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The history of Kung Pao Chicken

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In China Kung Pao Chicken is called Gongbao Ji Ding. The word ji means Chicken. The word ding means cut into small cubes or diced.
在中国Kung Pao Chicken叫做宫保鸡丁。"ji"的意思是鸡。"ding"是指切成小方块或切块。


Though Gongbao Ji Ding is a favorite dish served though out most of China it is considered a traditional example of Sichuan Cuisine. According to Du Fuxiang in his book Chinese Culinary Culture the dish originated in the late Qing Dynasty and was first prepared by the family chef of a man Ding Baozhen. While Gongbao Ji Ding is strongly associated with Sichuan cuisine, In Chinese Culinary Culture Du Fuxiang listed it as an example of Shandong cuisine. There is a good reason for this.
宫保鸡丁是川菜里的传统菜式,不过这道菜在中国大部分地区都很受欢迎,根据杜福祥(音译)在他的作品<中国饮食文化>中的记载,这道菜起源于清朝末年,本来是大臣丁宝祯的家厨所创。尽管宫保鸡丁与川菜渊源深厚,但在杜福祥的<中国饮食文化>中,他却将这道菜做为鲁菜的范例,这还有 一个特殊的缘故。


Ding Baozhen was originally from the province of Guizhou which is south of Sichuan. He was a public official who served for a number of years as governor of the Shandong province which is on the east coast of China just south of Beijing. He was later appointed governor over Sichuan province.
丁宝祯祖籍贵州,曾在中国东部沿海省份山东为官多年,后调任四川总督.


Du Fuxiang states that the dish in it's original form was always served at family banquets during the time that Ding Baozhen served as governor in Shandong. When Ding Baozhen was made governor of Sichuan he introduced the dish there. In Sichuan, Ding Baozhen modified the dish by adding peppers in order to please local people who enjoyed spicy foods.
杜福祥在书中记载到,丁宝祯任山东巡抚时,常吃这道家常菜,后来丁宝祯调升四川总督,也就把这道菜带到了四川,为了迎合当地嗜辣的饮食习惯,丁宝祯将菜改良,宫保鸡丁中于是加入了辣椒。


The word Gongbao was a tittle that was given to Ding Baozhen by the Qing court during the time that he served them. Gong was a tittle given by royal families to men who served as governors of provinces. Essentially if you were to translate the name of the dish Gongboa Ji Ding literally you would have "Governor Bao's Diced Chicken."
菜名中的“宫保”二字便来自于丁宝祯的任清朝官员时的头衔。“宫”字源于清朝对出任省级官员的封号。所以说,若要直译这“宫保鸡丁”,其实就是“宝总督的鸡丁”。(译者注:据译者所知,宫保鸡丁里的宫保是因为丁宝祯官封太子少宝,而非名字里的宝)


Gongbao Ji Ding quickly became a favorite among the people of Sichuan province. From there it spread all over China. Like many popular Chinese dishes it was introduced to North America in the 1800s by Chinese emigrants who worked on the construction of Central Pacific portion of the American transcontinental railroad. Most of the Chinese railroad workers were brought from the province of Guangdong which is populated by Cantonese people. The Cantonese people who introduced this dish to America would have altered the dish to their own tastes as well as to ingredients that they could easily find in America. The version of Kung Pao Chicken that is served in most of the Chinese restaurants across America reflects the changes that were made during this time.
宫保鸡丁在四川迅速受到欢迎。并从四川传遍中国。与许多其他受欢迎的中国菜式一样,宫保鸡丁于1800年,与远赴太平洋修建了横贯美国西部铁路的华工们一起,传入北美地区。多数华工都来自于中国广东,这些广东华工们将菜改得更适应自己的口味,并使用可以在美国地区找到的配料。美国的中餐馆中所供应的宫保鸡丁菜式味道的变化,折射出这段历史的变迁。

2016-06-23

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