Kung Pao Chicken

I have been really enjoying creating my favorite Chinese take-out dishes at home. They are pretty easy to make and are fresh tasting. You can have a wonderful meal on the table in 30 minutes or less. Today I show you my favorite way to make kung pao chicken at home. Kung pao chicken originated in the Sichuan Province of China but is now popular all over the world.

Kung pao is a spicy Chinese stir-fry dish made with cubes of chicken, peanuts, vegetables, and chili peppers. Although the dish has chicken in the name, there are a lot of vegetables that add balance and nutrition. Depending on who makes the dish it could be spicy or not-so-spicy. If you want spicy, you could cut the dried chili peppers into small pieces. I don’t like it too spicy so I leave the dried chili whole.

An authentic kung pao chicken recipe would use Sichuan pepper corns, which you can find in any Asian grocery store. I didn’t have any on hand so I used white pepper powder. If you are not a fan of bell peppers you could swap them out for carrots, zucchini, or cauliflower florets.

I think this is really a wonderful dish as it has crisp tender vegetables and juicy tender meat. It pairs perfectly with cooked white or brown rice. If you have leftovers, they will make a great lunch for later in the week.  

Ingredients

Chicken

  • 1 1/2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thigh, cut into small pieces
  • 1 1/2 tsp. each minced, ginger, and garlic
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. sherry cooking wine
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp. white pepper powder or Sichuan pepper powder

Sauce

Vegetables

  • 3 tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 cup red bell pepper, large dice
  • 1/2 cup green bell pepper, large dice
  • 1/2 cup celery, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 cup yellow onion, large dice
  • 1/2 cup peanuts
  • 5-6 dried red chili

Instructions

Mix all chicken ingredients in a bowl or large baking dish thoroughly. Set aside for 15-20 minutes while you get the other ingredients ready.

Whisk all sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

Heat a tbsp. of oil in a large wok on a high heat, then add peanuts and dried chili. Stir fry until the peanuts are golden brown and the peppers are lightly colored. Remove from the wok and set aside.

Add pepper, onion, and celery to the wok. Stir fry until vegetables are lightly charred around edges. This will take about 3-5 minutes. Remove from the wok to a plate/bowl and set aside.

Add 2 tbsp. oil to the wok and add the chicken. Cook the chicken until golden brown and cooked through for about 10 minutes, stirring often. Add 2 tbsp. of sauce at a time if the chicken starts to stick during the last couple minutes of cooking time. Turn down the heat to medium-low.

Add the sauce to the wok and stir well. Once the sauce is slightly thickened add peppers, peanut, and chili to the wok. Gently fold all ingredients together and turn off the heat. Transfer to a serving vessel and serve with a side of cooked white or brown rice!

Serves 4-6

Did you make this dish? I’d love to know how it turns out! Feel free to like this post and comment or use the hashtag #globaldinein on Instagram

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