~ Thanks to Nicoletta & Beppe’s, located in the heart of Portland’s Pearl District, for bringing us Sound Tasting! ~

Looking for a fresh take on a classic Chinese dish? With a possible secret ingredient involved to boot? That also takes less than 30 minutes to prepare?

Well look no further, and join host Marti Mendenhall in the kitchen with her brother, Andrew Clapp for Sound Tasting Episode 4. The siblings are whipping up one of Andrew’s favorite recipes, Kung Pao Chicken. They use the freshest ingredients, and even the vegetables come from the local farmer’s markets in the area.

You will also hear Andrew enlighten us on the arts of electronic music mixing, amplifier construction, and his secret to bringing music, food, and people together.


Andrew Clapp, electronic musician/hobbyist, chef.

From Behind The Microphone

All of the ingredients, prepped and ready for business.

Andrew Clapp surveying his workspace.

Rice cooker, canola oil, and frying pan ready to go!



1 small can of bamboo shoots

1 small can of water chestnuts

2 large chicken breasts, diced into 1″ cubes

2 large carrots, 1/2″ dice

3 stalks celery, 1/2″ dice

1 medium-to-large onion, diced

2 tbsp minced garlic, fresh is best

2 tbsp minced ginger, fresh is essential

peanuts, about 1/2 cup

cold water, about 1/2 cup

corn starch, a few tbsp

hoisin sauce, 1/4-1/2 cup

chili paste with garlic, 1/4-1/2 cup

sesame oil (or other high temperature oil such as canola), a few tbsp.


Start rice, preferably long grain white rice like basmati or jasmine.  1 cup of rice to 1-3/4 cup water.  Bring water to a boil w/ pinch of salt and dash of oil, add rice, reduce heat to simmer and cover.  Remove from heat in 20 mins.  Fluff rice with fork.

In a large pan or walk, heat a few tbs of sesame oil to a shimmer on med to high heat.

Add onions and cook until clear and soft.

Add chicken and cook until lightly browned on all sides.

Add carrots, celery, bamboo, water chestnuts and peanuts.

Continue to cook until carrots begin to soften.

Add garlic and ginger.

Add equal parts of hoisin sauce and chili paste and stir until well mixed.  Start with 1/4-1/2 cup of each.  Add more if you want more sauce, use less if you want less sauce.

Continue to cook and stir for a few minutes.  The sauce should become a little thinner before it heats up completely and then it will start to thicken again, which is about when you do the cornstarch.

Now mix about 1 tbsp corn starch in 1/2 cup cold water and stir until entirely dissolved.  Add this to the pan and stir until everything is mixed, which should begin to thicken the sauce.

If the sauce is not getting thicker after about 1 minute, or you have a larger quantity of sauce, repeat the cornstarch step with more cold water, mixing and stir it in, and bring the whole dish back up to very hot  tempeature to thicken it.

Once it reaches a nice consistency, remove from heat and serve over rice.

Andrew’s playlist for cooking

Cooking for Andrew started out as a hobby when he was very young, and became something more of a focus when he was in college cooking, for himself, and for his friends.  In one of his dorms, he’d often have neighbors and friends over to share whatever he was having, largely due to the fact that he can’t cook a small batch of anything.  Later on, he would often find myself hosting a band practice at his home, and would be sure to cook up a meal for his bandmates so as to have something to eat when they showed up, usually straight from work on a weeknight, hungry.  For many years, on his December 31st birthday, Andrew would have a house full of people over to listen to sets from whatever bands he was currently in, playing music and cooking up a huge pot of gumbo or jambalaya or some such feast.  Andrew’s first gumbo was actually from a recipe from the mother of a band member who grew up partly in New Orleans.  It has grown and evolved and changed since then.  The savory styles of Cajun, Creole and good old-fashioned home cooking have great appeal to his non-sweet-tooth palate.  Music and cooking and the consumption of food just naturally go so well together, and Andrew would find it impossible to really enjoy one without the other.  He enjoys hosing gatherings of people for the purposes of consuming good food and listening to good music; and he likes to get folks from all walks of life, cultures, etc. to come together and meet and exchange ideas and find new friends in a positive atmosphere.

Sound Tasting with Host Marti Mendenhall, features interviews with chefs, musicians and foodies about music, food, behind-the scenes info and a how-to recipe on every show.


Marti Mendenhall, Jazz Singer, Food Enthusiast

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Join us Friday, January 12th at 2 p.m. for Sound Tasting: Episode 4, featuring Andrew Clapp. Listen live at 99.1 FM in the heart of Portland – or online anywhere at PRP.fm.