Go Back
+ servings

Kung Pao Chicken

close up over head shot of Kung Pao chicken in a dish
Our Kung Pao chicken recipe is the perfect easy meal for a weeknight dinner. Juicy chicken and bell peppers are coated in a homemade ginger and garlic sauce for a flavorful dish that cures the craving for Chinese takeout.
Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Chinese
Servings 6
Calories 293 kcal


  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 tbsp dry sherry divided (you can substitute with apple cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar)
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce divided
  • 3 tbsp sesame oil divided (plus more as needed)
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 2 tbsp water divided
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste or finely minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tbsp roasted garlic paste or finely minced garlic
  • 1 tsp sichuan peppercorns
  • 1 red bell pepper cut into chunks
  • 1 green bell pepper cut into chunks
  • 3 green onions plus more for garnish if desired
  • 8 to 10 chiles de arbol
  • 1/2 cup peanuts


For marinade

  • Cut chicken into 1 inch chunks and pat dry with a paper towel
  • Whisk together 1 tablespoon dry sherry, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water to make a slurry. Whisk until marinade is thoroughly combined. 
  • Add chicken pieces to marinade and toss to combine. Set aside in the refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes.

For sauce

  • In a medium bowl whisk together remaining 1 tablespoon dry sherry, 3 tablespoons of soy sauce, sugar, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, rice vinegar, ginger paste, garlic paste, sichuan peppercorns, and remaining cornstarch/water slurry.
  • Remove stems and seeds from the bell peppers and discard. Discard white parts of the green onions.
  • Cut bell peppers into 1 inch chunks and slice green onions into 1 inch sections.

For cooking the chicken

  • Drain marinating chicken and discard liquid.
  • Heat 1 to 2 tablespoons of sesame oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add drained chicken and saute until browned on all sides and the meat is white and cooked all the way through. Remove chicken from the pan and set aside.

For cooking the sauce

  • Add 1 more tablespoon of sesame oil to the skillet. Add bell peppers and dried chile peppers. Saute for 1 minute. 
  • Pour sauce mixture into skillet with the vegetables (peppers and onions) and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until sauce thickens. 
  • Add cooked chicken, green onions, and peanuts to the pan and saute to warm all ingredients through.
  • Serve immediately.


Calories: 293kcalCarbohydrates: 18gProtein: 21gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 48mgSodium: 765mgPotassium: 520mgFiber: 3gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 953IUVitamin C: 44mgCalcium: 33mgIron: 1mg