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宫保鸡丁的来历 Origin of Kung Pao Chicken (Advanced)

Mar. 18, 2010

宫保鸡丁的来历 (Gōngbǎo jīdīng de láilì) Origin of Kung Pao Chicken (Advanced)

 

Key Learning Points (Preview):

宫保鸡丁 (gōngbǎo jīdīng): n Kung Pao Chicken

 

川菜 (chuāncài): n Sichuan dish

 

鸡肉 (jīròu):n chicken

 

"宫保鸡丁 (gōngbǎo jīdīng) Kung Pao Chicken" is usually perceived as a "川菜 (chuāncài) Sichuan dish," and you can order this dish in almost every Sichuan restaurant. However, "宫保鸡丁 (gōngbǎo jīdīng) Kung Pao Chicken" originally was a "黔菜 (qiáncài) Guizhou dish," and there is an interesting story behind this.

On mentioning "宫保鸡丁 (gōngbǎo jīdīng) Kung Pao Chicken" one has to mention the upright official "丁宝桢 (Dīng Bǎozhēn) Ding Baozhen" from the Qing Dynasty. Ding was born in Guizhou Province, or "黔 (qián)" in short. When at home, he enjoyed making dishes mixing fresh and tender "鸡肉 (jīròu) chicken" with "花生 (huāshēng) peanuts" —this is the origin of what is now called "宫保鸡丁 (gōngbǎo jīdīng) Kung Pao Chicken."

After his adulthood, Ding was transferred to the Sichuan Province as the governor. "独在异乡为异客,每逢佳节倍思亲 (Dú zài yìxiāng wéi yìkè, měiféng jiājié bèi sīqīn) A lonely stranger away from my hometown, I miss my family all the more on every festive day." Placed in a unfamiliar place, Ding missed his hometown very much. During this time, Ding's cook, a clever and considerate person, came up with a great idea. He mixed "鸡肉 (jīròu) chicken" and "花生 (huāshēng) peanuts" together while adding some dry red pepper, a local favorite of Sichuan people. What came out was appetizing, "辣 () hot," and fresh  "鸡肉 (jīròu) chicken" with crisp "花生 (huāshēng) peanuts." This dish soon became the favorite of Ding.

Ding spent ten years in managing Sichuan Province and was well known for the good deeds he did for the people there. In order to commend his great work, the Qing Dynasty honored him as a "太子太保 (tàizǐ tàibǎo) officer who tutors the crown prince," a nominal title which is also called "宫保 (gōngbǎo) officer who governs the palace" (this is a honorable title like the title of duke in England). And his beloved people of Sichuan Province named his favorite food as "宫保鸡丁 (gōngbǎo jīdīng) Kung Pao Chicken" to commemorate him. Generation after generation, Sichuan people passed this dish down and it finally became a famous "川菜 (chuāncài) Sichuan food."

Key Learning Points:

宫保鸡丁 (gōngbǎo jīdīng ): n Kung Pao Chicken

 

 "宫 (gōng)" means palace; "保 (bǎo)" means to protect; "鸡 ()" means chicken; "丁 (dīng )" means small cube.

Example:

Gōngbǎo jīdīng fēicháng shòu wàiguórén de huānyíng.

宫保         鸡丁   非常        受     外国人      的    欢迎。

 

Kung Pao Chicken is very popular with foreigners.

川菜 (chuāncài): n Sichuan dish

 

"川 (chuān)" means Sichuan Province. "菜 (cài)" means vegetable, but here it means food or dish.

Example:

Chuāncài de tèdiǎn jiùshì málà.

川菜       的 特点    就是  麻辣。

 

Sichuan dish is always spicy.

鸡肉 (jīròu):n chicken

 

"鸡 ()" means chicken. "肉 (ròu)" means meat.

Example:

A: Wǒ xiǎng yào yì gōngjīn jīròu.

    我    想     要  一 公斤    鸡肉。

 

   I want one kilogram of chicken.

B: Hǎode, gěi nín.

   好的, 给 您。

 

   OK, here you are.

生词 (shēngcí) Vocabulary

 

辣 (): adj hot/ spicy

 

花生 (huāshēng): n peanuts

 

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