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.

Kung Pao Chicken! It's a Quick & Easy Chinese Takeout at Home favorite, ready in about 20 minutes!

Making Chinese food at home for myself came out of necessity. As crazy as it may sound, I have found very few Chinese restaurants (even in New York City!) that I find worth going to. The ones I do, Red Farm, and Cafe China, are both a bit $$$.

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!

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.

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!

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

Kung Pao Chicken with Peanuts

Let that sit while you cook.

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

Easy Kung Pao Chicken with Peanuts

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

Easy Kung Pao Chicken with Peanuts Recipe

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

Quick and Easy Kung Pao Chicken with Peanuts

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

Quick and Easy Kung Pao Chicken with Peanuts Recipe

Then add bell pepper and celery:

How to make Kung Pao Chicken

Cook for a few minutes until crisp tender.

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

Easy Recipe for How to make Kung Pao Chicken

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

Kung Pao Chicken Recipe

Serve with rice, and enjoy!

Chinese Takeout at Home, in about 20 minutes! Kung Pao Chicken is an easy stir fry to make for dinner.

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.

2 reviews

Ingredients

    For the chicken marinade

    • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs (or breast)
    • 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 grapeseed oil or other cooking oil
    • 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

    Instructions

    1. 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.
    2. For the sauce, whisk together the black vinegar, rice cooking wine, sugar, sesame oil, water, and cornstarch. Set aside.
    3.  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.
    4.  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.

    by

    Nutrition Information Serves Serves 3     adjust servings
    Nutrition Facts
    Serving Size
    Amount Per ServingAs Served
    Calories 481kcal Calories from fat 265
    % Daily Value
    Total Fat 29g45%
    Saturated Fat 4g20%
    Transfat 0g
    Cholesterol 142mg47%
    Sodium 551mg23%
    Carbohydrate 16g5%
    Dietary Fiber 4g16%
    Sugars 8g
    Protein 37g

    Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:

    Calories2000
    Total FatLess than65g
    Sat FatLess than25g
    CholesterolLess than300mg
    SodiumLess than2,400mg
    Total Carbohydrate300g
    Dietary Fiber25g

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