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4- Alarm Kung Pao Chicken

Those who know me are aware of the fact that I have an unhealthy obsession with 5-Star Restaurant in Downtown Raleigh. I LOVE their food, their atmosphere, their location. It just really doesn’t get any better in this area if you ask me. That being said, my favorite dish on the menu is Crispy Sesame Beef. This post is not about that. However, prior to my discovery of this (A-MAZ-ING) dish, my favorite was the Kung Pao Chicken. Sadly, 5-Star no longer offers Kung Pao Chicken on the menu and therefore I started trying new things. I am ok with that but still miss the chicken from time to time. Which brings me to the beginning of my story.

I went grocery shopping recently and came across a “meal kit” for none other than Kung Pao Chicken! At first I didn’t want to try it because I generally don’t like kits. But I was in the ethnic foods aisle and hoped that it would be more authentic than the typical skillet sensations or hamburger helper variety. it’s called Wanchai Ferry and it’s actually owned by General Mills.

There was a specific warning of how spicy it was, but I, being the sweet naive girl that I am (*ahem) scoffed at the warning. WHAT-ever, I used to eat this all the time. Some store bought kit isn’t going to be too hot for me!

Ahh the ignorance of youth (again let me take some liberty here…it’s my blog). I made the rice as directed, browned the chicken, added the red peppers and peanuts. I should have known when the STEAM made me start coughing that I was in for it.

The meal was beautiful. The rice was perfect and the consistency was awesome. The chicken was juicy and the sauce was a lovely red. I even used my Asian noodle bowls to serve it! We sat down to watch Jeopardy (as per usual) and dig in.

Me: “Wow…this really is kinda spicy huh?”
Jerry: “MM-HHM…Isrearrlygood….”
Me: “I mean…I just think this is hotter than anything I have ever eaten”
Jerry: “Tarkeadrink…”
Me: “Ok I can’t eat this. I have to put it down”
Jerry: “More for me!”

Somewhere between the couch and the kitchen, my mouth began to swell. I could no longer feel my lips and my throat was closing up. Yes, this was indeed the hottest thing I have ever eaten. Never in my life had I experienced such a violent, immediate reaction to delicious food. Was I being punished?

After a few laps around the kitchen to cool down and a LOT of water, I decided to switch to the leftover Mexican food in the fridge. Thankfully, it was great and all was well again. Even though I didn’t get my Kung Pao Chicken feast, I would actually recommend this brand. I plan to try some of the other, less threatening flavors in the future 🙂

Lesson for the day, heed those warning labels!!



I'm a travel-loving boymom living in Raleigh, NC. I love making life a little bit easier and a lot more fun by sharing easy recipes, travel tips, and holiday treats. Read more...


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