Kung Pao Chicken

Total Time:
40 min
20 min
10 min
10 min

2 servings

  • Marinade:
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast, thinly sliced
  • Sauce:
  • 3 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 4 dried red chiles remove stems and cut in halves
  • 1/2 -inch piece ginger, peeled, thinly sliced, smashed
  • 1 garlic, smashed
  • 1 green onion, cut the white part into 1/2 -inch pieces, julienne the green parts
  • 1/4 cup deep-fried peanuts
  • 2 tablespoons chicken stock plus 1 tablespoon cornstarch, mixed together to make slurry

In a non-reactive bowl, prepare the marinade. Combine the rice wine, peanut oil, soy sauce, salt and cornstarch. Stir in the chicken pieces and refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes.


In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the sauce. Set aside.

Over high heat, in a wok, bring the peanut oil to almost smoking temperature. Stir-fry the chilies, ginger, garlic and white part of the green onions for 30 to 40 seconds, or until the chilies turn dark. Add the chicken and stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes, until golden in color.

Add the sauce and bring to a boil. Add the peanuts. Thicken with the slurry and continue to cook until glossy. Transfer to a serving plate and garnish with julienne green onions.

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    40 Reviews
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    I agree about the hoisin, all in all it was very salty but I think with some wasabi and maybe less hoisin it might come out better.
    I agree with some of the other reviews on the hoisin sauce. Less is more. This was a flavorful dish, but nothing great. I would suggest first draining the marinated chicken and blotting it quite dry before adding to the wok. I didn't do this, and the chicken essentially steamed and boiled in the residual marinade that clung to the surface of the pieces. My wife and kids thought it was pretty good, so I might give it another shot some day.
    I also found the way this recipe read to be confusing with all of the remaining ingredients under the sauce. I am not one to read twice, cook once so I mixed everything together. I did however stirfry/sautee some extra onions, and chili flakes before cooking chicken and dumping my entire sauce mix in. I then at the end added water chesnuts and some more green onions. I even threw some flaxseeds in while the chicken was browning, which actually took closer to 5-7 minutes, probably because I doubled the batch. 
    All in all, I used this recipe as a guide and it was a HUGE HIT! Need to spice it up a bit more though next time I think.
    This tasted great! As good as my favorite restaurant makes. Hold off on the cornstarch at the end, you may not need it. If you do want it a little thicker, add just a little. My first try at this recipe came out with a thicker sauce than it should have had and after that I have either added none or maybe a tsp or two. I also upped the vegetables adding carrots, onions and water chestnuts.
    Excellent but just a little confusing. There needs to be a break in the 2nd ingredient list after the hoisin but before the second peanut oil ... I kicked myself when I realized the sauce ingredients end at hoisin, (Skimming it off the top of the sauce into the wok. 
    And WTH is "A GARLIC"?? A whole garlic? Or a clove? I split the difference.  
    Doubled most of the recipe and tripled the chicken, used 3/4 cup raw peanuts and fried them first, 6 GREEN ONIONS, ~3-4 tsp minced garlic, substituted white wine and white wine vinegar, reduced the salt, added 1 tsp sesame oil and should have reduced the slurry (added some water cause it was so thick. Didn't double the chilis (for my wife's taste, it was just spicy enough for her sensitive palate. 
    Commenters:There is NO plum sauce in this recipe 
    Change what you like, but you can't have kung pao chicken without peanuts & heat. Drop chicken, peppers or peanuts (&maybe green onions for that matter & it ain't kung pao chicken!
    The term 'stir-fry' always gets a groan from my 10 year old, but even she was thrilled with this dish. As others have stated, it definitely needs more veggies to make the meal. Here are the changes I made to make it a little more 'me'. 
    Chili-Garlic Sauce (prepared from jar 
    Sesame Oil 
    Bean Sprouts 
    JalapeƱo (instead of peppers, mostly to control heat 
    White Wine Vinegar (no rice wine on hand 
    Entire marinade procedure 
    Delicious! Everyone loved it. Sauce was sweet, maybe a bit less sugar next time. Definitely going into my recipe files for regular use. Served with rice and sprinkled with peanuts for extra crunch. Way better than take out!
    Very tasty and flavorful, but watch the sodium. I added chili garlic sauce which added more flavor (and salt), but I think it was too salty even before the addition.
