Easy Authentic Kung Pao Chicken Recipe


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This simple but delicious Kung Pao Chicken is a Chinese take-out favorite that you can make at home! Stir-fried chicken, peanuts, and vegetables, this recipe is the perfect balance between salty, sweet, and spicy. A winning combo you can’t pass on!

A bowl of kung pao chicken with rice.

Made with kitchen staples, this kung pao chicken recipe takes less time to make than driving out to get takeout! It’s surprisingly easy to make and makes for the perfect weeknight dinner. While it is on the spicier side, you can easily adjust the heat levels when cooking at home.

If you’re craving take-out but want to try your name at making it at home, you should try my Mongolian Chicken or my Sweet and Spicy Asian Chicken! They’re easy to make and will also hit the spot if you’re a fan of spice like this kung pao chicken recipe.

What is Kung Pao Chicken

Kung Pao chicken is a spicy Chinese chicken stir-fry that falls under Chinese cuisine originating from the Sichuan Province. It’s sweet but spicy and is so perfect over a bowl of rice. The extra sauce just gets soaked up by the rice and you’ll be reaching for seconds!  

Why You’ll Love This Chicken Takeout Recipe

  • Sweet but spicy. You’ll love how this kung pao chicken recipe is the perfect balance of sweet and spicy. The sauce has this heat thanks to the red chilies that give you that hit of heat at the back of your tongue!
  • Uses everyday ingredients. Most of these ingredients are probably already in your kitchen! If not, you can find all of the ingredients at a local grocery store.
  • Simple to make. You won’t believe how easy it is to make this take-out classic. It only takes 30 minutes to cook after you’ve prepped your ingredients. 

Kung Pao Chicken Ingredients

Ingredients needed to make kung pao chicken.
  • Chicken tenders: I use boneless, skinless chicken. I prefer chicken tenders.
  • Marinade: to marinate the chicken tenders, I use soy sauce, cornstarch, dry sherry wine, and salt.
  • Kung pao chicken sauce: to make the delicious sauce that the kung pao chicken will be coated in, you’ll need chicken broth, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, white vinegar, hoisin sauce, cornstarch, brown sugar, ginger, and garlic.
  • Oil: use whatever oil you prefer as long as its neutral in flavor.
  • Red chilies: I used dried red chilies but fresh works as well!
  • Bell peppers: I use both yellow and green bell peppers. If you prefer a sweeter pepper, try red bell pepper.
  • Garnish: you’ll need green onions, roasted peanuts, and sesame seeds to garnish your kung pao chicken.

How To Make Kung Pao Chicken

Chicken marinated in a bowl.
  • Marinate the chicken: Marinate the chicken in a bowl by combining soy sauce, cornstarch, vinegar, and salt for at least 10 minutes.
Kung pao chicken sauce.
  • Prepare the kung pao chicken sauce: combine the chicken broth, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, vinegar, hoisin sauce, cornstarch, brown sugar, ginger, and garlic and set aside.
Chicken pan seared in a pan.
  • Cook the chicken: Heat a skillet on a medium flame with a tablespoon of oil. Add the chicken cubes and cook for 5 to 6 minutes until golden and transfer the chicken pieces to a plate.
Sauce added to the vegetables in the pan.
  • Cook the vegetables: To the same skillet add the remaining tablespoon of oil; add the red chilis, peppers and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. 
Chicken added to a pan and garnish added to the pan.
  • Cook the coat: Add the prepared sauce and cook for 3 to 5 minutes until the sauce is thickened. Stir the chicken back into the skillet and coat the chicken well with the sauce and let the chicken cook in the sauce for 2 minutes.
  • Garnish: Finally add the green onions, peanuts, and sesame seeds, toss it and serve with rice.
Close up of kung pao chicken in a pan.

Tips To Make This Authentic Kung Pao Chicken Recipe

  • Feel free to leave the whole red chilies and some of the chili flakes to make the chicken less spicy.
  • Feel free to add other veggies if you like. Some recommendations are zucchini, carrots, broccoli, mushroom, and cauliflower.
  • Do not overcook the chicken or else it will become chewy. 6 to 7 minutes at the most as they’re diced into small bite-sized pieces.
  • You can roast your own peanuts by adding them to a skillet over medium heat then toast it for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently. 
  • Cut your chicken into even, bite-sized, pieces so they’ll cook evenly.
  • Use a large non-stick pan/skillet or wok.
Close up of kung pao chicken.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Kung Pao sauce made of?

For my kung pao chicken sauce, I use chicken broth, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, dry sherry wine, hoisin sauce, cornstarch, brown sugar, ginger, and garlic.

How do I store leftover kung pao chicken?

Leftovers can be stored for up to 3 days in an airtight container in the fridge. Be sure to let the chicken cool to room temperature before storing it as it will get soggy from condensation if it’s still warm.

Can I freeze kung pao chicken?

I recommend not freezing this recipe. Since this kung pao chicken recipe takes less than an hour to put together, I recommend making it fresh.

What can I serve with kung pao chicken?

I love serving this with jasmine rice but you can also serve this with some cauliflower rice, basmati rice, quinoa, noodles, or even just lettuce wraps. It’s up to you! I also like to serve this with a side of greens like broccoli or edamame just to make the meal a bit healthier. 

What is the difference between Szechuan chicken and kung pao chicken?

Kung Pao is a classic dish in Szechuan cuisine. Thus, the main difference between Kung Pao and Szechuan is that Kung Pao is a dish whereas Szechuan is a cuisine style.

More Delicious Asian Recipes To Try

I hope you enjoy all the recipes I share with you, including this delicious authentic Kung Pao Chicken recipe. I hope you try it, enjoy it, rate it, and share it with your friends and family!

If you try this recipe and liked it, please leave a star rating and comment below. Use my hashtag to share it with me on Instagram So I can see your delicious recreations! Also, follow me at Cookin’ With Mima on FACEBOOK |INSTAGRAM |PINTEREST for all of my latest social posts and recipes.

A bowl of kung pao chicken with rice.

Authentic Kung Pao Chicken

This simple but delicious Kung Pao Chicken recipe is a Chinese take-out favorite that you can make at home! Stir-fried chicken, peanuts, and vegetables, this recipe is the perfect balance between salty, sweet, and spicy. Make this at home tonight!

Prep Time 10 mins

Cook Time 30 mins

Total Time 40 mins

Ingredients

To prepare the chicken stir fry

Instructions

  • Marinate the chicken in a bowl by combining soy sauce, cornstarch, vinegar and salt for at least 10 minutes.

  • Meanwhile combine the sauce ingredients in a bowl and keep it ready.

  • Heat a skillet on a medium flame with a tablespoon of oil. Add the chicken cubes and cook for 5-6 minutes until golden and transfer the chicken pieces to a plate.

  • To the same skillet add the remaining tablespoon of oil; add the red chilis , peppers and cook for 2-3 minutes.

  • Add the prepared sauce and cook for 3-5 minutes until the sauce is thickened.

  • Stir the chicken back into the skillet and coat the chicken well with the sauce and let the chicken cook in the sauce for 2 minutes.

  • Finally add the green onions, peanuts and sesame seeds, toss it and serve with rice.

Notes

  • Feel free to leave the whole red chilies and some of the chili flakes to make the chicken less spicy.
  • Feel free to add other veggies if you like. Some recommendations are zucchini, carrots, broccoli, mushroom, and cauliflower.
  • Do not overcook the chicken or else it will become chewy. 6 to 7 minutes at the most as they’re diced into small bite-sized pieces.
  • You can roast your own peanuts by adding them to a skillet over medium heat then toast it for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently. 
  • Cut your chicken into even, bite-sized, pieces so they’ll cook evenly.
  • Use a large non-stick pan/skillet or wok.

Nutrition

Calories: 356kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 1261mg | Potassium: 898mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 846IU | Vitamin C: 149mg | Calcium: 64mg | Iron: 3mg






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