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Kung Pao Chicken

User Rating 4.5 Star Rating (6 Reviews)


Kung Pao Chicken
MasonRobinson/Moment Open/Getty Images
Named after a court official or "Kung Pao," Kung Pao Chicken is a spicy Szechuan dish made with diced chicken, peanuts and chili peppers. This recipe calls for deep-frying; for a lighter version, try Kung Pao Chicken Stir-fry.

Serves 4 to 6


  • 2 boneless chicken breasts, about 6 ounces each
  • Marinade:
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
  • 2 teaspoons cold water
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • Sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon black or red rice vinegar, or red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chicken broth or water
  • 3 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • a few drops sesame oil
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • Other:
  • 6 to 8 small dried red chili peppers, or as desired
  • 2 garlic cloves,
  • 1/2 cup skinless, unsalted peanuts
  • 3 - 4 cups oil for deep-frying and stir-frying


Cut the chicken into 1-inch cubes. Mix in the soy sauce, rice wine or sherry, water and cornstarch. Marinate the chicken for 30 minutes.

In a small bowl, mix together the sauce ingredients, whisking in the cornstarch last.

Remove the seeds from the chile peppers and chop. Peel and finely chop the garlic.

Heat the oil for deep-frying to between 360 and 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Carefully slide the chicken into the wok, and deep-fry for about 1 minute, until the cubes separate and turn white. Remove and drain on paper towels. Drain all but 2 tablespoons oil from the wok.

Add the chilies peppers and stir-fry until the skins starts to darken and blister. Add the garlic. Stir-fry until aromatic (about 30 seconds). Add the deep-fried chicken back into the pan. Stir-fry briefly, then push up to the sides of the wok and add add the sauce in the middle, stirring quickly to thicken. Stir in the peanuts. Mix everything together and serve hot.

Reader Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Comments: Perfect results and better than the Kung Pao chicken found in the city malls. I found that 3 dried red chillies was plenty hot enough for me.Rated by Mike

More Chinese Chicken Recipes
More Szechuan Recipes
Main Chinese Recipes File

User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 5 out of 5
Almost there..., Member cotegary

I really liked this recipe as written. I usually make a recipe exactly as written the first time so I can give it a fair chance. I didn't have enough time to deep fry the chicken so I just stir fried it and it was still good. The second time I made a few changes to have it more closely match the Kung Pao at our favourite restaurant. I like lots of sauce so I added 1/2 cup of chicken stock and upped the corn starch to 1 TBS. I also added 1 TBS Sambal Oelek to the marinade and 1 TBS (more or less) of Sriracha to the sauce. As it called for no veggies as written I added 1 yellow onion cut into wedges, one green pepper cut fairly chunky, and 1 large carrot cut on the bias. I stir fried the meat then removed it. I added more oil (2 TBS) then stir fried the garlic/onions adding the carrots later into the cooking process. Just before adding the sauce I added the green peppers, peanuts and the cooked chicken just to make sure everything was done ""tender crisp"" at exactly the same time. As close as I can get to the restaurant! We ate it with home-made potstickers. Slurrp, yummy!

68 out of 78 people found this helpful.

See all 6 reviews

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