This Kung Pao Chicken dish has a lovely sticky gingery, garlic, soy sauce, freshness with the chilli & spring onions and it is ready in 40 minutes.Jump to Recipe
I first discovered a recipe for Kung Pao Chicken in of a Women’s Day type magazine over 15 years ago! I ripped it out, made some changes to make it a little easier and this recipe has been a staple in our house ever since. It is not traditional, I have cut some corners, but it is soooo delicious!
I have used mild red chillis for my Kung Pao Chicken. I slice in half lengthwise and take the seeds out. This makes them full of flavour, but not spicy as such. You can also use dried chilli.
How to make Kung Pao Chicken:
To make the Kung Pao Chicken we start by making the marinade. In a medium sized bowl, add oil, soy sauce, cornflour and either chicken stock, white wine or Chinese Rice Wine (Shaoxing). Mix together and add the chicken, stir, cover and refrigerate to marinate for 30 minutes.
Make your sauce now by mixing cornflour, water, balsamic ( or Chinese Black Vinegar) white sugar and both light and dark soy sauce.
When you are ready to cook, heat the wok and cook the chicken until cooked through, stir occasionally. You might need to cook this in batches. Remove the chicken from the wok, and wipe the wok out with a paper towel, it will be hot, be careful here. It doesn’t need to be squeaky clean, just with some of the marinade mix wiped out.
Now we are quickly cooking the garlic and ginger, only for around 30 seconds, then add the red chillis, cook for a further 30 seconds, always stirring so the contents of the wok don’t burn.
Common questions about Kung Pao Chicken:
Can I use something else not chicken? Absolutely, this would be delicious with sliced beef. Or firm tofu would work well too I think.
Kung Pao Chicken
- 4-6 chicken thighs boneless skinless, cut into thumb sized pieces
- 1 teaspoon oil
- 1 tablespoon Chicken Stock/ White Wine/ Chinese Rice Wine Shaoxing
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon cornflour
- 1 teaspoon cornflour
- 2 teaspoons water
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar or Chinese black vinegar
- 1 teaspoon white sugar
- 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
- 1 ½ tablespoons light soy sauce
- 4 tablespoons neutral oil for frying
- 1 thumb sized piece of fresh ginger peeled and sliced
- 4 cloves garlic sliced
- 2 mild red chillis cut in half and seeds removed, cut into 3 cm pieces
- 3 spring onions cut into 2 cm pieces
- 1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns or pink peppercorns *optional
- 3 teaspoons roasted peanuts
- Steamed rice to serve
In a medium sized bowl, add the sauce ingredients and mix well. Add the chicken, cover, refrigerate and marinate for 30 minutes.
In a small bowl, mix all the sauce ingredients together and set aside.
When you are ready to cook the dish make sure you have everything ready as cooking in a wok is speedy.
Take your wok and place on a medium to high heat, add 2 tabelspoons of oil and cook the chicken until cooked through, around 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. You may need to cook the chicken in batches. Set the chicken aside.
Clean the wok with a paper towel and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, heat the wok until very hot. Add the ginger and garlic, cook for 30 seconds, stirring occasionally, add the red chilli’s.
Stir fry for around a minute then add the spring onions and peppercorns if using.
Continue cooking for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.
Take the chicken and sauce and add to the wok. Stir constantly. Turn the heat off when everything is nicely coated in the sauce. Add the peanuts, stir and serve with rice.