kung pao chicken banner

I can’t remember the last time I ordered chinese take-out. It’s a funny thing… our favorite take-out place kept closing then opening again and we find out it’s because of health violations. The town ultimately revoked their food service license and that place closed for good. After all that I decided I might as well just cook our favorite take-out foods at home. It’s nearly as quick and just as delicious. I’m not saying we’ll never get chinese take-out again. I’m just always going to think twice before we do.

This recipe is from Quick & Easy Chinese by Nancie McDermott. Don’t be intimidated by the list of ingredients. It really is easy and you can prepare up to a day in advance and cook it up quickly for an even faster dinner than usual.

Kung Pao Chicken

(adapted from Quick & Easy Chinese)

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cooking sherry
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into bite sized chunks

For the sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cooking sherry
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Cooking the chicken:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon dried chili flakes (adjust to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped scallions (green onions)
  • 3/4 cup dry-roasted, salted peanuts
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

In a glass bowl, whisk together the first 5 ingredients until combined. Add the chicken and toss to coat completely. Cover and marinate while refrigerated for at least 30 minutes or  up to 24 hours. Prepare the sauce by stirring together the sauce ingredients until the dry ingredients are dissolved. (I like to place the sauce ingredients in a glass jar, cover and then refrigerate until I need it.)

kung pao chicken

When you are ready to cook the chicken heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chili flakes and stir into oil for 30 seconds. Add the chicken and cook about 1 minute. When turning the chicken add the garlic, ginger and scallions and continue cooking until the chicken is fully cooked.

kung pao chicken final

Add the sauce to the pan and toss to coat the chicken cooking until thickened. Add peanuts and sesame oil and cook one more minute before serving. Of course this goes well with rice.

Potsticker Dumplings are another recipe from this cookbook that is one of my most popular posts.

Check out all my take-out food at home recipes: