Kung Pao Chicken


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Kung Pao Chicken recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

Roasted peanuts, ginger, garlic and spicy red chilies give this simple chicken dish a kick that makes it quite unique. This was a spicier meal than I was expecting and the spice-lovers in my family really enjoyed it.

My husband and oldest son ate theirs peppers and all, I simply left the peppers on my plate and it was the perfect level of heat for my taste.

My favorite flavors these days are found in Asian foods and I am always looking for more stir fry ideas. Rasa Malaysia is an awesome website full of easy authentic Chinese recipes.

The ingredients in this recipe are a little different from what I was used to, but they were all very easy to find at the Asian market.

Recipe notes: Black Soy Sauce is thick and almost syrupy and just the teaspoon of it in this recipe made a difference. I didn’t purchase the black vinegar, because I wasn’t convinced that ¼ teaspoon was going to make or break the recipe.

I subbed in the balsamic, which was the closest thing I could find and it worked great. These dried red chiles are very small, not like the Mexican Red Chiles used here. These were labeled Thai chilies and they are only about 1″ long.

Kung Pao Chicken recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

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Kung Pao Chicken

Recipe adapted from and with thanks to Rasa Malaysia
Pin Print Review
Servings: 3 servings


  • Stir-fry Ingredients:
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into 1/2" - 3/4" pieces
  • 3 tablespoons roasted peanuts
  • 6-10 dried red chilies de-seeded and split in half lengthwise, I used 8 and it was plenty of heat for us.
  • 3 tablespoons light flavor olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1 " fresh ginger cut into matchsticks
  • 2 cloves garlic sliced very thin
  • 1 stalk scallion or green onion sliced thin
  • Marinade Ingredients:
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch or arrowroot
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine
  • 1 teaspoon light flavor olive oil
  • Sauce Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon black vinegar or balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch or arrowroot


  • Combine the chicken with the marinade ingredients and toss to coat. Let rest for 30 minutes. Whisk together the sauce ingredients and set aside. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet or wok over medium high heat. Add the chicken and cook until lightly browned and almost cooked through, about 3 minutes. Remove the chicken to a plate and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the skillet.
  • Place the skillet back on the stove and warm again until it is almost smoking. Add in the ginger and garlic and stir to coat. Add the chilies and stir fry until they are aromatic, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken back to the skillet, along with the peanuts. Toss together a few times and then add the sauce, stirring until the chicken is well-coated. Cook about a minute to slightly reduce the sauce and then add the scallions. Stir to combine and then serve over hot rice. Enjoy!
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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Jenn says

    Yum! Kung Pao anything is one of my favorite dishes. I've tried a few different recipes and found one I like, but this one I have got to try for sure. I like the different ingredients in this. Thanks for posting!

  2. The Mom Chef says

    Oh my gosh, that looks so amazing. I'm with Jenn. I love Kung Pao too. I'm going to have to look for that soy sauce and give this a go. I might even seek out the vinegar (I love my vinegars). Thanks for sharing your delicious dish.

  3. Sandy H says

    I am going to make this and try the black vinegar that I finally found. I am curious on how 1/4 teaspoon can even be noticed with those chiles in the dish.