Easy Kung Pao Chicken Recipe (Better Than Takeout Chinese Food)

easy kung pao chicken recipe chinese food, better than take out

This easy kung-pao chicken recipe will fulfill that craving for spicy Chinese Food. It’s a stir-fry chicken recipe using marinated, dark meat chicken that has a lot of juiciness, and a flavorful homemade stir-fry sauce.  Since I am unable to find a wok, I just used a favorite skillet pan of mine and it worked great for cooking the kung pao chicken. Not everyone likes peanuts or can have them in this dish due to allergies.  That’s a simple thing to remove and doesn’t even need a replacement as there’s tons of flavor without it.  Two of my favorite ingredients in the world are ginger and garlic, and you’ll find both in this kung pao chicken recipe. 

easy kung pao chicken recipe chinese food, better than take out

Easy Kung Pao Chicken Recipe
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
30 mins
Course: Main Course, Main Dish
Cuisine: Asian
To marinate the chicken:
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken thighs cut into small bite pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper or black pepper if you don't have it
  • 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon roasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch or use all purpose flour if you don't have it
Stir Fry Sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chinese rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1 tablespoon Chinkiang Vinegar or Chinese Black Vinegar or white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
For Stir Fry:
  • 3 tablespoons peanut oil/vegetable oil
  • 1 medium green bell pepper diced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper diced
  • 2 teaspoons garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger
  • 4 tablespoons chopped green onions white and light green parts only
  • 1 package dried arbol chilies (about 8-10 pieces) you can find this at any grocery stores
  • 1/2 cup unsalted roasted peanuts
  1. In a medium mixing bowl, stir in salt, white pepper, dark soy sauce, chinese rice wine, sugar, sesame oil and corn starch until dissolved. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Put in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  2. In a mixing bowl: add dark soy sauce, chinese wine, vinegar, chicken stock, sugar, sesame oil and corn starch until dissolved.
  3. In a skillet pan or wok, heat over high heat.  Heat 1 tablespoon oil until smoking, add chicken and cook until you see no pink (for about 3 minutes). Set aside.

  4. Clean the wok/skillet and heat 2 tablespoons oil over high heat until smoking. Add bell peppers, stir for about 1 minute. 

  5. Add peanut and stir for 1 minute.

  6. Add the remaining ingredients (garlic, ginger, green onions and dried chilies) and stir fry for 30 seconds. 

  7. Add the chicken back to the skillet and stir in the sauce. Keep stirring until the chicken is cooked through.

  8. Turn of the heat and transfer to a plate. Serve with rice and enjoy. 

adapted from Serious Eats and Epicurious 

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    Mar 23, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    This looks SO good! I love cooking wholesome healthy foods and this is just that! I love all the chilies too! What a pretty dish to serve!

  • Reply
    Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle
    Mar 23, 2017 at 3:18 pm

    That looks so good! I can’t wait to give this a try. I have the perfect pan for it and the perfect taste buds!

  • Reply
    Sarah Bailey
    Mar 23, 2017 at 3:22 pm

    Oh wow now this sounds absolutely delicious and something I would most definitely love to try myself, I’m almost drooling at the thought.

  • Reply
    Vera Sweeney
    Mar 23, 2017 at 3:51 pm

    That looks so good! I love Asian food but I’ve never made it at home before. I can’t wait to give this recipe a try.

  • Reply
    Mar 23, 2017 at 5:21 pm

    Oh this looks so good!! I will definitely have to try this out.

  • Reply
    Kelly Hutchinson
    Mar 23, 2017 at 5:30 pm

    Kung Pao Chicken is my husband’s favorite dish. I am sure he would love this recipe!

  • Reply
    up run for life
    Mar 24, 2017 at 11:46 am

    This looks amazing. I like Kung Pao chicken but it is a bit too spicy for my liking these days. I prefer orange chicken.

  • Reply
    Mar 24, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    Thank you I love finding new cooking ideas. It looks so healthy for a Chinese takeout too.

  • Reply
    Emma Spellman
    Mar 24, 2017 at 10:24 pm

    This recipe looks divine! We don’t even order Chinese anymore because it has so much salt. I can’t wait to try this!

  • Reply
    Aduke Schulist
    Mar 26, 2017 at 2:47 pm

    This looks delicious. I love Chinese food, and I like it even better when it’s something I can make at home.

  • Reply
    Mar 26, 2017 at 11:04 pm

    Thanks for the recipe. This looks so delicious that I am going to have to make it up this week!

  • Reply
    Tiffany Hathorn
    Mar 26, 2017 at 11:24 pm

    Ooh, I need to try this! I love Kung Pao Chicken, so it would be nice to be able to make it at home.

  • Reply
    Befitting Style
    Mar 27, 2017 at 1:14 am

    This looks amazing! Great job. I’m pinning this.

  • Reply
    Stephanie Pass
    Mar 27, 2017 at 3:20 am

    This looks so amazing! I love making a dish that tastes better than getting as takeout. Though, I’m not sure I could take all the spiciness right now as a pregnant lady, lol.

  • Reply
    Shannon Gurnee
    Mar 27, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    This looks and sounds like a delicious meal! I have a hard time eating spicy things, but I know people in my family would love this!

  • Reply
    The Trophy WifeStyle
    Mar 27, 2017 at 12:48 pm

    Omg can we say yum?!? I just love Chinese food! So need to give your recipe a try

  • Leave a Reply