Kung Pao Chicken

Method to my Meals


Description: This highly addictive stir-fried chicken is one of the most popular Chinese dishes because of the complex sauce and flavors. I was in a bind and Trader Joes was my most convenient grocery store while shopping for this recipe. They didn’t carry the hoisin sauce, ground Sichuan pepper or dried red chilies. I substituted a basic stir fry sauce, red pepper flakes, and some Sriracha sauce – see below for more details. I served this dish with jasmine rice and some steamed sugar snap peas and carrots.
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: 4
Time: 30 min (25 m prep, 5 m cook)
(Ingredients and measurements subject to availability)


  1. 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  2. 2 teaspoons Chinese rice wine
  3. 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  4. 1 pound boneless, skinless, chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 1 inch cubes


  1. 1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
  2. 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  3. 1 teaspoon stir fry sauce
  4. 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  5. 2 teaspoons sugar
  6. 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  7. 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  8. 2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil*
  9. 1 teaspoon Sriracha
  10. 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  11. 3 garlic cloves, minced
  12. 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced or grated
  13. 1/4 cup unsalted dry roasted peanuts

 *Not provided:
Salt and pepper
Peanut or vegetable oil*

Wok or large skillet
2 medium mixing bowls


  1. Marinate the chicken in a medium bowl by stirring together the 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 2 teaspoons rice wine, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch. Let the cornstarch dissolve, and then add the cubed chicken and stir to coat. Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes.
  2. Prepare the sauce in another bowl by combining the black vinegar, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, sugar, cornstarch and Sichuan pepper (or sriracha). Stir until the sugar and cornstarch are dissolved and set aside.
  3. If you were able to get the dried red chilies, you will want to use your stove’s exhaust fan as they can get smoky. Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat until a bead of water will sizzle and evaporate on the pan surface. Once hot enough, add the peanut oil and swirl to coat. Add the chilies (or red pepper flakes if you didn’t score the chilies) and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add the marinated chicken and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add the green onion, garlic, and ginger and stir-fry for another 30 seconds. Pour in the sauce and coat the other ingredients. Stir in the peanuts and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a serving plate and garnish with green onion.

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