Kung Pao chicken is one of the most popular dishes throughout China and the Western world alike. Loved for its sweet and spicy flavors, we’ve got the deets on how to make authentic Kung Pao chicken right at home.MORE+LESS-
tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
6-10 dried hot red chili peppers (or less according to heat preference), seeded and membranes removed (gloves recommended)
lb chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
teaspoons fresh ginger, minced
cup dry roasted peanuts
bunch green onions (about 6 green onions)
For the Marinade:
tablespoons soy sauce
tablespoon Chinese rice wine or sherry
For the Sauce:
cup black Chinese vinegar or dark balsamic vinegar
tablespoons toasted sesame oil
tablespoons white sugar
tablespoons hoisin sauce
Combine the marinade ingredients in a small bowl and pour over the chicken pieces. Toss to coat and let the chicken sit while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Combine all the sauce ingredients in a bowl, stirring until the cornstarch and sugar is dissolved. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a wok or skillet over high heat. Fry the chilies for a few seconds until they turn darker in color.
Add the chicken and marinade and fry until no longer pink. Add the garlic, ginger, and white parts of the green onions and fry for two minutes. Add the sauce and stir until thickened. Reduce the heat to medium-high and stir in the peanuts. Simmer for one minute. Remove from heat and stir in the green onions. Serve immediately with steamed rice.
- When working with high heat, the key is to move very quickly. Have all of your ingredients ready and laid out in advance before you turn on your stovetop.
- We like our Kung Pao chicken served on a bed of white rice, but feel free to pair it with other grains like brown rice, wild rice or even quinoa.
Serving Size: 1 Serving
- Calories from Fat
% Daily Value
- Total Fat
- Saturated Fat
- Trans Fat
- Total Carbohydrate
- Dietary Fiber
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
1 Starch; 0 Fruit; 1 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Skim Milk; 0 Low-Fat Milk; 0 Milk; 0 Vegetable; 0 Very Lean Meat; 6 1/2 Lean Meat; 0 High-Fat Meat; 3 Fat;
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
More About This Recipe
- Ever wonder how Kung Pao chicken came to be? Let’s take a look back:once upon a time in the deep forests of China during the Qing Dynasty lived a boy named Ding Baozhen (pronounced "Ting Pao-chen"). Young Ding loved to play outside, especially down by the river. One day while playing by the bank of the river he lost his footing and fell into the river. Hearing his cry for help, a nearby family rushed to his rescue and managed to pull him to safety. They carried the unconscious boy home to his parents.Years later, Ding became the governor of Sichuan. Though now a powerful leader, Ding never forgot the about the family who saved his life and sent out a query to find them. Once they were located, Ding Baozhen paid the family a visit so he could finally thank them. Now, the province of Sichuan is known for its fine cuisine and this family, hearing of his coming visit, wanted to treat the governor to a special meal. They combined chicken and peanuts in a sweet and spicy sauce and served it to Ding Baozhen who declared it "delicious!"
- Governor Baozhen's official title was Gong Bao, pronounced "kung-pao" (meaning “palatial guardian”), and it was after him that this dish was named. Kung Pao Chicken would go on to become one of the most beloved and popular Chinese dishes throughout China and the Western world. And the people of the world ate Kung Pao Chicken and lived happily ever after. The end.