Kung Pao Chicken

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This Homemade Kung pao Chicken is so tasty and perfect for dinner! This dish is filled with chicken and nuts and is covered in an amazing sauce, topped with green onions and perfectly served over rice.

Easy Kung Pao Chicken over rice on plate

What is Kung Pao Chicken?

I’ve said it before but, I LOVE Chinese food! Because of that, we make a lot of Asian recipes in our home. Some of our favorites are this baked sweet and sour chicken and these egg rolls. A new favorite is today’s recipe for Kung Pao Chicken (aka Kung Pow Chicken). But, what is it?

Kung Pao Chicken is a spicy stir-fry Chinese dish made with chicken, peanuts, vegetables, and chili peppers.

We had only ever had Kung Pao Chicken at a restaurant but hadn’t made it at home and was happy we did because this recipe was so delicious. The sauce alone is so tasty and would be great for many chicken recipes.

Adding chicken and some nuts for crunch, topped over warm rice or noodles and you have an excellent Chicken dish. If you love some of the other Asian chicken recipes we’ve tried on here on the site, then I think you’ll love this one just as much too.

Chicken on skillet for kung pao chicken recipe

How to make Kung Pao Chicken

We also love that this recipe is simple and takes little time to make.

To make Kung Pao chicken, toss chicken in a small bowl with cornstarch, until coated.

Add oil to a skillet on medium heat. We liked using the sesame oil (but regular oil would do just fine). Stir fry for about 7-8 minutes or until no longer pink in center. Remove chicken to a paper towel to drain.

Add garlic, red pepper and ginger to skillet and stir fry for about 15 seconds. Remove from heat.

Combine vinegar, soy sauce and sugar in small bowl, stir well. Add sauce and chicken to skillet. Toss to coat. Stir in nuts. Heat thoroughly. Garnish with green onions if desired.

Serve over hot rice or fried rice or even sesame noodles.

Have leftovers? To store Kung Pao chicken, just place in an air-tight container in the fridge for 3-5 days.

What vegetables can I add to Kung Pao Chicken?

You can easily add vegetables to this kung pao chicken recipe. Try some of these suggestions: Broccoli florets, sliced red bell peppers, sliced carrots, sliced yellow or green zucchini. Remember if you add vegetables you’ll want to increase the amount of sauce you make so that all parts of the dish gets flavored.

How do I change the heat/spiciness of kung pow chicken?

One easy way to adjust the spiciness is to increase or decrease the amount of red pepper flakes listed in the recipe. If you’re looking to increase the heat try using cayenne powder. Keep in mind substitute 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne for every 3/4 teaspoon of crushed red peppers.

To decrease the heat you can try a suggestion from one our readers: substitute the chili flakes with sweet chili garlic paste.

Kung Pao Chicken recipe aka Kung Pow Chicken on plate

We can’t wait to make this recipe again because it was so good!!Serve with noodles or rice and you’ll have a new favorite dinner recipe. It does have a bit of spice since that is typical with Kung Pao recipes, but if you want it more mild omit the red pepper flakes. 😉

what to serve with kung pao chicken?

And for even more Asian dinner recipes, check out:

Kung Pao Chicken Recipe

5 from 1 vote
Kung Pao Chicken - The homemade kung pao sauce is SUPER tasty. Add chicken and some nuts for crunch, top over warm rice and you have an excellent Chicken dish!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Chinese
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 227 kcal
Author Lil' Luna

Ingredients

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tsp light sesame oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 3 tbsp green onions chopped with tops
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 -1 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp powdered ginger (or fresh)
  • 2 tsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/3 cup dry roasted peanuts
  • 4 cups cooked rice, hot

Instructions

  1. Toss chicken in a small bowl with cornstarch, till coated.

  2. Add oil to a skillet on medium heat. We liked using the sesame oil (but regular oil would do just fine). Stir fry for about 7-8 minutes or until no longer pink in center. Remove chicken to a paper towel to drain.
  3. Add garlic, red pepper and ginger to skillet and stir fry for about 15 seconds. Remove from heat.
  4. Combine vinegar, soy sauce and sugar in small bowl, stir well. Add sauce and chicken to skillet. Toss to coat.
  5. Stir in nuts. Heat thoroughly. Garnish with green onions. Serve over hot rice.

 

Kung Pao Chicken - The homemade kung pao sauce is SUPER tasty. Add chicken and some nuts for crunch, top over warm rice and you have an excellent Chicken dish!

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Author

Kellyn Carpenter

Kellyn is a mom of 4 and loves to try and test out new recipes. She loves to find the best dinner and dessert recipes around and share them with those in the blogosphere.

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Comments

  1. It seems like there is not enough liquid to cover all of the chicken…..Is it allright to double the ingredients? Looks and sounds delicious!

  2. Our new family favorite and weekly staple! Love this recipe!! I do dpuble and triple the sauce so we can drizzle on the rice. I cant eat peanuts, so i use cashews, and i add sugar snap peas cooked for only 1 minute. We tried using sweet chili garlic paste to lessen the heat, instead of pepper flakes…my daughter requested i make it less spicy. It came out as sweet light heat. However, the pepper flakes are better.

  3. Made this for dinner and it was yum!!! Simple, quick and easy and not heaps of ingredients. I added 1/2 capsicum, spring onions and peanuts to the meat and sauce mix and it worked really well. Oh and I used regular white vinegar which worked just as well. Will be making this regularly. Thanks heaps:)