Kung Pao Chicken

The tandem post will be up later this week!

A few weeks ago, Paula submitted this Kung Pao Chicken recipe (original recipe can be found at All Recipes; printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this post) as a possible future tandem post. Since I think we ALL know that Nance is pretty much over Asian recipes at this point (she’s a hater), I snatched it up for myself, and told Nance she was excused.

I think y’all have come to know that I am ALL ABOUT the Asian food.

I have no picture of all the ingredients for this post, because I kind of tossed it together in a half-assed manner, as I am wont to do. So here’s a picture of the marinade.

Kung Pao Chicken (1)

And here’s a picture of the marinade being poured over a pound of cut up boneless skinless chicken breast pieces.

Kung Pao Chicken (2)

See that bottle or Sriracha sitting over there to the right? Well, see, the recipe calls for “hot chile paste.” The problem is that although we have a pretty decent “ethnic foods” section at our grocery store, I could not find one single bottle that was labeled “hot chile paste.” Paula told me that she ended up using Sriracha instead, and since the bottle of Sriracha is labeled “hot chile sauce”, I figured it was good enough.


After we had the Kung Pao Chicken (spoiler: we both liked it), Fred did some looking around online and found that the Kikkoman Sriracha is like 100 times hotter than the Huy Fong Foods version. The next time we were in the grocery store, we bought the Huy Fong Sriracha, and that’s the kind I’ll use next time we have Kung Pao Chicken, because the Kikkoman Sriracha – even though I used half of the amount called for in the recipe – was WAY too hot for my delicate self and in fact was a bit too hot for Fred, who is a lover of hot foods.

While my chicken was marinating, I mixed up the sauce and chopped the green onions.

Once the marinades and sauces are made and the chicken is done marinading, it all comes together pretty quickly. In one pan you cook your chicken, in the other you heat your sauce slowly until it’s aromatic. This is what the sauce looks like as it’s heating:

Kung Pao Chicken (4)

Once the chicken is cooked through, you add it to the sauce (assuming the sauce is “aromatic” by the time the chicken is cooked through, and I will be honest, I’m not exactly sure my sauce was all that “aromatic”, all I can tell you is that it was well heated, and I wasn’t up for sticking my face in the pan and taking a big sniff, so I called it good enough). Then you let it simmer until the sauce thickens.

Kung Pao Chicken (5)

And then you spoon it over rice and eat it.

Kung Pao Chicken (6)

Like I said up there, we liked this a LOT and will absolutely be eating it again. Next time I make it, I’ll cut my chicken pieces smaller (that’s just a personal preference on my part), and I’ll likely double the amount of sauce because I like it saucy.

A++, will eat again, thanks for the submission, Paula!

PS: The original recipe calls for chopped peanuts, which I left out because when I mentioned it to Fred, he made the “That sounds gross” face.

Kung Pao Chicken
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
: Entree
Cuisine: Asian (DUH)
Serves: 4
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast halves - cut into chunks
  • 2 T white wine (I used chicken broth instead)
  • 2 T soy sauce
  • 2 T Sesame oil, divided
  • 2 T cornstarch, dissolved in 2 T water
  • 1 oz hot chile paste (I used Sriracha, and used ½ ounce)
  • 1 tsp distilled white vinegar
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1 T chopped garlic
  • 1 (8 oz) can sliced water chestnuts
  • 4 oz chopped peanuts (optional)
  1. To make marinade: combine 1 T wine (or chicken broth), 1 T soy sauce, 1 T sesame oil, and 1 T. cornstarch/ water mixture and mix together. Place chicken pieces in dish or bowl and add marinade. Toss to coat. Cover dish and put in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  2. -------------------------------------------------------
  3. To make sauce: in a small bowl combine 1 T. wine (or chicken broth), 1 T soy sauce, 1 T oil, 1 T cornstarch/ water mixture, chili paste (or Sriracha), vinegar, and sugar. Mix together and add green onion, garlic, water chestnuts, and peanuts. In a medium skillet, heat sauce slowly until aromatic.
  4. ----------------------------------------------------------
  5. Meanwhile, remove chicken from marinade and saute in a large skillet until meat is white and juices run clear. When sauce is aromatic, add sauteed chicken to it and let simmer together until sauce thickens.



Kung Pao Chicken — 26 Comments

      • I LOVE kung pao chicken and order it all the time. But you have to add the peanuts! I actually did clutch my chest when I read that you left them out because they are the best part! 🙂

      • I have always been meh about the peanuts in Chinese Food. It just sits in there tasting like a peanut and being all hard. Peanut is not a team player.

  1. I don’t see green onions in the list of ingredients (and I looked four times to make sure I hadn’t missed it). How many did you use? (Also, we are not fans of the water chestnut. Do you think it would be OK without?)

    • One day I’ll learn to proof read! Sorry about that, I fixed it so that the green onions are in the ingredients list now. I used four big ones. And I think that it would be just fine without the water chestnuts if you’re not a fan.

  2. Ooooooh, I feel famous!!

    I left out the peanuts, too, and only used a squirt of the Sriracha, which I will leave out all together the next time because I am a big baby!!

    But it was fast and easy and yummy!

  3. Robyn, this is hot chile paste: http://www.huyfong.com/no_frames/oelek.htm

    If the store carries Huy Fong Sriracha, I’d think they’d also have the chile paste. I always use the garlic chile paste because I just like it better.

    I love that Rooster Sauce (Sriracha) has become such a hit. It’s been a staple in my area for as long as I can remember.

      • For some reason, in our grocery store, the Huy Fong products are off in a section by themselves, which I didn’t realize at the time I was looking for chile paste. Now that I know, I’m going to look for chile paste there, and also grab some peanuts and make it according to the recipe!

  4. I am very happy to see this recipe. I love Kung Pao Chicken, but have never tried to make it myself, perhaps because I thought it would be mor difficult. This will be great to try, and yes, the peanuts are wonderful in it.

  5. We’ve never had Kung Pao Chicken but it’s always sounded good. Maybe I’ll give this a try. We have the Huy Fong Sriracha, the hubby loves it especially on pizza so I’ll just use it when/if I make it.

    By the way, I did make the Cheesy Bacon Chicken Casserole last weekend and it was a big hit. I didn’t measure any of the seasonings I put in, just sort of kept sprinkling them in. The only thing I added to it besides the salt, pepper and garlic already listed was Paprika and hot red paper flakes. Other than a couple bites with extra pepper flakes it was just right. And I used Mozzarella cheese instead. Anyway, we both really liked it and will definitely be making it again.

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