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Kung Pao Chicken

Daring Gourmet Recipe by
(7 reviews)
Kung Pao Chicken
  • Prep Time 15 min
  • Total Time 25 min
  • Servings 4
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Kung Pao Chicken

One of the most popular dishes throughout China and the Western world alike, this sweet and spicy chicken dish is not for the faint of taste buds. It packs a punch, or should we say, "PAO, right in the kisser!"

Ingredients

3
tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
6-10 dried hot red chili peppers (or less according to heat preference), seeded and membranes removed (gloves recommended)
1 1/2
pounds chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
2
cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2
teaspoons fresh ginger, minced
3/4
cup dry roasted peanuts
1
bunch green onions (about 6 green onions)

For the Marinade:

1 1/2
tablespoons soy sauce
1
tablespoon Chinese rice wine or sherry
3/4
teaspoon cornstarch

For the Sauce:

1/4
cup black Chinese vinegar or dark balsamic vinegar
3
tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2
tablespoons toasted sesame oil
3
tablespoons white sugar
2
tablespoons hoisin sauce
2
teaspoons cornstarch

Directions

  • 1 Combine the marinade ingredients in a small bowl and pour over the chicken pieces. Toss to coat and let the chicken sit while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  • 2 Combine all the sauce ingredients in a bowl, stirring until the cornstarch and sugar is dissolved. Set aside.
  • 3 Heat the oil in a wok or skillet over high heat. Fry the chilies for a few seconds until they turn darker in color.
  • 4 Add the chicken and marinade and fry until no longer pink. Add the garlic, ginger, and white parts of the green onions and fry for two minutes. Add the sauce and stir until thickened. Reduce the heat to medium-high and stir in the peanuts. Simmer for one minute. Remove from heat and stir in the green onions. Serve immediately with steamed rice.
See Step By Step

Step By Step  

A Chinese take out fave that can be made right at home!

As prepared by Daring Gourmet,

This popular dish is packed with peanuts, chicken and of course, plenty of spice.

Ever wonder how Kung Pao Chicken came to be? Well, let me tell you…

Once upon a time in the deep forests of China during the Qing Dynasty lived a boy named Ding Baozhen (pronounced "Ting Pao-chen"). Young Ding loved to play outside, especially down by the river. One day while playing by the bank of the river he lost his footing and fell into the river. Hearing his cry for help, a nearby family rushed to his rescue and managed to pull him to safety. They carried the unconscious boy home to his parents. 

Years later, Ding became the governor of Sichuan. Though now a powerful leader, Ding never forgot the about the family who saved his life and sent out a query to find them. Once they were located, Ding Baozhen paid the family a visit so he could finally thank them. Now, the province of Sichuan is known for its fine cuisine and this family, hearing of his coming visit, wanted to treat the governor to a special meal. They combined chicken and peanuts in a sweet and spicy sauce and served it to Ding Baozhen who declared it "delicious".  

Governor Baozhen's official title was Gong Bao, pronounced "kung-pao" (meaning “palatial guardian”), and it was after him that this dish was named. Kung Pao Chicken would go on to become one of the most beloved and popular Chinese dishes throughout China and the Western world. And the people of the world ate Kung Pao Chicken and lived happily ever after.

 

Kung Pao Chicken

To make Kung Pao Chicken home, first gather up your ingredients.

 

Kung Pao Chicken

Combine the marinade ingredients in a small bowl and pour over the chicken. Toss to coat the chicken and set aside while you prepare the other ingredients.

 

Kung Pao Chicken

Then combine all the sauce ingredients in another bowl and stir until the cornstarch and sugar are dissolved. Set aside.

 

Kung Pao Chicken

Slice the green onions, keeping the white and green parts separate (the white parts have a longer cooking time), and mince the garlic and ginger.

 

Kung Pao Chicken

Using gloves, carefully deseed the chili peppers and discard the seeds and membranes.

These chilies are very hot! Unless you like your food super hot, go easy on the number of chilies you use.

 

Kung Pao Chicken

Heat the oil in a wok or skillet over high heat and fry the chilies for a few seconds until they darken in color. The oil will turn a reddish hue and be infused with heat and chili flavor.

 

Kung Pao Chicken

Add the chicken and cook until it's no longer pink.

 

Kung Pao Chicken

Add the whites of the green onions along with the garlic and ginger and cook for another 1-2 minutes.

 

Kung Pao Chicken

Pour in the sauce and stir until thickened.

 

Kung Pao Chicken

Reduce the heat to medium-high, stir in the peanuts and simmer for one minute.

 

Kung Pao Chicken

Remove from heat and stir in the green onions.

 

Kung Pao Chicken

Your Kung Pao Chicken is ready in less than 10 minutes!

 

Kung Pao Chicken

Serve immediately with steamed rice and a glass of ice water.

 

For more Pao-licious dishes visit Kimberly's food blog The Daring Gourmet.

See Recipe
Tips  

When working with high heat, the key is to move very quickly. Have all of your ingredients ready and laid out in advance.

Nutrition Information 
No nutrition information available for this recipe
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