Kung Pao Chicken

Kung Pao Chicken is a classic Chinese dish from the Szechuan region however it has long become a classic staple of the Westernised take away and this is my version!

Kung Pao Chicken is a classic Chinese dish from the Szechuan region however it has long become a classic staple of the Westernised take away and regular readers will know that I love a good ‘fakeaway’ so you know this was gonna crop up sooner or later.

Whilst I am fairly keen on playing with my recipes I think that this Kung Pao Chicken stays pretty close to its roots being heady with Szechuan pepper corns and plenty of dried chili flakes but lets face it what would I know, I’ve never been to China.

One thing I do know is that it is very tasty and a dish that I know will always put a smile on my wifes face.

Apparently the name of this dish hails after the Governer of the Szechuan state in China and is often translated as Gong Bao and Kung Po but they are all apparently the same dish. It all seems very complicated but it is far from it, one of the reasons I love Chinese ‘Fakeaways’ is the speed, once you get going 10-15 minutes later you have a wonderfully tasty bowl of food.

Kung Pao Chicken is a classic Chinese dish from the Szechuan region however it has long become a classic staple of the Westernised take away and this is my version!

In case you are new here my obsession with ‘fakeaways’ comes from the fact that the nearest takeaway that I can buy locally that is not Pizza or Hungarian is 160km away and takeaway food just aint the same after an hours drive in each direction.

So whether it is Indian like my Lamb Madras or my Szechuan stir fry beef all my take aways come from my little Hungarian kitchen.

I think I am getting all a bit tired of the same old produce as is pretty normal for me as the seasons come to an end. As a result I am running low on inspiration, at the start of each season I am overwhelmed by choice and ideas of what I want to cook, my mind is already racing forward to peas, asparagus and radishes.

Kung Pao Chicken is a classic Chinese dish from the Szechuan region however it has long become a classic staple of the Westernised take away and this is my version!

Conversely I am over potatoes, onions and pumpkins and just want it all to be over and to able to get out in our garden and write recipes using what ever is good in the garden.

So much so in fact I have been searching through my photographs from 2015 looking for the first appearance of the asparagus spears in the garden and it would seem that they broke the earth at the start of the second week of March. It will be a a glorious day and if you listen ‘vewy, vewy carefully’ you may hear the cheers from your own garden.

Kung Pao Chicken is a classic Chinese dish from the Szechuan region however it has long become a classic staple of the Westernised take away and this is my version!

Kung Pao Chicken is a classic Chinese dish from the Szechuan region however it has long become a classic staple of the Westernised take away and this is my version!

Kung Pao Chicken

5 from 4 votes
Kung Pao Chicken is a classic Chinese dish from the Szechuan region however it has long become a classic staple of the Westernised take away and this is my version! 
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Keyword Chinese Chicken Recipe, Chinese Stir Fry, Chinese Takeout, Fast Chicken Dinner Recipe, Kung Pao Chicken Recipe
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 759kcal
Author Brian Jones

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp Light Soy Sauce
  • 1/2 Tbsp Shaoxing wine
  • 1 1/2 Tsp Cornflour
  • 1 Tbsp Cold Water
  • 2 Chicken Breasts Skinless cut in half lengthways then into 5mm strips on the diagonal
  • 75 g Cashew Nuts Raw Unsalted
  • 4 Cloves Garlic Finely Sliced
  • 35 g Ginger Cut into thin batons
  • 1 Tsp Dried Chili Flakes
  • 1 Tbsp Szechuan Pepper Corns
  • 2 Salad Onions Thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp Cooking Oil Neutral

For the Sauce

  • 1 Tbsp Light Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 Tsp Cornflour
  • 1 Tsp Light Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tsp Dark Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Chiangking Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Water
  • 1 Tsp Sesame Oil

Instructions

  • Mix together 1 tbsp light soy sauce, 1/2 tbsp Shaoxing wine, 1 tbsp water and 1 1/2 tsp of cornflour to form a quick marinade and add in the sliced chicken whilst you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  • Toast off your cashew nuts in a dry wok and set aside.
  • Mix together the ingredients for the sauce and set aside.
  • Ensure you have all of your ingredients prepared before you start cooking as we are gonna go pretty fast now.
  • Heat the flavourless cooking oil in a very hot wok until just before it begins to smoke.
  • Add in the Szechuan pepper, chili flakes, garlic and ginger and stir fry for 1 minute.
  • Then add in your chicken along with the marinade and stir fry for 4-5 minutes.
  • Add in most of the salad onions but keep some green bits back for garnish.
  • The pour in the sauce it will thicken and go silky very quickly.
  • Finally add in your cashew nuts and cook until the chicken is cooked through, this should take no longer than another couple of minutes.

Video

Notes

Serve with plain white rice.
Kung Pao Chicken is a classic Chinese dish from the Szechuan region however it has long become a classic staple of the Westernised take away and this is my version!

Readers Comments

28 thoughts on “Kung Pao Chicken”

  1. You know, I now keep dark soy sauce in the house in addition to regular because of you (and use it quite a bit when making fakeaway). Can you recommend a good substitute for Shaoxing wine? How often do you use it? We’ve liked the other takeaway recipes of yours we’ve tried, and so this one will likely happen at some point.

    • I love to hear stuff like this, I use Shaoxing wine in quite a lot of recipes and it has a decent shelf life although you can substitute for other rice wines the most commonly recommended substitute is dry sherry, although I personally think that the flavour of gin is much and prefer to use that as a substitute when required.

  2. As a new yorker, i cannot imagine being that far away from chinese or pizza!! King pao chicken is a STAPLE in our house but we almost never make it ourselves. Bookmarking this one, for sure.

  3. I need to find that Shaoxing wine, I see you use it a lot! This looks so delicious, I hardly cook Chinese, but have been craving it and want to try some simple, yummy recipes. This looks perfect!

    • Thanks Whitney, Shaoxing wine is a type of rice wine and it should be readily available in good oriental markets, however there are substitutes you can use, the most common recommended one is dry sherry although I find the taste very different and if I am out would usually use gin which I think has a much closer flavour profile to rice wine than sherry does.

  4. I’m so jealous of your garden Brian ๐Ÿ™‚ There’s nothing that compares to the taste of a fresh vegetable, right from your backyard! I’ll be totally honest and tell you I don’t eat a ton of Chinese food, but it’s because I’ve never really known how to cook it. The fact that your recipe is so easy to make might spur me in that direction for an easy weeknight meal!

    • I’ll be wishing the garden was a great deal smaller in a few weeks time but for now I can’t wait to get back at it. Chinese food is really simple to cook and the trick is have EVERYTHING prepared before you even heat up the wok, once you get going things happen very quickly and if you ‘mither’ it can often screw up the dish, so prepare everything in bowls and place them in the order you throw them in the wok and off you go. Once you get it right once there will be no looking back.

  5. Oh I miss having asparagus in my garden! I am like you and am ready for spring vegetables to make its way to the stands. This Kung Pao looks delish and I love your photos!

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