Kung Pao Chicken

Kung Pao Chicken

5 from 2 votes
Instead of ordering a Chinese takeaway, make your own kung pao chicken at home. Crispy, tender chicken bites coated in a sweet and spicy sauce. This quick dinner recipe is the ideal balance of salty, sweet, and spicy flavours.
Kung Pao Chicken

Kung pao chicken is a traditional Chinese takeaway dish that consists of stir-fried chicken, peanuts, and vegetables. This recipe is so simple to make at home and has a tonne of flavour in every bite.

Traditionally, kung pao chicken calls for a variety of speciality ingredients, including Sichuan peppercorns, Chinese black vinegar, Chinese rice wine, and whole dried red chillies.

However, I have made this recipe more accessible by replacing those ingredients with more readily available ingredients without sacrificing flavour.

Marination is the most important step in this Kung Pao chicken recipe. The marination forms a protective coating of cornflour, rice vinegar, and sesame oil forms around each chicken piece.

This seal acts to trap any moisture inside the chicken to help create a crispy and golden yet perfectly cooked chicken piece.

Personally, I like to marinate the chicken overnight for the best results. However, sometimes time may not always be in your favour. Maybe you suddenly got the craving for some kung pao chicken. In that case, leave it to marinate for a minimum of 30 minutes.

For the ingredients you can use any dried red chilli, but, if possible, try to use Sichuan peppers for a truly authentic dish. In Chinese cuisine, these peppers are used to create a tongue-tingling flavour sensation.

I absolutely love spicy dishes, so I adore this chicken recipe. With that being said, this spicy chicken recipe is not for the faint of heart. Each bite will pack a powerful punch, making it ideal for spice enthusiasts.

In addition to the roasted peanuts, red and green bell peppers were used in this stir fry. If you have been following my recipes for a while now, you would know that I love to add bell peppers to everything.

Other vegetables can be substituted as well. Celery, carrots, and zucchini are all great alternatives.

Kung pao chicken isn’t supposed to be overly saucy and is more of a dry chicken dish. However, the amounts can be changed to suit personal preferences if you want to make it saucier or drier.

Tofu can be used in place of chicken for vegans and vegetarians. As tofu absorbs all of the flavours of the sauce in this recipe, you will end up with an absolutely delicious dish.

Kung pao chicken goes well with a variety of other dishes. This protein-packed recipe pairs well with chips, rice, and noodles.

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Kung Pao Chicken

Kung Pao Chicken

by Nabeela Kauser
Instead of ordering a Chinese takeaway, make your own kung pao chicken at home. Crispy, tender chicken bites coated in a sweet and spicy sauce. This quick dinner recipe is the ideal balance of salty, sweet, and spicy flavours.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 4
Calories 439 kcal


For the Marinade:

For The Sauce:

  • 2 tbsp Soy Sauce To taste
  • 2 tbsp Hoisin Sauce
  • 2 tbsp Rice Vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Honey
  • 1 tbsp Sesame Oil
  • 1 tsp Red Chilli Flakes
  • 60 g Peanuts Unsalted

For The Chicken:

  • 2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper Diced
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper Diced
  • 1 Medium Onion Diced
  • 3 Garlic Cloves Minced
  • 4-5 Dried Red Chillies
  • Salt To taste
  • Black Pepper To taste
  • Spring Onions Garnish


  • In a bowl add soy sauce, rice vinegar, cornflour, sesame oil, honey, salt, and black pepper in a bowl to make the marinade. Mix in the chicken pieces until coated well. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  • In a separate bowl, make the sauce by mixing together soy sauce, hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, honey, sesame oil, and red chilli flakes. Set aside.
  • Heat vegetable oil in a large frying pan or wok over medium-high heat. Add diced onions and bell peppers and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes until they soften.
  • Add minced garlic and dried red chillies to the pan and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
  • Add the marinated chicken to the pan and stir-fry for 5-7 minutes or until no longer pink. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
  • Pour the sauce into the pan, along with unsalted peanuts. Stir-fry everything for another 1-2 minutes until the sauce thickens and coats the chicken and vegetables evenly.
  • Finally, garnish the dish with chopped spring onions and serve hot with rice or noodles. Enjoy your homemade kung pao chicken!


Nutritional facts:
The provision of nutritional information is done so merely as a courtesy and should not be taken as a guarantee.


Calories: 439kcalCarbohydrates: 32gProtein: 28gFat: 23gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 64mgSodium: 2566mgPotassium: 693mgFiber: 3gSugar: 18gVitamin A: 343IUVitamin C: 30mgVitamin D: 0.1µgCalcium: 45mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Chicken, Cooking, Food, Recipe
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Hi, I’m Nabeela and I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family-friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

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