Kafkaesque national politics, I’m cleaving to this course again for a little while, just until the omicron spike subsides. (Some say the graph is shaped like an ice pick but I can’t help seeing it as an inverted hypodermic needle.)

Because I ran out of Ben & Jerry’s but I did have chicken and crunchy peanuts on hand, Kung Pao will have to do for today’s comfort food.

In addition to those two ingredients, I added red bell peppers and scallions along with dried chili peppers, Sichuan peppercorns, garlic, ginger, and yibin yacai (preserved mustard greens) for the aromatic flavor burst component, and sugar, soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, Zhenjiang vinegar, and Guizhou fermented black bean chili sauce to keep it together.

And apropos of keeping it together, I can’t help but wonder if it’s possible that between the red bell peppers and the green scallions, I was subconsciously trying to keep Christmas around a little longer.
Stay safe, be well, and eat whatever it takes. ❤️