Much Better Than Takeout Kung Pao Chicken

Kung pao chicken is the ideal fast weeknight supper for heating up: spicy, tasty, simply a tip of sweet, therefore, so addicting.

What is kung pao chicken?

Kung pao chicken is a traditional Chinese stir fry meal with diced chicken, dried chilis, and peanuts. It originates from the land of fire-y spicy hot Chinese food, Sichuan. It’s likewise an actually popular Americanized Chinese secure order. Everybody likes kung pao chicken with its tender littles chicken and complex sauce of salty, sweet, tasty, and spicy tastes.

This specific kung pao isn’t rather the method it’s made in Sichuan. In Sichuan, they classically dry fry it with simply a touch of sauce. This kung pao is a saucy riff, more in the design of takeout American Chinese kung pao. The sauce makes it ideal for consuming with rice.

Does this taste like Panda Express kung pao chicken?

This isn’t an ingredient-for-ingredient copycat dish for Panda Express however it is quite darn close!

How to make kung pao chicken

This stir fry comes together incredibly fast and simple after you prep all of the active ingredients. If you desire do this faster than takeout will reach your door, prep whatever prior to you begin cooking.

  1. To begin with, make some rice. Unless you have actually clever and have rice meal-prepped in your refrigerator. Then because case, avoid this action due to the fact that you’re currently winning at life.
  2. Cut up your chicken into bite sized pieces. Location them in a bowl with the marinade and reserve while your preparation the sauce active ingredients.
  3. Preparation the ginger and garlic. Blend up all the sauce active ingredients in a little bowl or liquid determining cup. Utilize a garlic press for the garlic and a ginger grater for the ginger. Both are big convenience.
  4. Time to prepare! It’ll take simply a couple of minutes: prepare the chicken, include the sauce, let it decrease a bit, and you’re all set to consume.

kung pao chicken |

Kung pao chicken active ingredients

The majority of the active ingredients in this kung pao chicken can be discovered at your normal supermarket. You require chicken thighs, soy sauce, rice vinegar, cornstarch, sugar, garlic, ginger, scallions, and peanuts (or your nut of option). The other handful of active ingredients can be discovered at your friendly Asian supermarket, online, or in locations like Whole Foods.

The difficult to discover things

  • Shaoxing red wine: This is the secret active ingredient that will make your Chinese food taste like dining establishment design Chinese food. Shaoxing red wine is a sweet, nutty, earthy Chinese rice red wine. Learn more about it through our supreme guide to Shaoxing red wine.
  • Hoisin sauce: Hoisin is basically offered all over now, from Target to your fundamental supermarket. It’s a thick, sweet brown sauce that’s utilized in marinades and as a dipping sauce. It’s incredibly delicious: sweet and tasty, tasty, and loaded with umami. Hoisin can taste various based upon brand name, and for us, the very best brand name of hoisin is Lee Kum Kee. Bonus offer, it can be found in a capture bottle!
  • Sambal oelek: This is not a genuine active ingredient in kung pao chicken in Sichuan, however it loads a fresh chili-garlicky punch.
  • Entire dried chilis: These are totally optional, however if you desire your kung pao to look genuine, you have actually got to have actually dried chilis! They offer entire Chinese dried chilis online and in Asian supermarket. We utilize dried paradise dealing with chilis however you can sub the chile de √°rbol you see in the Mexican aisle too. The majority of people do not consume the dried peppers, however some do, particularly if the peppers are high quality, warm, and great.

making kung pao chicken |


Peanuts are the timeless nut in kung pao. They key is to fry them a bit to improve their nuttiness. I chose a peanut-free kung pao with cashews. If you like, you can sub in any nut or leave them out completely. To fry your nuts: heat a little bit of oil in a non-stick pan or wok. Stir fry, moving continuously for 2-3 minutes up until they begin to smell roasty and scrumptious. Get rid of from the pan and reserved. If you’re not going to fry your nuts, make certain you’re utilizing toasted/roasted nuts.

Kung pao sauce

Kung pao sauce is a magic sauce that makes whatever taste great! It’s so scrumptious that they offer bottles of it at the shop (there’s even Panda Express kung pao sauce) however it’s actually simple to make in the house and shop in the refrigerator. From there you can include it to random clear out the refrigerator stir french fries and boom, immediate kung pao.

