Kung Pao Chicken – Better Than TakeOut

Kung Pao Chicken – Few people would be surprised to learn that a large proportion of Chinese food restaurants in America have adopted the dishes to please local palates. If you traveled to China, you would discover the recipes vary from one region to the next, but here in the states, they could vary within a restaurant based on the cook.

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Kung Pao Chicken

#KungPaoChicken - Do you enjoy Kung Pao Chicken? This is a good recipe to start with. Hey, you could even adapt it to your own tastes. After a few tries, you will probably never order it to go again.

Now should you try the fast food type teriyaki restaurant generally run by Korean individuals, the dishes will reflect their version of Chinese and Japanese dishes.

In our small corner of California, this was true of the neighborhood teriyaki restaurant run by an elder Korean lady.

Kung Pao Chicken

Case in point was their version of Kung Pao Chicken, it had a noticeably sweet garlic flavor and leaned heavily toward the heat. Personally, I loved how the heat challenged you to grab another bite. I often ordered their version because it was so tasty.

Unfortunately, this dish varies greatly, dependent upon where you order it. You can usually count on roasted peanuts and mouth murdering Sichuan peppers. Dried chili peppers coupled with the Sichuan created a taste that for me is practically irresistible.

Kung Pao Chicken


The good news is creating savory Kung Pao Chicken isn’t really too hard if you have the proper ingredients at your disposal. I decided today would be the time to post my favorite version of a recipe I thoroughly enjoy.

To be honest, I hardly ever order it out anymore, partly because it is difficult to pay 4 times what I know it costs to make the dish and of course, I like my version the best.

Do you enjoy Kung Pao Chicken? If you are ready to try your hand, this is a good recipe to start with. Hey, you could even adapt it to your own tastes. After a few tries, you will probably never order it to go again.

Kung Pao Chicken

Some prefer cashews, but I tend to gravitate toward dry roasted peanuts. Another change I made was using chicken thigh meat rather than breast. Not only are thighs cheaper, but they also tend to have a bit more flavor.

If you lean toward hotter foods, add more chili peppers and if you want a full-on meal, stir fry it with asparagus, broccoli or bok choy. Steamed white rice is a crowd pleaser, but honestly, I enjoy it more with brown rice.

Kung Pao Chicken

The takeaway? Create a dish that fits your style and most importantly, your taste buds!

Get the recipe below and enjoy! If you’ve tried the recipe or have any questions, don’t hesitate to let us know below! Also, if you’ve tried it, we’d be happy to hear how it turned out.
Kung Pao Chicken

Kung Pao Chicken

Rate this recipe
7 ratings
Recipe by: Calleigh | TheForkBite.com
Category: Entree
Cuisine: Chinese, Asian

Do you enjoy Kung Pao Chicken? This is a good recipe to start with. Hey, you could even adapt it to your own tastes. After a few tries, you will probably never order it to go again.

Kung Pao Chicken


675.63 kcal
    For the Marinade:
  1. 1 lb chicken breast / thigh
  2. 1 tsp dark soy sauce
  3. 1 tbsp Chinese Cooking Wine (or dry sherry)
  4. 2 tsp baking soda
  5. 1/2 tsp white pepper
    For Kung Pao Chicken Sauce:
  1. 1 tbsp dark sauce
  2. 3 tbsp light soy sauce
  3. 2 tbsp black vinegar
  4. 3 tbsp sugar (add more if you want sweet)
  5. 1 tsp cornstarch
  6. 1 or 2 tbsp Chinese Cooking wine (or dry sherry)
  7. 1/2 cup chicken stock
    For Stir Fry:
  1. 2 tbsp cooking oil
  2. 5 cloves of garlic (minced)
  3. 2 tbsp minced ginger
  4. 10 dried chili peppers (cut & take off the seeds)
  5. 1 tsp Szechuan peppercorns (toasted and lightly grind - this process is optional*)
  6. 4-6 stalks scallions
  7. 1/2 cup unsalted peanuts
  8. 1 tsp sesame oil
  9. 1/4 cup water
  10. 1 tbsp sugar


