Kung Pao chicken is a Chinese chicken dish that is stir-fried with crisp vegetables and tossed in a delicious and smooth sauce that is packed with flavour. Make it at home in under 30 minutes and you will wonder why you ever ordered takeout. It's the easiest weeknight dinner ever and seriously one of the most delicious. Kung Pao chicken is salty, spicy and sweet all at the same time. So so good.
Quick and easy weeknight dinners that taste so much better than takeout is kind of my jam. It usually takes less time to prepare these dishes at home than it does to wait for your takeout order to arrive. Some other easy Asian dishes that we like to whip up in under 30 minutes are: Curry Chicken Fried Rice, One Pot Thai Red Curry Noodle Soup, Scallion Oil Noodles, and Seafood Fried Rice.
To make easy Kung Pao chicken at home, you will need the following ingredients:
- chicken breast - marinated in soy sauce, Chinese Shaoxing cooking wine (or mirin or rice wine vinegar), cornstarch (or all purpose flour), and olive oil.
- soy sauce
- black vinegar - black vinegar is preferred but you can substitute with any kind of vinegar.
- Chinese Shaoxing cooking wine - you can also use mirin or rice wine vinegar.
- granulated sugar
- chicken bouillon powder - of you can use 2 tablespoons of chicken stock or broth.
- white pepper - if it's hard for you to find white pepper, you can leave it out.
- cornstarch - you can also substitute the cornstarch with all purpose flour.
- olive oil - for stir-frying.
- dried red chili peppers - adds some heat into this dish.
- garlic + ginger - for flavour.
- vegetables - I used red bell pepper, green bell pepper, and green onions. Feel free to add in any vegetables that you like.
- roasted peanuts
How to Make the Best Kung Pao Chicken
- Marinate the chicken. In a medium mixing bowl, stir to combine chicken, soy sauce, cooking wine, cornstarch, and olive oil. Set the chicken aside, allowing it to marinate for at least 10 minutes.
- Prepare the Kung Pao sauce. In another mixing bowl, whisk together all the Kung Pao sauce ingredients (soy sauce, vinegar, cooking wine, sugar, chicken bouillon powder, white pepper, cornstarch, and water). Whisk until the sugar and cornstarch is fully combined.
- Stir fry chicken. Heat oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat for 2 minutes until the hot oil is sizzling hot. Add in the marinated chicken and stir fry for 3 minutes until browned on all sides.
- Add vegetables. Add dried chili peppers, garlic and ginger. Stir well to mix until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add red and green bell peppers and green onions. Stir fry for another minute until soft.
- Add Kung Pao sauce. Stir in the sauce and toss well to coat until the sauce thickens to desired consistency, and the chicken and vegetables evenly coated with Kung Pao sauce.
- Serve. Stir in peanuts and serve immediately with steamed rice or fried rice.
- How to serve: Serve Kung Pao chicken over a bowl of steamed rice or fried rice. You can also pair with other Chinese side dishes such as Chinese Garlic Cucumber Salad, Air Fryer Vegetable Stir Fry, and Steamed Buns.
- How to store: Store any leftover Kung Pao chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, heat on the stove over medium heat for 5-10 minutes until warmed through. If the sauce has thickened up too much in the refrigerator, add a splash of water when reheating.
More Asian Chicken Recipes
- Healthy Lemon Chicken
- Baked Sesame Chicken
- Char Siu (Chinese BBQ) Chicken
- Shanghai Style Fried Noodles
- Chicken Pad Thai
- Sweet Chili Chicken Bites
Did you make this recipe? I would greatly appreciate a comment and rating below, letting me know what you thought of the recipe. You can also snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @aheadofthyme or share it on the Pinterest pin so that I can follow along.