Kung Pao Chicken is a classic Chinese dish made using cubed chicken breasts and a mouthwatering kung pao sauce.
Kung Pao Chicken also goes by the names Gong Bao Chicken or Kung Po Chicken in Chinese restaurants. It’s a simple stir fried chicken dish made with a complex sauce of salty, sweet, sour, and spicy flavours making it irresistible.
This recipes dates back to the 90s when I worked in an office in Vancouver. Book sellers would drop by with a stack of books, many of them cookbooks, and an order sheet returning a week later for any orders and the books. You know how my lunch hours were spent – pouring through these cookbooks looking for ideas and inspiration.
Since this is a popular recipe in Sichuan cuisine typically calling for red thai chilis, we make our Kung Pao Chicken with sambel oelek and chili flakes. This gives us full control control over the amount of heat in this dish ensuring the kids will enjoy it too.
The sauce is made with flavours like sambal oelek, soy sauce, and sherry adding levels of flavour. You will want to let your chicken marinade in the sauce for a minimum of 30 minutes. Have your Jasmine or Basmati rice ready to go or even serve with cooked Asian noodles as your stir fry will come together quickly once started.
- have your ingredients chopped and ready to go to save time
- A stir-fry pan or wok is best for this dish, however a non stick sautee pan will also work
- we prefer boneless chicken breasts however you can substitute with boneless chicken thighs
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp sherry
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp sambal oelek
- canola oil
- 3/4 cup peanuts
- 1/2 tsp chili flakes
- 2 tsp fresh ginger minced
- 3 green onions sliced into 1 inch pieces
Kung Pao Sauce
- 4 tsp soy sauce
- 4 tsp sherry
- 4 tbsp chicken broth
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 3 tsp sugar
- 3 tsp cornstarch
- In a bowl combine 2 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tbsp sherry, 2 tsp cornstarch and sambal oelek. Mix well and add chicken stirring to coat. Let marinate for 30 minutes.
- In second bowl or measuring cup whisk together your sauce ingredients. Set aside.
- In wok or stir fry pan heat 1 tbsp oil over medium high heat.
- Add peanuts and cook until golden. This will only take a minute or two so keep your eyes on the pan. Remove when golden and set aside.
- Add 2 tbsp oil and your chili flakes cooking for about 1 minute. Drop in your chicken and stir fry for about 2 minutes.
- Add in ginger and cook for another minute.
- Next add in green onions and the golden peanuts.
- Stir cornstarch mixture and add to wok. Gently mix and cook another minute or until mixture thickens.
- Serve over pre-cooked rice or noodles.