Kung Pao Chicken

Make your own Chinese takeout at home, using quality meat and your favorite vegetables! This Kung Pao Chicken is quick and easy to make, perfect for a weeknight meal.

Making Chinese food at home for myself came out of necessity. As crazy as it may sound, I have found very few Chinese restaurants that I find worth going to.

Kung Pao Chicken

So when a craving strikes, I often end up making the dish at home. At worst case, maybe it involves breaking out the fryer for something like Honey Walnut Shrimp or Orange Chicken, but it’s always worth it.

I’ve posted quite a few Chinese takeout recipes on this site and they all pretty much say the same thing:

  1. Chinese food has always been one of my favorite cuisines
  2. Chinese takeout is often of questionable quality (fatty, gristly meat)
  3. Chinese food is usually pretty easy and quick to make, provided you have the ingredients.

When you add all of that up, you end up with a convincing argument to make Chinese food at home too!

Kung Pao Chicken Recipe

Kung Pao Chicken is one of the most popular takeout dishes of all, and basically it’s just a stir fry. It involves stir frying different ingredients in batches, then bringing everything together at the end with a sauce.

It’s one of the healthier Chinese recipes, which is a feat because a lot of Chinese foods are fried or very sweet. Not the case here!

How to Make Kung Pao Chicken:

To get started, toss chopped chicken with soy sauce, cornstarch, and rice cooking wine.

Kung Pow Chicken

Let that sit while you cook.

Then make the sauce, which is Chinese black vinegar, rice wine, sugar, sesame oil, water, and cornstarch:

Kung Pao Sauce

Heat up oil in a nonstick skillet or wok, then sear the chicken in two batches, without moving, for 1 minute:

Kung Po Chicken

Then toss everything around frequently for another 2 minutes, to almost finish cooking the chicken.

How to Make Kung Pao Chicken

Remove the chicken, then add garlic, ginger, scallions, and chiles:

Kung Pow Chicken Recipe

Then add bell pepper and celery:

Kung Pao Vegetables

Cook for a few minutes until crisp tender.

Next add the chicken back, along with peanuts, and the prepared sauce:

Kung Pao Sauce Recipe

Stir everything around for 2-3 minutes, to finish cooking, and also thicken up the sauce.

What is Kung Pao Chicken

Serve with rice, and enjoy!

More Chinese at Home recipes:

Chinese Takeout at Home, in 20 minutes! Kung Pao Chicken is an easy stir fry with marinated chicken, bell pepper, peanuts, and other great flavors.
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5 from 5 votes

Kung Pao Chicken

Make your own Chinese takeout at home, using quality meat and your favorite vegetables! This Kung Pao Chicken is quick and easy to make, perfect for a weeknight meal.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Keyword kung pao chicken
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 3
Calories 457kcal


For the chicken marinade:

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice cooking wine

For the sauce:

  • 1 tbsp Chinese black vinegar
  • 1 tbsp rice wine
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp cornstarch

For the stir fry:

  • 2 tbsp high-heat cooking oil (I like avocado)
  • 1 tsp grated garlic
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 2 scallions sliced
  • 10 dried red chiles seeds discarded
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/3 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup roasted salted peanuts
  • steamed rice for serving, optional


  • Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces, about an inch big. Whisk to combine the cornstarch, soy sauce, and rice cooking wine, and add the chicken. Toss to coat, then let this sit while you make the rest of the recipe.
  • For the sauce, whisk together the black vinegar, rice cooking wine, sugar, sesame oil, water, and cornstarch. Set aside.
  •  Heat a wok or high sided skillet over medium high heat, then add one tablespoon of grapeseed oil. Add half the marinated chicken, and let sit for 1 minute, without stirring, so the chicken can brown. Then stir the chicken and continue cooking for 2 minutes until the chicken is mostly cooked. Remove the chicken from the pan and repeat with the other half of chicken.
  •  After removing all the chicken, there should still be some residual oil left in the pan. If not, add another tablespoon. Add the garlic, ginger, scallions, and chiles, and stir for 30-60 seconds, until fragrant. Add the bell pepper and celery, and cook for about a minute, until slightly softened. Then add the mostly cooked chicken, the peanuts, and the sauce to the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring the whole time, until the sauce thickens and the chicken is completely cooked through. Serve hot with rice, if desired.


Calories: 457kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 143mg | Sodium: 487mg | Potassium: 667mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 945IU | Vitamin C: 33.6mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 2.5mg