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 - In a White Bowl Over Rice

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 Served in White Bowl with Chopsticks

Kung Pao Chicken is one of the most popular takeout dishes of all, and basically it’s just a stir fry, like a classic Chicken Stir Fry or Ground Pork 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.

Chopped Chicken Breast Chunks In Bowl

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 in Mixing Bowl with Spoon

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

Searing Chicken Breast Cubes in Pan

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

Cubes of Chicken Breast Searing in Pan

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

Dried Red Chiles and Scallions in Skillet

Then add bell pepper and celery:

Chiles, Bell Pepper, Celery, and Scallions in Pan

Cook for a few minutes until crisp tender.

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

Pouring Kung Pao Sauce over Peanuts, Chicken, and Vegetables in Pan

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

Kung Pao Chicken Cooking in Pan

Serve with rice, and enjoy!

More Chinese at Home recipes:

A bowl of Kung pao Chicken with Rice on Wooden Board

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.

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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

Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.