Kung Pao Chicken

  • Serves

    serves 4


This Sichuan dish—often better known by its Americanized name “kung pao chicken”—is only moderately spicy.

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  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 4 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 3 tbsp. shaoxing (Chinese rice wine)
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 3 tbsp. chicken stock
  • 4 tsp. Chinkiang vinegar or balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. Asian sesame oil
  • 2 tsp. Chinese dark soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp. peanut oil
  • 12 dried hot red chiles, stemmed, halved crosswise, and seeded
  • 5 scallions, white part only, thickly sliced crosswise
  • 1 large clove garlic, peeled, ends trimmed off, and thinly sliced
  • 1 (1/2") piece of ginger, peeled and minced
  • 12 cup shelled raw skinless peanuts


Step 1

Mix together cornstarch and 1 tbsp. of the soy sauce in a medium bowl, add chicken, toss well, and set aside to marinate for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, mix together the remaining 3 tbsp. soy sauce, rice wine, sugar, stock, vinegar, sesame oil, and dark soy sauce. Set aside.

Step 2

Heat peanut oil in a wok or large nonstick skillet over high heat until just beginning to smoke. Add chiles, half the scallions, garlic, ginger, and chicken and stir-fry until chicken is golden, 3–5 minutes. Add soy sauce mixture and stir-fry until sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. Stir in peanuts. Garnish with remaining scallions.

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