Kung Pao Chicken. Tender chicken stir fried in a savoury, sweet, spicy kung pao sauce with bell peppers, onions, peanuts and dried chilies.
An aromatic and popular Chinese dish that has been a classic for good reason! Great as a main dish and ready in 30 minutes. If you’re not a fan of spice you can omit the red chilies and Sichuan pepper flakes.
Just like takeout!
This will be the best kung pao chicken recipe you’ve ever made! It tastes just like take away thanks to the aromatic ingredients such as dried chilies, garlic, onion and the bell peppers. And the best part, you don't have to leave your house to have some, if you have all the ingredients of course!
What does kung pao chicken taste like?
Imagine tender bites of chicken stir fried in a salty, slightly sweet and spicy sauce with crunchy bell peppers, white and green onions, nutty peanuts and dried red chilies. The dried red chilies and peanuts offer a wonderful and addictive aroma and taste.
Easy to make!
This Sichuan Chinese dish is very easy to make at home. It comes together in just 30 minutes as the cooking process only takes about 10 minutes or less! You're simply marinating your chicken with simple 4 ingredient kung pao chicken marinade., Then pre-mix the sauce in a bowl and prepare the rest of your stir fry ingredients.
In a hot wok, cook your chicken in some oil until cooked through, about 5 minutes, and remove to set aside. Add more oil if needed and then toss in your stir fry ingredients. Let those cook until the onions and bell peppers have softened slightly. Throw back in your cooked chicken followed by your sauce. Mix the chicken and vegetables into the sauce. That’s it!
What You’ll Need
For this recipe you’ll need the following kung pao chicken ingredients. Yes, I know it's quite a list. However, once you make this dish you'll be able to cook it again! Your Asian pantry will be stocked with the ingredients needed for this dish and many other Chinese or Sichuan dishes!
- chicken thighs (skinless boneless)
- red bell pepper
- green bell pepper
- white onion
- green onions
- roasted peanuts, de shelled kind
- dried red chilies
- vegetable oil
- regular soy sauce, not light or dark!
- dark soy sauce
- Shaoxing wine, or dry sherry wine
- vegetable oil
- rice vinegar, or Chinese black vinegar
- white sugar
- Sichuan red chili flakes (sub with crushed red pepper flakes)
Stir Fry Ingredients:
Chicken & Marinade:
How to make Kung Pao Chicken
Over medium high heat, add oil and fry chicken. Remove cooked chicken and set aside.
Fry dried red chilies, peanuts, white onion, and green onion and cook for 1-2 minutes.
Toss in bell peppers and cook for 1 minutes.
Add back in chicken followed by sauce. Cook for 1 minute. Remove off heat and enjoy!
Below are tips on making my authentic kung pao chicken recipe:
Prepare ingredients ahead of time!
The cooking process is super quick, less than 10 minutes. So marinate the chicken, premix the sauce and prepare the stir fry ingredients ahead of time.
Use chicken thigh for maximum tenderness!
Chicken thigh contains more fat than breast giving it a tender juicy texture. It’s also more forgiving if you happened to overcook it.
Slice peppers and white onion into same size
The ingredients will evenly cook if you cut them to the same size.
Here are frequently asked questions about this kung pao chicken recipe:
What is kung pao chicken made of?
Kung Pao Chicken consists of tender chicken marinated in soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, cornstarch and oil. It is stir fried with aromatics such as white and/or green onions, garlic, bell peppers, dried red chilies, peanuts in a delicious sauce. The Kung Pao Chicken sauce which consists of both regular and dark soy sauce, rice or Chinese black vinegar, sugar, water, Shaoxing wine, cornstarch and Sichuan pepper flakes or Sichuan peppercorns.
What is Kung Pao Sauce made of?
Kung Pao Sauce typically consists of regular and dark soy sauce, sugar, water, Shaoxing wine, cornstarch and Sichuan red pepper flakes or peppercorns.
Where did Kung Pao Chicken Originate?
This popular Chinese dish originates from the Sichuan province.
Can I use Chicken Breast?
Yes, but monitor the cooking time closely. Chicken breast tends to dry out faster than thigh due to lack of fat.
Where can I find Shaoxing Wine?
You can find this ingredient at most Asian grocers. If you can’t find it, dry sherry wine is a great substitute.
Where can I find Sichuan red pepper flakes?
Most Chinese or Asian grocers will carry them in their spice aisle. Or alternatively, you can use whole dried Sichuan red chilies and crush them yourself using a food processor, blender or mortar and pestle.
Where can I find Dried Red Chilies?
The Asian grocer will carry them so that's your best bet. You can also check your local Western grocer.
Other recipes you may like!
If you enjoyed this recipe kung pao chicken with peanuts, you may enjoy these other recipes:
GENERAL TSO CHICKEN
BEEF AND BROCCOLI NOODLES
CHINESE CHICKEN POTATO STEW
SPICY VEGETABLE LO MEIN
BEEF CHOW FUN
CANTONESE SOY SAUCE CHOW MEIN
BLACK BEAN SAUCE BEEF AND BROCCOLI
INSTANT POT CHINESE WATERCRESS SOUP
Well, I hope you give my Kung Pao Chicken a try! It always excites me when you make my recipes and I hope this is one you try.
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Kung Pao Chicken (30-min)
- 1.25 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs diced (skinless boneless)
- 1 tbsp garlic minced
- 1 ½ tbsp regular soy sauce not light or dark!
- 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar (sub with Chinese black vinegar or white vinegar)
- 2 tsp white granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp Shaoxing Cooking Wine or dry sherry wine
- ½ tbsp cornstarch
- ½ tsp Sichuan red chili flakes or Sichuan peppercorns (½ tsp = mild, 1 tsp = spicy)
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil as needed
- 10 dried red chilies
- ¼ cup roasted peanuts shells and skin removed
- 1 white onion diced
- 2 stalks green onion finely chopped
- 1 green bell pepper diced
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- Slice chicken thigh into cubes, about 8 cubes per thigh.
- Marinate cubed chicken with marinade ingredients for 10 minutes as you prepare stir fry ingredients.
- In a bowl, mix sauce ingredients until well combined. Set aside.
- In a hot wok set over medium high heat, add 1 tbsp vegetable oil followed by marinated chicken. Quickly spread the chicken apart and let it fry on both sides until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove and transfer chicken to a plate.
- In the same wok over medium high heat, add more oil if needed. Add dried red chilies, peanuts, white onions, and green onions. Stir fry for 1 minute. Toss in bell peppers and stir fry for 1 minute.
- Add cooked chicken and toss with other ingredients.
- Pour sauce overtop tossing everything together. Cook for 30 seconds - 1 minute. Remove off heat to serve and enjoy.