Kung Pao Chicken

Kung Pao Chicken original recipe

The recipe for Kung Pao chicken is certainly one of the most popular dishes in Chinese cuisine. And I think it’s one of the favorite recipes for many. Definitely for me. I can really eat Kung Pao almost every day.

Kung Pao is a classic that you can often enjoy in the restaurant or as a takeout. But it’s actually pretty easy to do at home. And more importantly, your homemade Kung Pao will often taste even better.

Some Kung Pao chicken recipes may differ slightly. I understand that a lot of people adapt it to their tastes. Of course, there is nothing wrong with that.

In my opinion, however, this amazing Sichuan dish tastes best when it is made properly with traditional ingredients.

Kuracie Kung Pao Originál


What is Kung Pao chicken made of?

Kung Pao chicken recipe comes from China, more precisely from Sichuan Province. This region is characterized, among other things, by Sichuan peppercorns and their interesting flavor.

Sichuan pepper is very specific and it is not easy to describe its taste. The peppercorns of this spice are mildly spicy and have a delightful citrus aroma, which gives the tingling feeling to the tip of the tongue.

The recipe for Kung Pao chicken is known almost all over the world, and it is the Sichuan spice that makes this dish so unique and that has “moved” it to the Western world.

If you want to make an original Kung Pao, you can’t leave out this unusual spice.

In case that you are not familiar with Sichuan peppercorns, start with a little bit. The tingling, numbing effect can truly surprise you. I have to say that as I cooked Kung Pao for the first time, I added almost two tablespoons of Sichuan pepper and it was definitely way too much. It was so pungent and strong that I couldn’t taste any other flavors of the dish. And I was probably the only one who finished the plate.

As it is a lesser-known and very specific spice, it must be handled with care at the beginning. Try to start with only half a teaspoon. You can gradually add more at a time. And don’t forget to crush Sichuan peppercorns beforehand.


How to make Kung Pao chicken?

With traditional Kung Pao, the harmony of the right technique (stir fry) and suitable ingredients is essential.

As for the technique, it is important to stir fry everything in a wok at really high heat. The procedure is similar to this hoisin chicken stir fry recipe. The wok can be even a little hotter.

Juicy Kung Pao Chicken

That is why it is necessary to cut everything into small pieces so that the ingredients can be nicely cooked or fried in such a short time. The whole cooking itself should take you only about 7 minutes.

For this reason, I recommend chicken breasts, which are quickly done and yet remain very juicy. Before cooking, don’t forget to slice them and marinate them for at least 15 minutes.

In addition to the marinated meat, we need to make a sauce, which you add just before finishing Kung Pao. The presence of corn starch is important, which guarantees a characteristic thickness.

The marinade and sauce for an authentic Kung Pao recipe should also include Shaoxing wine. It is a Chinese rice wine that is commonly available in Asian supermarkets.

If you really want to enjoy the traditional Kung Pao chicken, make it with these unique ingredients. I guarantee you that Sichuan spices, Shaoxing wine, and the right technique will take your Kung Pao to another level.

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Kung Pao Chicken original recipe

Kung Pao Chicken

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5 from 2 reviews

  • Author: Cook Homey
  • Total Time: 25 min
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


The recipe for Kung Pao chicken is a quick way to make a delicious dinner. Few ingredients, lots of great flavors. Kung Pao is definitely one of my favorite dishes!


Units Scale
  • 450g chicken breast
  • 7 pieces of dried chili (deseeded)
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 piece of ginger (1,5 inches)
  • 3 or 4 spring onions
  • 120g peanuts (raw, unsalted)
  • 1/2 or 1 tsp of Sichuan peppercorns

Marinade for chicken:

  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp salt


  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp black vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar


  1. First, marinate the meat. Cut the chicken breasts into smaller cubes and place them in a bowl with the marinade ingredients. Mix well and let rest for at least 15 minutes.
  2. Cut the chili into half-inch pieces. Slice garlic and ginger into thin slices and white ends of spring onions into larger pieces (about the size of the chilies). Use green parts later to garnish your Kung Pao. Also gently toast the peanuts in a pan.
  3. Prepare the sauce by combining the sauce ingredients above, which you will later add to the wok.
  4. Heat the oil in a wok on high heat, add the meat and fry until golden brown for about 4 minutes.
  5. If your wok is smaller, set the fried meat aside. If there is enough space, move the meat to the side of the wok and place the garlic, ginger, white parts of spring onions, dried chilies, and crushed Sichuan peppercorns in the center. Stir fry for about a minute.
  6. After that, add the chicken back to the wok together with the prepared sauce. Stir fry for another 2 minutes.
  7. Turn off the heat and add the toasted peanuts and green parts of spring onions. Mix well and serve with some nice hot rice.


If the finished kung pao looks too thick because of cornstarch, add a few tablespoons of water as needed and mix well. This will create an excellent consistency to your liking.

Use the raw peanuts and toast them in a pan. Try to avoid salted and pre-roasted peanuts.

  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 10 min
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stir-fry
  • Cuisine: Sichuan


  • Serving Size: 4 servings , Amount per serving:
  • Calories: 321
  • Sugar: 3.5g
  • Sodium: 5122mg
  • Fat: 15.9g
  • Saturated Fat: 2g
  • Carbohydrates: 14.8g
  • Fiber: 3.2g
  • Protein: 31.4g
  • Cholesterol: 72mg

6 Responses

  1. I eat kung pao at least twice a week. I looove this dish. And your recipe is amazing! It is on point, thumbs up.

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I’m Juraj and I come from Slovakia. It’s a small country in the heart of Europe. I believe you all love food and cooking as much as I do. On this blog you will find a variety of recipes that you can easily and joyfully prepare at home.

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