    Marinate First
  1. Marinate the chicken by adding the marinade ingredients in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  2. Prepare the sauce by mixing all the sauce ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
    Cook the Dish:
  1. Heat 2 tbsp oil over high heat. Cook the marinated chicken and place in a bowl. Set aside.
  2. In the same wok add another tablespoon oil (in low-medium heat). Add the ginger, garlic, chilies, and Szechuan peppercorns. Stir and cook for 30 seconds or a minute to infuse the flavor on the oil.
  3. Now, stir up your prepared Kung Pao sauce as the cornstarch may have settled to the bottom, so make sure it’s well incorporated.
  4. Pour the sauce into the wok and let it boil. Add 1/4 cup of water and 1 tbsp of sugar (optional if you don't want sweet).
  5. Keep stirring until the sauce has reduced and thickened.
  6. Add the cooked chicken back to the wok/pot and stir fry all together. Now, you can add the scallions and the unsalted peanuts.
  7. Give everything a final stir and serve hot with jasmine rice.


1. If black vinegar is not available, you may use apple cider vinegar, rice vinegar or red wine vinegar.
2. Adjust the saltiness level accordingly as soy sauce has different level of sodium. If your sauce tastes too salty, just add more sugar and water.

Nutrition Facts

Kung Pao Chicken


Amount Per Serving
Calories 675.63 kcal
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 38.14 g 58.7%
Saturated Fat 6.68 g 33.4%
Trans Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 97.97 mg 32.7%
Sodium 1699.79 mg 70.8%
Total Carbohydrate 42.88 g 14.3%
Dietary Fiber 5.62 g 22.5%
Sugars 27.47 g
Protein 44.1 g
Vitamin A Vitamin C
Calcium Iron

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.


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32 thoughts on “Kung Pao Chicken – Better Than TakeOut”

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  4. This is one of my favorite Chinese recipe. This is perfect for Friday takeout but not anymore because I can try your recipe. This looks so tempting.. I’m drooling actually.

  5. Jessie Hunter

    This is absolutely one of my favorite Chinese food. You made it so easy how I wish I can cook this real soon. All I have to do is to visit our local Asian market.

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  13. This recipe sounds amazing! And an added bonus, it sounds pretty easy to make too 🙂 I’ll have to give it a whirl next time I’m cooking up a storm in the kitchen x

  14. Your recipe looks really great. Unfortunately I am a vegetarian but there’s always a few switches I could make to enjoy this too.

  15. Thank you so much for this recipe! I love Kun Pao Chicken but I’ve never made it myself. I shall try because it is really difficult to find a good Chinese restaurant in Swizerland!

    Nati | Polished Polyglot

  16. You’re right, I might just never order it outside because of this recipe. I really love Asian food and all their spices and stuff, especially Teriyaki variations. I’m looking forward to learning more delicious food like this from here!

  17. I’m vegan but can totally see how I can modify this dish. It looks SOOO tasty! I’d probably switch and use cashews cause I love them so much. Lol!

  18. Wow this recipe has me so hungry now! It looks absolutely amazing and delicious! I need to make this for my family.

  19. I have tried Kung Pao Chicken in the restaurants and it is a popular dish in Singapore. However I do not know how to cook it! I like how you also added in peanuts as some of the restaurants here do not serve with peanuts. I like peanuts so I will certainly add in some to spark up the taste.

  20. That really do look yummy with easy to follow recipes. I do love me some Asian recipes and i must admit i am in love with this. the picture really does it justice. Thanks for sharing this amazing recipe.

  21. Kung Pao Chicken is one of my favorite and Yes, I always take out from my favorite place. Your recipe looks great, I need to try this out myself. Love our pictures, it looks so delicious.

  22. You are so right because if you actually go to Asia,something like orange chicken doesn’t really exist. You’re so lucky to be able to cook a dish you like aND modify it to your taste. I need to follow your recipe exactly in order for it to come out right. Looks great!

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About me:

abt me 150x150 Hi there, my name is Calleigh. Glad you’re here, you will find recipes that are easy to make and taste fantastic. You’ll also find some of my personal favorite foods, ones I’ve eaten in restaurants. Thank you for stopping by.

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