Kung Pao Chicken Recipe

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Kung Pao Chicken Recipe

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Kung Pao Chicken Recipe

Kung Pao Chicken Recipe

Kung Pao Chicken is a classic Chinese dish known for its bold flavors and spicy kick. This savory and slightly sweet stir-fry features tender chicken, crunchy peanuts, and vibrant vegetables, all brought together with a deliciously spicy sauce. Let’s dive into this easy-to-follow recipe for making authentic Kung Pao Chicken at home.


For the Chicken Marinade:

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice wine (or dry sherry)
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch

For the Stir-Fry:

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, sliced
  • 1/2 cup unsalted peanuts
  • 4-5 dried red chilies (adjust to taste)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, minced
  • 3 green onions, chopped

For the Sauce:

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch mixed with 2 tbsp water (slurry)


Marinating the Chicken

  1. Prepare the Marinade: In a medium bowl, combine soy sauce, rice wine, and cornstarch. Mix well.
  2. Marinate the Chicken: Add the chicken pieces to the marinade, ensuring they are well-coated. Let it marinate for at least 20 minutes.

Preparing the Sauce

  1. Mix the Sauce: In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, hoisin sauce, dark soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, sesame oil, and chicken broth. Mix well. Set aside.

Cooking the Chicken

  1. Heat the Oil: In a large skillet or wok, heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Stir-Fry the Chicken: Add the marinated chicken to the skillet. Stir-fry until the chicken is golden and cooked through, about 5-7 minutes. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside.

Cooking the Vegetables and Peanuts

  1. Cook the Peanuts and Chilies: In the same skillet, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add the peanuts and dried red chilies. Stir-fry for about 1-2 minutes until the peanuts are golden and the chilies are fragrant.
  2. Add the Vegetables: Add the bell peppers, zucchini, garlic, and ginger to the skillet. Stir-fry for about 3-4 minutes until the vegetables are tender-crisp.

Combining Everything

  1. Add the Chicken Back: Return the cooked chicken to the skillet. Stir to combine.
  2. Add the Sauce: Pour the sauce over the chicken and vegetables. Stir well to coat everything evenly.
  3. Thicken the Sauce: Add the cornstarch slurry to the skillet. Stir continuously until the sauce thickens, about 1-2 minutes.
  4. Finish and Serve: Stir in the chopped green onions. Serve hot over steamed rice or noodles.

Tips for Perfect Kung Pao Chicken

Adjusting the Spice Level

  • Control the Heat: Adjust the number of dried red chilies according to your spice tolerance. You can also remove the seeds from the chilies to reduce the heat.

Ingredient Substitutions

  • Peanuts: If you have a peanut allergy, you can substitute with cashews or omit the nuts entirely.
  • Vegetables: Feel free to add other vegetables like broccoli, carrots, or snap peas for extra color and nutrition.

Cooking Technique

  • High Heat Stir-Fry: Ensure your skillet or wok is hot before adding the ingredients. Stir-frying at high heat helps to quickly cook the ingredients while retaining their crispness.


Kung Pao Chicken is a delightful dish that brings together spicy, savory, and slightly sweet flavors in perfect harmony. This recipe is simple to follow and guarantees a delicious meal that rivals your favorite takeout. Enjoy the process of cooking and savor every bite of this classic Chinese dish!