Serves a Crowd

Kung Pao Chicken Recipe

August  2, 2023
1 Ratings
Photo by Luna Regina
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 35 minutes
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

This Kung Pao chicken recipe incorporates Asian elements: wok-fried chicken pieces, tangy herbs, and most importantly of all – the vital sapid spicy sauce. It is a well-known and well-loved American-Chinese dish.

What Is Kung Pao Chicken?👇
Kung pao chicken, originally named Gōngbǎo Jīdīng (宫保鸡丁), originates from Sichuan, a southwest province in China.

It’s said to be an innovation of Din Bao Zhen, a governor-general of Sichuan province under Emperor Guangxu’s rule. Starting as a Din family dish, Gongbao Jiding was soon adopted by other locals.

After Din Bao Zhen passed away, he was honored by the government for his remarkable achievements during his years of active duty. His title was Gongbao the Palace Guardian. And that is supposed to be why his chicken dish/creation was named Gong Bao, and later Kung Pao.

Chicken may be the body of the dish, but it would be nothing without the spices. Together with a few splashes of herbs like scallions, garlic, and ginger, Kung Pao has the familiar qualities of Chinese cuisine.

Not forgetting the chili which gives a final touch of heat to the dish. It is the skillful balance of flavors that elevates this dish and makes it so moreish.

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What You'll Need
  • 12 ounces skinless boneless chicken thigh (cut into 1-inch cubes)
  • 10 ounces bell pepper (2 medium, cut into 1-inch cubes)
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 3 dried chili pepper (halved)
  • 1/3 cup unsalted peanuts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons scallion (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic (3 cloves, chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons white wine
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger (minced)
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 cups cooked medium-grain rice
  1. Heat cast iron pan on medium-high heat, stir 3 dry chilies for about 30 seconds and transfer them into a bowl.
  2. Add 1/2 tbsp olive oil to the pan, add 10 oz bell pepper. Stirring occasionally for about 2 minutes until crisp-tender. Remove from heat.
  3. Heat 1/2 tbsp olive oil in the pan, add 12 oz cubed chicken and fry on medium heat for 15-20 minutes. Stirring until the edges are golden brown. Remove from heat.
  4. Add remaining 1/2 tbsp olive oil into the pan, stir in 1 tbsp garlic and 1/2 tsp ginger.
  5. Then pour in 2 tbsp rice wine, 1 tbsp hoisin sauce, 1 tsp dark soy sauce, 1 1/2 tbsp reduced-sodium lite soy sauce, and 1 tbsp sugar. Bring them to a boil while stirring.
  6. Once the sauce begins to thicken slightly, add the chicken and pepper back into the pan.
  7. Stir in 2 tbsp white rice vinegar, 2 tbsp scallion, 1/4 tsp white pepper, and 1/2 tsp sesame oil. Toss well with 1/2 cup unsalted peanuts for a further 1 minute.
  8. Serve immediately with cooked rice.

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1 Review

Kelsey J. May 21, 2024
I used rice wine vinegar instead of white wine vinegar. I think it’s a typo in the ingredient list because it says rice wine in the actual recipe. Added the toasted dry chiles with the garlic and onion.
I doubled the recipe and replaced 1/4 of the total chicken with 1 inch cubed baby eggplant and 2 stalks of celery cut in slices. Cooked the veg with the peppers.
Seriously SO delicious! Will be in the dinner rotation moving forward!