Kung Pao Chicken

November 10, 2022

Whether you’re looking for authentic Chinese cuisine or a more Americanized takeaway option, you can find Kung Pao Chicken on both.


Chicken, peanuts, and chili peppers are the main ingredients in a popular Chinese meal called Kung Pao Chicken. The dish gained a reputation outside its original Sichuan area, where it was created, and spread to other provinces, where it underwent local adaptations.

The dish has spread beyond China and may be seen on many international Chinese takeaway menus.

Kung pao chicken is a fan favorite and with good reason. It’s complex in taste, combining sour, sweet, salty, and spicy notes. Finding the perfect balance of flavors requires careful consideration of how much of each item to use.

My intention was to create a recipe for kung pao chicken that would rival that found in any Chinese restaurant. See if I’ve succeeded by giving it a shot yourself!



  • 1 cup of shelled raw peanuts
  • 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil


  • 340g of chicken breast (cut into 3/4” cubes)
  • 1 teaspoon of cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon of shaoxing wine
  • 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon of salt
  • ground white pepper


  • 3 tablespoons of water
  • 1 tablespoon of light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dark soy sauce


  • 6 scallions (white portions only)
  • 3 smashed and sliced cloves garlic
  • 2 thin slices of ginger, minced
  • 2 deseeded and chopped dried red chilies
  • 3 tablespoons of oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Sichuan peppercorn powder


  1. Cook one cup of raw, shelled peanuts in a teaspoon of oil over medium heat in a wok. For the next three minutes, be sure to give it a regular stir to prevent burning. After one minute of stirring with the residual heat in the wok, turn off the burner. Put aside till it cools down. Once they have cooled down to the point of crunchiness, you can enjoy them. This step is optional, and you can simply use roasted peanuts that have already had their shells removed.
  2. Add some seasoning to the chicken’s marinade. For the chicken marinade, combine all of the ingredients in a basin and set aside for 20 minutes before mixing in the chicken.
  3. Start making the sauce. Throw all the sauce ingredients into a medium bowl and stir to combine.
  4. Bring 2 tablespoons of oil to temperature over high heat in a wok. The chicken should be seared, transferred from the wok to a bowl, and left aside.
  5. To reduce the heat, add another tablespoon of oil. Mix in the garlic, ginger, chilies, Sichuan peppercorn powder, and scallions.
  6. Simmer for 1-2 minutes until the aroma fills the kitchen.
  7. Turn the heat up high, then return the chicken to the pan. After one minute of stir-frying, use a finger to thoroughly combine the cornstarch that has sunk to the bottom of your prepared sauce.
  8. After a minute of stirring, add the sauce to the pan. It shouldn’t take long for the sauce to thicken.
  9. Put the peanuts in last.
  10. Finish by giving it a good swirl before serving.
Your custom text © Copyright 2024. All rights reserved.