kung pao chicken

kung pao chicken

Kung Pao Chicken, a beloved classic in Chinese cuisine, tantalizes the taste buds with its perfect balance of spicy, savory, and slightly sweet flavors. This dish features tender chunks of chicken stir-fried with aromatic spices, crunchy peanuts, and vibrant bell peppers, all coated in a rich and tangy sauce. Learn how to master this iconic dish with our easy-to-follow recipe that brings the essence of Sichuan cuisine straight to your kitchen.

Why Make Kung Pao Chicken

Kung Pao Chicken offers a delightful culinary adventure with its bold flavors and contrasting textures. By making it at home, you have full control over the ingredients, allowing you to customize the spice level and cater to your preferences. Plus, it’s a quick and satisfying dish that can be prepared in no time, making it perfect for busy weeknights or casual gatherings.

How to Make Kung Pao Chicken (Exclude Ingredients)


  1. Marinate the Chicken:
    • In a shallow bowl, combine the chicken cubes with shaoxing wine (or dry sherry), light soy sauce, baking soda, and cornstarch. Cover and let it marinate for 10 minutes.
  2. Prepare the Sauce:
    • Whisk together low-sodium chicken stock (or broth), light soy sauce, Chinese black vinegar (or balsamic vinegar), shaoxing wine (or dry sherry), dark soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sugar, and cornstarch until the sugar dissolves. Set aside.
  3. Stir-Fry:
    • Heat a large skillet or wok over high heat. Add half of the cooking oil and fry the marinated chicken for 3-4 minutes until browned. Remove from heat and set aside.
    • Add the remaining cooking oil to the skillet. Stir in garlic, ginger, diced bell peppers, dried chilies, and Sichuan peppercorns. Stir-fry for 1 minute.
    • Pour the prepared sauce into the skillet and bring it to a boil while stirring.
    • Once the sauce begins to thicken slightly, add the cooked chicken back into the skillet. Stir until the chicken is evenly coated and the sauce thickens further (about 2 minutes).
    • Stir in green onions, peanuts, and sesame oil. Toss well and cook for an additional 2 minutes to blend the flavors.
  4. Serve:
    • Serve Kung Pao Chicken immediately with steamed or fried rice for a delicious and satisfying meal.

Serving Suggestions

Enjoy Kung Pao Chicken as a main course alongside steamed rice or noodles. Garnish with extra chopped green onions and crushed peanuts for added texture and freshness. Pair it with a side of stir-fried vegetables or a refreshing cucumber salad to complete the meal.

Storage Info

Store any leftover Kung Pao Chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently in a skillet or microwave until heated through before serving. Note that the texture of the chicken may change slightly upon reheating.

Techniques or Tips

  • For an authentic touch, lightly toast and grind Sichuan peppercorns to release their fragrant aroma before adding them to the dish.
  • Adjust the amount of dried chilies according to your spice tolerance. You can remove the seeds for a milder heat or increase the amount for extra spiciness.
  • Be cautious when frying the dried chilies and Sichuan peppercorns as they can quickly burn and turn bitter. Keep stirring constantly to prevent them from scorching.

FAQs about Kung Pao Chicken

  1. Can I use chicken thighs instead of chicken breast?
    • Yes, you can use boneless, skinless chicken thighs if you prefer. Cut them into cubes and follow the same marinating and cooking instructions.
  2. What can I substitute for Chinese black vinegar?
    • Good-quality balsamic vinegar can be used as a substitute for Chinese black vinegar in this recipe. It provides a similar tangy flavor profile.
  3. Is Kung Pao Chicken gluten-free?
    • This recipe can be made gluten-free by using tamari instead of soy sauce and ensuring that the hoisin sauce is gluten-free. Always check the labels of your ingredients to confirm their gluten-free status.

For ingredients and comprehensive cooking instructions, please proceed to the next page or click the open button (>)—and be sure to share with your Facebook friends!

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Written by Belkys mieles

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