Lunch and Dinner, Main Dishes

Kung Pao Chicken

stir-fried golden chicken with red pepper, zucchini, and peanuts with the sweet brown pao sauce

If you’re in the mood for a sweet, salty, spicy, and oh-so-easy-to-make dish then the Kung Pao Chicken is the best choice to satisfy your cravings! So skip the takeout for tonight and bring the best of Chinese cuisine home!

In all honesty, it sounds fancy but in reality, it is super simple and can be ready in just a few steps! You just need to marinate the chicken cubes, chop the vegetables, prepare the Kung Pao sauce, put them all together and that is it! And what’s really amazing about this recipe is that you can make it spicier by adding more chilies or just keep things mild and let your child enjoy it!


stir-fried golden chicken with red pepper, zucchini, and peanuts with the sweet brown pao sauce.
You’ll never have leftovers!


Master Cooking with a Wok!

The wok has a non-stick surface, it can handle high heat and the heat is centralized at its bottom so it is ideal to sear stir-fry ingredients quickly.

Also, its wide, flared sides not only prevent oil from splattering over your stovetop, but also you can use it to make a big batch.

Consequently, it would be best if you started by rubbing the cooking oil over the entire inside surface of the wok.

Then, add your chicken or meat, cook over high heat, and keep stirring.

After that, drizzle some oil again and cook your vegetables.

Finally, mix all the cooked ingredients with the sauce and enjoy your stir-fried recipes.

One more important tip is to immediately dry the wok once you wash it and then give it a light coating of oil.


Glossy and Colorful Plate to Taste

red peppers, zucchini, peanuts cooked with chicken and served over Jasmin rice.
If you like it a little sweet, this one is for you

Tips for the Savory Kung Pao Chicken

Make sure the chicken cubes are evenly coated with the marinade sauce.

When marinating, mix well to let the flavors infuse into each other and until you obtain a creamy velvety chicken.

As a rule, pay attention not to add the extra marinade sauce to the skillet when cooking the chicken.

Stir and cook the chicken until it thickens and no moisture in the skillet otherwise it won’t get very crispy.

Use more or less chili peppers based on your personal preference.

You can substitute brown sugar with a liquid sweetener like honey.


What to Serve with Kung Pao Chicken?

Seriously, who could ever get tired of fried chicken? Although this Kung Pao chicken is loaded with flavors on its own, pairing it with something else makes a world of difference!

I really like to serve my kung pao chicken with Jasmine rice, I think it is a pro-partner!

Noodles would also be a fun choice to serve with the kung Pao sauce!

Garlic stir-fried broccoli makes a great companion to your chicken as well.

Chinese zucchini salad complements this dish perfectly.

In conclusion, the happiest people don’t have everything, they just tried one of my favorite Chinese recipes which is this Kung Pao Chicken!


Frequently Asked Questions

Can Kung Pao Chicken be frozen?

Yes, frozen foods last a lot longer in the freezer but the taste and texture won’t be the same.

Can I use all-purpose flour instead of cornstarch?

You can, but all-purpose flour won’t produce the same glossy shine as cornstarch. It contains about half the thickening power of cornstarch.

What is the substitute for black vinegar?

I would use rice wine vinegar.

Can we make it with beef meat?

Any tender meat or shrimp can work in this recipe but beef meat is not recommended.


A colorful dish of kung pao chicken made out of red peppers, zucchini, green onions, stir fried chicken and brown sauce.
Never buy it anymore!

Ingredients

Chicken: Use boneless skinless thighs to get juicy and tender chicken.

Oil for cooking: Any vegetable oil that can resist high heat can be used to cook the chicken and the vegetables later.

For the Marinade Sauce

Light soy sauce and Dark soy sauce: Help to tenderize chicken and retain moisture.

Black vinegar: It adds a sharp flavor and a ton of tang, perfect for marinades.

Hoisin sauce: For more consistency and flavor profile.

Brown sugar: For a bit of sweet flavor.

