Kung Pao Chicken Recipe

Experience the bold and spicy flavors of Kung Pao Chicken, a classic Chinese dish featuring tender chicken, crunchy peanuts, and vibrant vegetables in a savory and slightly sweet sauce. This quick and easy recipe brings the taste of your favorite takeout to your kitchen.

Preparation Time:

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes


For the Chicken Marinade:

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine (or dry sherry)
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch

For the Stir-Fry:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup unsalted peanuts
  • 4-6 dried red chilies, seeds removed (adjust to taste)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
  • 4 green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces

For the Sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth or water


Marinate the Chicken:

  1. In a bowl, combine the chicken pieces with soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, and cornstarch. Mix well and let it marinate for at least 15 minutes.

Prepare the Sauce:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, cornstarch, and chicken broth. Set aside.

Stir-Fry the Chicken:

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the marinated chicken to the skillet and cook until browned and cooked through, about 5-6 minutes. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside.

Cook the Vegetables and Peanuts:

  1. In the same skillet, add the remaining tablespoon of vegetable oil.
  2. Add the dried red chilies and cook for 1-2 minutes until they darken slightly and become fragrant.
  3. Add the minced garlic and ginger, and stir-fry for about 30 seconds until fragrant.
  4. Add the diced bell peppers and cook for 2-3 minutes until they start to soften.
  5. Stir in the green onions and peanuts, and cook for another 1-2 minutes.

Combine and Serve:

  1. Return the cooked chicken to the skillet.
  2. Pour the prepared sauce over the chicken and vegetables, stirring well to coat everything evenly.
  3. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until the sauce has thickened and everything is heated through.
  4. Remove from heat and serve immediately.

Serving Suggestions:

  • Main Dish: Serve over steamed white rice, brown rice, or noodles.
  • Side Dish: Pair with stir-fried vegetables or a simple cucumber salad.

Cooking Tips:

  • Adjusting Spice: Control the heat level by adjusting the number of dried red chilies or adding chili paste for extra spice.
  • Vegetable Variations: Add other vegetables like zucchini, carrots, or snap peas for more color and texture.
  • Nut Alternatives: Substitute peanuts with cashews or almonds if preferred.

Nutritional Benefits:

  • Chicken: A lean source of protein, essential for muscle growth and repair.
  • Bell Peppers: High in vitamins A and C, fiber, and antioxidants.
  • Peanuts: Provide healthy fats, protein, and various vitamins and minerals.

Dietary Information:

  • Gluten-Free: Use gluten-free soy sauce and hoisin sauce to make the dish gluten-free.
  • Low-Carb: Serve with cauliflower rice for a low-carb alternative.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe:

  • Flavorful and Spicy: Combines savory, sweet, and spicy elements for a delightful taste experience.
  • Quick and Easy: Ready in under 40 minutes, perfect for a weeknight dinner.
  • Versatile: Easily customizable with your favorite vegetables and protein.


Kung Pao Chicken is a vibrant and flavorful dish that’s quick to prepare and perfect for any occasion. With its tender chicken, crunchy peanuts, and spicy-sweet sauce, this recipe is sure to become a favorite. Serve it with rice or noodles and enjoy a delicious homemade version of this classic Chinese dish. Indulge in the bold flavors and simplicity of Kung Pao Chicken tonight.

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