Kick-butt Kung Pao Chicken



One of my New Year’s resolution was to try new recipes from my already existing collection of cookbooks.

So, I grabbed five I’ve-been-dying-to-try-these-recipes cookbooks and finally went through and sticky-noted recipes for 2011 trials. This recipe for Kung Pao chicken is one of them.

Good news. It’s fast, easy and super tasty. According to Jack, “It gets two thumbs up plus a toe! It has the perfect amount of spiciness. It’ll leave you with a warm glow.” Dude, that’s high marks from Mr. Picky!

If you like Kung Pao chicken, try this recipe! You won’t regret it.

Start to finish the recipe takes about 25-30 minutes (cooking time is about 10) depending on how long it takes you to chop your ingredients.


Step 1: Make your sauce—sugar, sambal (I used Sriracha chile sauce since I ran out of sambal), soy sauce, sesame oil, lemon juice and zest. Set it aside.


Step 2: Cut your chicken into 1/2-1″ pieces. Lightly coat with corn or potato starch, salt and pepper then set aside.


Step 3: Cut your veggies—I chose to empty my veggie bins and used celery, carrots, baby bok choy, green onions, ginger and garlic. Set aside.


Step 4: In a wok over high heat add 2T safflower oil and stir fry chicken in two batches until cooked through. Plate and set aside.


Step 5: Add 2T oil and cook ginger, garlic and peanuts for 30 seconds while tossing constantly. Add veggies and cook 3-5 minutes. Keep tossing.


Step 6: Add chicken and mix.


Step 7. Add sauce from Step 1, pepper and mix thoroughly.


Dish it up with a fragrant bowl of rice and a beer.

Mànmàn chī! (Bon apetit!)

Kick-butt Kung Pao Chicken
adapted from Simply Ming’s One-Pot Meals

1T sugar
1T Sriracha chile sauce
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1T sesame oil
zest and juice of 1 lemon

1-1/2 to 2lbs chicken meat, 1/2″ dice
1/4 cup cornstarch (or potato starch)
kosher salt and pepper

5T safflower oil (or other neutral oil)
3T garlic, minced
3T ginger, minced
3/4 to 1T coarsely ground pepper (Szechuan peppercorns preferred)

2 cups carrots, 1/2″ chop
2 cups celery, 1/2″ chop
1 baby bok choy, 1/2″ chop
2-3 stalks green onions, chopped
1 cup roasted peanuts

1. Make sauce and set aside.

2. In a large bowl combine chicken, cornstarch, salt and pepper. Set aside.

3. Prep all your veggies.

4. Heat wok over high heat. Add 2T oil and cook chicken in two batches. Plate and set aside.

5. Add 2T oil, cook garlic, ginger, peanuts for 30 seconds. Add veggies and cook 3-5 minutes.

6. Add chicken. Add black pepper to taste (warning—it’s a peppery dish, but that’s what make it good!)

7. Add sauce and mix.

Then plate that baby up and enjoy!


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