This Easy Kung Pao Chicken Recipe is a quick and easy Chinese inspired recipe that can be ready in less than 30 minutes and makes a great weeknight meal to celebrate Chinese New Year or for any time of year.
I originally published this Easy Kung Pao Chicken Recipe on PenneyLane.com in February 2015 for Chinese New Year when I was a contributor to that site.
However, that blogger stopped blogging and took down her site. Therefore, I have published the original recipe here.
This Easy Kung Pao Chicken Recipe offers:
- a quick and easy complete meal with chicken, vegetables, kung pao sauce, and rice in under 30 minutes;
- a restaurant quality Chinese dinner that tastes better than take-out, and is made using mostly pantry ingredients;
- a few tidbits of trivia about the upcoming Chinese New Year to impress your friends;
- an ahhhh-mazing sweet, spicy, and savory Kung Pao sauce.
Our favorite place for Kung Pao Chicken was a little family-owned restaurant near our house. We ate there for a number of years until the restaurant closed.
We tried several other restaurants afterward but their Kung Pao was not the same. We gave up trying to find another restaurant, and instead, now I make the Kung Pao Chicken at home.
To make this recipe you will need sesame oil and Hoisin sauce. Both of these have incredible flavor and I recommend making both a pantry staple. They are found in the International aisles of most grocery stores or should be available at your local Asian market.
I understand that you may not want to buy an ingredient just for one recipe, which is why I also recommend checking out some of my other favorite Asian dishes that use either Hoisin sauce or Sesame Oil:
- Pepper Steak in Wonton Cups – a wonderful Asian-inspired bite-sized appetizer
- Sticky Asian Chicken Wings – a sweet and spicy Asian-inspired chicken wings.
- Spicy Orange Chicken – a chicken dish in a sweet and spicy orange sauce similar to a popular restaurant chain.
- Teriyaki Chicken Stir Fry – a quick and easy Asian stir fry that can be on the table in 20 minutes.
Tips for Perfect Kung Pao Chicken
- Use good quality ingredients for the best results.
- Don’t skip the cornstarch. Dredging the chicken in cornstarch makes it crispy.
- Use a good quality balsamic vinegar, one that is sweeter than regular vinegar. If you have one that is more vinegary, you may need to add some sugar to the sauce to offset the additional vinegar taste.
- I recommend using a lite soy sauce or one that is reduced-sodium because regular soy sauce is extremely salty and could cause the dish to be too salty.
- If you add more vegetables or like to pour sauce over rice, then you may want to consider doubling the sauce.
What Ingredients Are In Kung Pao Chicken
Here is a list of ingredients you will need to make Kung Pao Chicken. Scroll down to the printable recipe card to see the specific amounts of each ingredient.
- Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, cut into cubes
- Minced garlic
- Green bell pepper, chopped
- Red bell pepper, chopped
- Green onions, chopped
- Roasted peanuts
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Hoisin Sauce
- Soy Sauce
- Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
- Vegetable oil
- Sesame Oil
How To Make Easy Kung Pao Chicken
Here are the basic steps to make this Easy Kung Pao Chicken. For more detailed instructions, scroll down to the printable recipe card.
- Heat oil in wok or cast iron skillet.
- Dredge chicken cubes in cornstarch.
- Add chicken cubes to hot cast iron skillet and cook until the chicken is no longer pink.
- Add red and green bell peppers and cook until they are just tender.
- To make the sauce, in a bowl stir together hoisin, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, sesame oil, minced garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes.
- Pour the sauce over the chicken and vegetables in the pan. Cook until the sauce is thickened.
Don’t wait until Chinese New Year to make this recipe! It is so quick and easy and delicious that you can make it all year round and skip the Chinese takeout.
This is the RECIPE that was formerly posted on PenneyLane.com. However, that site no longer exists.
If you like this recipe, be sure to follow me on:
Easy Kung Pao Chicken
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into cubes
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 green bell pepper chopped
- 4 green onions chopped
- 1/4 cup peanuts roasted
- 1/2 red bell pepper chopped
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar (good quality)
- 2 teaspoons corn starch
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 Tablespoon hoisin sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons corn starch
Baking & Spices
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
Oils & Vinegar
- 2 tbsp Peanut or vegetable oil
- In a medium bowl, stir in the soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, sesame oil, and cornstarch until the cornstarch is dissolved. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Let stand at room temperature for about 10 minutes.
- In another bowl, combine the balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, and cornstarch. Stir until the cornstarch is dissolved and set aside.
- Heat peanut oil (or vegetable oil) in a wok or large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.
- Stir in the crushed red pepper flakes.
- Add the chopped red and green bell peppers to the hot skillet and cook until they are softened.
- Add the chicken and continue stirring the chicken for about 4 or 5 minutes or until it is no longer pink.
- Pour the sauce over the chicken and vegetables and cook until the sauce is thickened.
- Garnish with peanuts and chopped green onions. Serve hot over rice