    We used 14 oz extra firm tofu sliced and seared in a blazing hot pan instead of the chicken. We did not use the marinade for the chicken on the tofu.
     So that the amount of sauce would be sufficient we doubled all the sauce seasonings while using 1.5 cups chicken stock and two Trader Joe's lower sodium chicken stock packets. We also doubled the peanuts and the green onions. We did not increase the cornstarch and left it at 1 TB.
     Also this was really lacking veggies so we added two medium onions thinly sliced, 1 carrot julienned, 1 can sliced water chestnuts and 1/3 small head red cabbage julienned.
     It was delicious - just like at a restaurant and very easy.
    This was good, but needed a little work. I added one small chopped red bell pepper and a small can of sliced water chestnuts. For the sauce, use one less tablespoon of rice vinegar. I also used two teaspoons of sugar instead of two tablespoons, and will use even less sugar next time. The slurry at the end made it too thick, so I would suggest using one teaspoon of cornstarch instead of a one tablespoon.
    The hoisin sauce does make this pretty sweet, so I think next time I'll just use less or maybe no added sugar. I didn't have time to marinate the chicken first so I skipped that part but the dish still came out very flavorful. I sliced the chicken very thin and cooked it fast so it wouldn't dry out.
     I didn't have dried chilies on hand so I used a chili and garlic sauce that comes in a jar and added some of it to the sauce until I got the heat I wanted.
     It certainly didn't taste like the Kung Pao from my favorite take out place but I would still make the dish again.
     I also added some vegetables like pea pods, broccoli and bell pepper to make it a little healthier.
    I've tried so many different stir fry's with only bland results, this is truely a keeper! I never wrote a review before but this couldn't go unpraised. Yes, it;s awful lot of prep but they all are, this one is worth it. I had to double the ingredients and I stir fried asparatus and pea pods as a vegetable serving. Rave reviews from the family and low fat friendly.
    My family and I loved this recipe and will definitely make it again and again.
    I used shrimp instead of chicken and only used half of the slurry. I didn't have plum sauce so I used oyster sauce. The flavor was still really great. I also added red peppers and lotus root for some veggies and crunch.
    this recipe was totally insipid.
     if people think p f chang's represents real chinese food, they might as well buy the canned stuff at the grocery.
    This recipe is not only easy to follow it tastes great.
    ...but not Kung Pao. Wish I had read the reviews first.
    Love it! This is a great dish to serve to guests...it's very impressive and flavorful! Thanks Wolfgang!
    This was a little spicy...but it wasn't bad.
    I did not like this recipe at all. It did not even taste like Chinese food at all. I would not waste your time making this recipe.
    It tasted nothing like King Pao chicken...or atleast the kind that is good.
    it was not as good as I expected.
     Also, it seems to dry little bit.
    it tastes like P.F. Chang's kungpao chicken. My husband said that it's good but it tastes like, and I said wait, like P.F. Chang's? and he was like how did you know that was what I was thinking.
    This didn't taste like the kung pao that I have ordered in any resturaunt. The sauce was too over powering.
    My husband is the chef, and this is one of those WOW dishes! He left the chiles out once and it was still fabulous. Friends and family rave about this. Thank-you WP!
    I have made this recipe twice and there was no left overs neither time.
    Hoisin sauce in Kung Pao chicken???!! I should have known better but I thought I would try it. If you like a very strong hoisin sauce flavor, then this recipe is for you but if you are looking for something that tastes like Kung Pao chicken - this is not the recipe.
     Also, the prep time noted is not accurate. You will find it takes you about twice as long to get the ingredients ready. Cooking time is about right but you should have experience cooking with a wok.
    This was the closest thing to Chinese take out that ever came out of my kitchen. There was a lot of prep involved, but once things started cooking, it all went quickly. I'll be making this one again!
    Nothing special. A little salty. Good Standard recipe for everyone's recipe box.
    This recipe was fantastic. My husband thought the meal came from PF Chang's when I made it! There are a lot of ingredients and it is a little time-consuming, but DEFINITELY worth it!
    I thought this was going to taste a little bit more like the kung pao that you order in restaurants. It was good. I think I will look for another recipe that is a little more me, next time. It taste better the next day.
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    Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen