KUNG PAO EGG ROLLS

There are two very special occasions to celebrate this month, which is the perfect reason to cook dishes to highlight Chinese New Year and National Almond Day!

February is an exciting culinary month with the year of the Goat making a big celebratory appearance on the 19th. With the Chinese New Year, many fantastic dishes grace family feasting tables to share and bring good fortune. From delicious seafood dishes to family-style noodles and appetizers galore, it’s hard to not ring in the New Year with the grandest of meals.

In addition to celebrating the Chinese New Year, just a few days prior is National Almond Day. These two holidays pair perfectly in this recipe and in celebration. Almonds are common in Chinese savories and pastries, so there are many flavor pairings that are compatible with almonds in Chinese food.

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To kick off this Chinese New Year in culinary-style, we’ll be heading to some fabulous parties and need a great potluck dish that will resonate both themes in the best way we can. So why not make some Kung Pao Chicken Egg Rolls with a Homemade Almond Sauce to rock everyone’s New Year?

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All it takes to make the homemade almond sauce is some great ingredients and a reliable kitchen appliance that has the power, function and reliability to make sauce-magic with the almonds.

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When it comes to making a sauce of this nature, we always turn to our tried, true and trusted KitchenAid® 14-Cup Food Processor. Just add some almonds to create the base almond butter, and then add some spices to amp up the flavor. Within minutes you’ll have a go-to sauce for all your dippings.

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Literally within a few minutes, what comes out of the KitchenAid® 14-Cup Food Processor is a magical sauce that’s creamy, savory and delicious. It’s the perfect pairing to the Kung Pao Egg Rolls.

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These Kung Pao Chicken Egg Rolls are a fun take on traditional Kung Pao Chicken, but we’ve turned it into an appetizer for everyone to enjoy. It’s not only a delicious egg roll, but when dipped in the homemade sweet and a tinge spicy almond butter sauce, you’ll also have a new addiction for life.

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The homemade almond butter dip is so delicious, you’ll have to serve it to vegetarian friends too, and so that’s why we have another filling option: tofu. These Kung Pao tofu egg rolls have the same seasonings and flavor as the chicken, but they’re healthier and vegan!

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Now everyone is taken care of during National Almond Day and Chinese New Year. We can celebrate all eaters for this wonderful food-filled week of almonds and great fortune.

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Enjoy!

Kung Pao Chicken Egg Rolls (or Kung Pao Tofu Egg Rolls) with Homemade Almond Butter Dipping Sauce

Makes 20 egg rolls

INGREDIENTS

For almond butter dipping sauce

1 cup whole almonds
1/2 cup hoisin
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce, or to taste
1 cup cold water, or more if needed to make sauce smooth

For kung pao chicken or kung pao tofu egg rolls

2 pounds ground chicken or 2 -(12 oz) packages of firm or extra-firm tofu
6 green onions (scallions), diced
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons Chinese black vinegar
2 teaspoons oyster sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground Sichuan pepper, or fresh ground black pepper, or to taste

For frying egg rolls

About 12-15 egg roll wrappers or egg roll skins
Vegetable Oil or Peanut Oil, for frying

Optional sides

Vegetable sticks: cucumbers, red peppers, carrots, celery
Lettuce

DIRECTIONS

Make the almond butter dipping sauce. Use the mini bowl of the KitchenAid® 14-Cup Food Processor. Add all almond butter ingredients and pulse on high for about 3-5 minutes or until almond dipping sauce is smooth. Add additional water 1 tablespoon at a time if needed to water down the sauce to dipping consistency. Set aside.

If making tofu filling, remove the tofu from the package. Place tofu in bowl and squeeze excess water out of the tofu with paper towels.

In large bowl, add ground chicken or the squeezed out tofu.

Add remaining Kung Pao ingredients: scallions, soy sauce, Chinese rice wine, garlic, Chinese black vinegar, oyster sauce, sesame oil, sugar and Sichuan pepper. Combine well. Set aside to marinade for about 20 minutes.

Roll the egg rolls: place a wrapper on your work surface so one corner is pointed towards you and spoon about 2 tablespoons of the filling onto the lower one-third of the wrapper. Begin rolling from the bottom, bring the wrapper bottom point over the filling and tucking the filling slightly snug. Continue rolling, and after rolling about halfway, crease and fold in the sides over the roll to close the ends. Finish rolling, brushing the far corner point of the wrapper with water to seal the eggroll. Set aside. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling.

In a large skillet or frying pan, heat about 3/4 inch (2 cm) oil over medium heat. Test the heat of the oil by adding a small piece of egg roll wrapper to the pan. If it sizzles and browns too quickly, then your heat is too high.

Gently lay egg rolls in hot oil and fry for about 5 to 10 minutes, flipping the egg rolls over occasionally and cooking until they are golden on all sides and the filling is cooked through.

Blot on paper towel to remove excess oil. Serve warm with almond butter dipping sauce.

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