Kung Pao: How to Make Chinese Kung Pao Chicken

Kung Pao Chicken is a Chinese spicy, stir-fried dish made from chicken, peanuts, vegetables, and chili peppers. The traditional Sichuan cuisine dish originated in south-western China’s Sichuan Province and contained peppercorns from Sichuan.

Although the recipe is found across China, regional variations are usually less spicy than the serving of Sichuan. Chicken from Kung Pao is also a staple of Chinese Westernized cuisine.

The traditional Szechuan cuisine dish originated in China’s Sichuan province and contained peppercorns from Sichuan. Thanks to its spicy taste of dried chili peppers, tender chicken cubes, and crunchy peanuts, Kung Pao chicken is a traditional Sichuan dish that is quite popular among people in different countries.


  • Author: Romae Chanice Marquez
  • Recipe Category: Main Dish
  • Cuisine: Chinese

Spicy peanut chicken is similar to what is served in restaurants in China. It’s easy to make, and the measurements can be as sloppy as you want. The whole preparation and cooking time is 1 hour and 30 minutes. This recipe is suitable for at least four people. 

Kung Pao Chicken

Kung Pao Chicken is best paired with steamed white rice. Photo credits to: @falahihouseliving.

Chinese Kung Pao Chicken Ingredients

  • 2 pounds of skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – cut into chunks
  • 3 tablespoons of white wine
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of sesame oil, divided
  • 3 tablespoons of cornstarch, dissolved in 2 tablespoons of water
  • 2 ounces of hot chile paste
  • 2 teaspoons of distilled white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons of brown sugar
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped garlic
  • 1 (8 ounce) can of water chestnuts
  • 6 ounces of chopped peanuts

Chinese Kung Pao Chicken Instructions

Step 1: Combine 1 spoonful of rice, 1 spoonful of soy sauce, 1 spoonful of oil, and 1 spoonful of cornstarch/water mixture, and blend together. In a glass dish or cup, put chicken pieces and add the marinade. Toss to dress up. Cover the bowl and place it for about 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

Step 2: To make the sauce, add a spoonful of rice, a spoonful of soy sauce, a spoonful of oil, a spoonful with corn/water mixture, chili paste, vinegar, and sugar in a small bowl. Mix and add green onion, ginger, water chestnuts, and peanuts. Heat sauce gradually until aromatic in a large skillet.

Step 3: Remove the chicken from the marinade and saute in a large skillet until the meat is white and the juice is clear. Attach sauteed chicken to it when the sauce is spicy, and let it cook until the sauce thickens.

Step 4: Serve while it’s hot. It is best to partner the dish with steamed white rice.

Chinese Kung Pao Chicken Additional Information

  • Per serving has 437 calories, 23g of total fat, 66mg of cholesterol, 596mg of sodium, and 35g of protein. 
  • Chicken is used as its primary ingredient in the original Sichuan version. Diced chicken is usually combined with a prepared marinade in this initial version. Shaoxing wine is used in the marinade to improve the taste.
  • The cook/prep time of this recipe is 1 hour and 30 minutes.
  • This dish serves at least four people.

About Chinese Kung Pao Chicken Recipe

Examples and variations commonly found in the West: kung pao chicken; kung po; or just chicken chili and garlic, consisting of sliced and marinated chicken, oranges or orange juice stir-fried, ginger, garlic, chicken broth, sugar, cooking oil, corn starch, and salt and pepper to taste.

Many other vegetables, such as onions, bell peppers, and carrots, can also be found. The dish is often garnished with whole roasted peanuts and contains them. Western variants also replace other meat, such as beef, duck, fish, and tofu instead of chicken.


Today, there are several variations of the Kung Pao Chicken. However, even though there are some debates about its original recipe, it still remains a staple dish in every type of Asian cuisine. For more international dishes, click here.

Featured Image: @kompasklasika / Instagram, @koh_aming / Instagram