Cornstarch: The thickener ingredient for a nice silky texture.

Water: Add a little water for a juicier chicken marinade.

For the Kung Pao Sauce

Dark soy sauce and light soy sauce: The secret of the salty flavor and the brown color is here.

Black vinegar, brown sugar, and water: Take your stir-fried chicken to the next level by adding the sweet and sour flavor.

White pepper and red pepper flakes: Add peppers based on your spicy tolerance and accept the challenge.

The Veggies

Zucchini: The Kung Pao Chicken is never complete without the taste of fresh and chopped zucchini.

Garlic: Use some garlic cloves and add the nutty flavor to your recipe.

Ginger: For extra fresh spicy flavor.

Green onions: Slice the white leek with light green portions of the green onions.

Peanuts: Do not skip the fresh, unroasted peanuts when making the kung Pao Chicken, it balances it all.

Chili peppers: I used Chile De Arbol.


Follow These Steps to Prepare The Kung Pao Chicken

To start, cut the chicken into half-inch cubes.

Then, in a medium bowl mix well the chicken with the marinade sauce and let it sit for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, chop the vegetables and set them aside.

This is a good time to whisk the sauce ingredients in a separate bowl and set aside.

Now, in a skillet or wok, add oil and cook the chicken on high heat for 5 minutes. Stir until you obtain thick and golden chicken. Set aside.

To the same skillet add oil again and sauté the zucchini, chili peppers, and peanuts on high heat for 1 minute.

After that, add the ginger and garlic and sauté until fragrant.

Next, add the green onions and the chicken and mix.

At this point, add the spices, and the sauce and mix well until the sauce thickens a little bit.

Serve with white rice and enjoy!


Must try Recipes:

Vegetarian Loaded Eggplant

Restaurant Style Butter Chicken (cheat version)

Authentic Middle Eastern Chicken Shawarma

Lebanese Fried Kibbeh Recipe

Juicy Middle Eastern Kebabs


If you’ve tried this recipe, don’t forget to rate it and leave a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience. You can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.


red peppers, zucchini, peanuts cooked with chicken and served over Jasmin rice

Kung Pao Chicken

Fatimah
An incredibly delicious Chinese dish loaded with stir-fried chicken cubes, peanuts, vegetables, spices, and a sweet brown sauce seeped into it.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Chinese

Ingredients
  

  • pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons oil for cooking

For the Marinade

  • tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon black vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

For the Kung Pao Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon black vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

The veggies

  • 1 large zucchini quartered
  • 6 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 inch ginger chopped
  • 1 bunch green onion chopped
  • cup peanuts
  • cup chili peppers
  • 2 tablespoons oil for cooking

Instructions
 

  • Cut the chicken into half inch cubes.
  • In a medium bowl mix well the chicken with the marinade sauce and let it sit for 30 minutes.
  • Chop the vegetables and set aside.
  • Whisk the sauce ingredients in a separate bowl and set aside.
  • In a skillet or wok, add oil and cook the chicken on high heat for 5 minutes. Stir until you obtain thick and golden chicken. Set aside.
  • To the same skillet add oil again and sauté the zucchini, chili peppers and peanuts on high heat for 1 minute.
  • Add the ginger and garlic and sauté until fragrant.
  • Add the green onions and the chicken and mix.
  • Add the spices, the sauce and mix well until the sauce thickens a little bit.
  • Serve with white rice and enjoy!

Notes

  • For the chili peppers, I used chile De arbol. Use more or less depending on spice tolerance.
  • Use leeks also when chopping the green onion.
Keyword Kung Pao Chicken
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

2 thoughts on “Kung Pao Chicken

  1. KARAWAN says:

    5 stars
    I made this the other night and it was very good – but then I had leftovers for lunch and it was even better. I guess letting the flavors meld really enhanced it.
    I’ll definitely be making this again.

  2. Stephanie says:

    5 stars
    I love to make Asian inspired dishes as a quick dinner, and this is another great recipe to add to the rotation!

5 from 2 votes

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