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Kung Pao Chicken

Kung Pao Chicken is a traditional Chinese chicken and vegetable dish. It originated in the Sichuan province of China. Kung Pao Chicken is on the menu of just about every Chinese restaurant. This is the Cooking Secrets For Men take on a classic Chinese dish.

Kung Pao Snap Peas
Kung Pao Snap Peas

This recipe is by request from my son Carlo and his friend Isiah. Homemade Kung Pao Sauce is spicy and full of sweet flavors. It is pretty simple to make.

VELVETING: THE TRICK TO KUNG PAO CHICKEN

One of the tricks that makes this Kung Pao Chicken recipe taste just like the authentic Chinese dish is using the velveting process. Velveting is a meat tenderizing technique used by Chinese restaurants. It’s very easy and it’s similar to marinating.

First, cover your chicken in the mixture of soy sauce, salt, pepper, sherry, cornstarch, and sugar. Set it aside for 10-20 minutes. Then, when you cook the chicken, the coating keeps the chicken crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. Chicken Thighs also help this process. They don’t dry out as easily as chicken breasts.

Kung Pao Chicken

Kung Pao Chicken

This is by request from my son Carlo and his friend, Isiah. Kung Pao Chicken is a staple in Chinese restaurants. Easy to make and very tasty. Hope you enjoy this fun dish.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Course: Chicken, Main Course, weeknight recipe
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese
Keyword: Kung Pao Chicken
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 236.8kcal
Cost: $25

Equipment

  • A Wok

Ingredients

Chicken:

  • 4 boneless/skinless chicken thighs cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine or dry sherry
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Sauce:

  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • 5 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar or white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp dry sherry or Shaoxing wine
  • 2 tsp hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp hot chili sauce

Stir Fry:

  • 4 tbsp cooking oil
  • 2-3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tbsp ginger chopped
  • 4-6 dried chilies adjust to taste
  • 1 red bell pepper seeded and cut into thin strips
  • 8 oz Sugar snap peas
  • 4 green onion cut into 1-inch pieces
  • ½ cup roasted/unsalted peanuts
  • 2 tsp sesame oil

Instructions

  • First, combine chicken, salt, pepper, soy sauce, dry sherry, sugar, and cornstarch in a large bowl or plastic bag
    Kung Pao Chix in bag
  • Toss to combine then cover it and set it aside for 10 minutes
    Kung Pao Combined
  • Whisk sauce ingredients together until sugar dissolves; set aside.
  • Heat a large wok or skillet with 2 tablespoons of cooking oil, then add marinated chicken. Cook 3-4 minutes.
    Kung Pao Chix in wok
  • Remove the chicken from the pan and return the pan to heat.
    Remove Chicken from wok
  • Add remaining cooking oil into the same pan/wok. Stir in garlic, ginger, chili peppers and stir fry 1 minute.
    Kung Pao Veggies in pan
  • Add the veggies. Stir in peppers and sugar snap peas and cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until just tender.
    Kung Pao Snap Peas
  • Add the chicken back into the pan and toss to all the goodies to combine.
    Kung Pao Chicken back in
  • Pour sauce into the pan and bring to a boil while stirring.
    Kung Pao Sauce in Wok
  • Stir in green onions, peanuts and sesame oil. Toss well and continue to cook for another 2 minutes.
    Kung Pao Chicken

Video

Notes

SHAOXING WINE SUBSTITUTE
• Dry sherry – just every day cheap and cheerful dry sherry;
• Mirin – a Japanese sweet cooking wine

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 236.8kcal | Carbohydrates: 12.1g | Protein: 21.9g | Fat: 10.3g | Saturated Fat: 1.4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 41.1mg | Sodium: 698.9mg | Potassium: 421.1mg | Fiber: 2.7g | Sugar: 0.8g | Vitamin A: 68.1IU | Vitamin C: 192.1mg | Calcium: 2.5mg | Iron: 6.4mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

There are good reasons why everyone loves kung pao chicken. It has so many flavors going on: tangy, sweet, and salty with some heat. The trick is putting in the right amount of each ingredient to come up with that winning flavor combination. Hopefully, this recipe fits the bill.

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If you liked this recipe, you should try our recipe for leftover Chinese Carryout rice

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