To make kung pao sauce, mix together 1 tablespoon + 1 tsp cornstarch, 1/4 cup hoisin sauce, 1/4 cup sambal oelek, 2 tablespoon rice vinegar, 2 tablespoon sugar, 4 cloves minced garlic, and 1 tablespoon grated ginger. Prepare in a non stick sauce pan over medium heat, stirring up until the sauce ends up being thick and shiny. Let cool totally then put into a tidy container and keep in the refrigerator for as much as 2 weeks, securely covered. Contribute to stir french fries throughout the last action, after whatever has actually been prepared.

kung pao chicken sauce |

Chicken breast or chicken thighs?

Chicken thighs transcend in this stir fry due to the fact that they are incredibly delicious and have more fat material than breasts. You can utilize breasts too, simply make certain you prepare them for less time.

Other proteins

You can likewise make this with:

  • sliced steak
  • sliced pork shoulder
  • company tofu

Tips and techniques

  • Cut your chicken into even pieces. Make the effort to slice up the chicken into little even pieces. It’ll prepare quicker and more equally.
  • Velour your meat. Marinading the chicken in Shaoxing red wine, soy sauce, and cornstarch is called velveting. It provides the chicken taste and the cornstarch secures the chicken from excessive heat that makes it juicer when it cooks. It’s what provides stir fried meats their smooth texture.
  • Toast the nuts. Toasting the nuts extracts the tastes making them more nutty and crispy.
  • Utilize a non stick pan. I like to utilize a non-stick pan due to the fact that cornstarch has the propensity to stay with routine pans and with a non-stick you have the alternative of not utilizing as much oil. Some individuals believe that non-stick pans are not expert, due to the fact that they do not provide you the maillard response (or wok hei, if you’re going that deep) you ‘d get with a routine pan, however when you’re making stir fry, not steak, it’s not a concern. Plus, the name of the video game is ease and if you have an irritatingly challenging to clean pan after supper is done, that’s difficult. These pans are my preferred.

kung pao chicken |

What to serve with kung pao chicken

  • fluffy white rice
  • garlicky gailan
  • dan dan noodles
  • chili oil wontons

kung pao chicken recipe |

Kung Pao Chicken Dish

Extremely addicting and incredibly simple to make in the house.
Serves 4
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Preparation Time 12 minutes Prepare Time 8 minutes Overall Time 20 minutes



  • 1 pound chicken thighs cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing red wine
  • 1 tsp cornstarch

Kung Pao Sauce

  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoon hoisin
  • 2 tablespoon sambal oelek
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 2 tsp ginger grated

Stir Fry

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 8-10 dried red chiles if wanted
  • 1/4 cup roasted cashews or peanuts
  • 2-3 green onions cut into 2″ lengths


  • Marinade the chicken thighs in the soy sauce, shaoxing red wine, and 1 teaspoon of cornstarch. Reserve while prepping your sauce.marinating chicken |
  • In a little bowl or liquid determining cup, blend together the staying 2 teaspoons of cornstarch with 1/4 cup water, hoisin, sambal oelek, rice vinegar, sugar, garlic, and ginger.kung pao chicken sauce |
  • Warm up the oil in a big non-stick frying or saut√© pan over medium high heat. Include the chicken and cook, stirring periodically up until golden and prepared through. frying chicken |
  • Turn the heat to medium, include the peppers and the sauce and stir to coat. Cook, up until the sauce begins to thicken and turn shiny. making kung pao chicken |
  • Include the green onions and cashews. kung pao chicken |
  • Take pleasure in hot!kung pao chicken |

Approximated Nutrition

Nutrition Information.
Kung Pao Chicken Dish.

Quantity Per Serving.

Calories 350
Calories from Fat 147

% Daily Worth *

Fat 16.3 g 25% Hydrogenated fat 3.6 g 23% Cholesterol 101mg 34% Salt 604mg 26% Potassium 388mg 11% Carbs 13.6 g 5% Fiber 0.9 g 4% Sugar 8.1 g 9% Protein 35.2 g 70% * Percent Daily Worths are based upon a 2000 calorie diet plan.

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