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Kung Pao Chicken {Easy Delicious Family Style}

by Shirley

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Kung Pao Chicken {Easy Delicious Family Style}

Kung Pao Chicken is among the most popular Chinese food in the west. Easy Delicious Family Style Kung Pao Chicken features juicy, savory chicken thigh bites, crunchy flavorful peanuts, and refreshing green pepper. Family Style Kung Pao Chicken also uses less oil or chili pepper so that every family member can enjoy this well-liked Chinese dish. Truly perfect to pair with rice for a quick, yummy, and healthy rice bowl dinner.

Kung Bao Chicken {Easy Delicious Family Style}
Kung Bao Chicken {Easy Delicious Family Style}

Keep reading to learn all the tips and tricks on how to make this like a pro in less than 20 minutes.

Kung Pao Chicken Ingredients:

Chicken

I use chicken thighs, as the meat has more flavor and tender. I usually get a package that contains 1.5 lb bone-in and skin-on chicken thighs. After I remove the skins and bones, I get a little over 1 lb (1 lb 3 oz or 523 g) of chicken meat.

Remove Chicken Thigh Bones for Kung Bao Chicken
Remove Chicken Thigh Bones

For marinating the chicken:

You will need naturally aged soy sauce {Jiang You 酱油} or dark soy sauce {Lao Chou 老抽}, Shaoxing wine, and arrowroot flour.

I use arrowroot flour for all my starch needs since I jump-started a healthier living & cooking journey in 2015. They work just like any starch option.

For Stir-fry:

A tiny bit of cooking oil such as canola oil or avocado oil, a small piece of ginger, cloves of garlic, dried red chili pepper, freshly ground Sichuan pepper powder {Hua Jiao} and chili powder {Xiao Mi Jiao}. Green bell pepper is optional to add additional vegetable to the dish.

Marinate Chicken, Prep Ingredients for Kung Bao Chicken
Marinate Chicken, Prep Ingredients

This recipe uses Sichuan chili powder conservatively. As a result, it has a mild spicy level, and suitable even for people sensitive to spiciness. Add additional dried chili pepper or Sichuan chili powder to spice it up.

Green bell pepper is optional. I like to add additional vegetables for family cooking. They complement the chicken very well.

For the Sauce:

This sauce combines sweet, sour, and savory.

For garnish:

  • 3 stems of green onion whites, cut in angles
  • 1 cup fried peanuts

Green onion whites provide a refreshing taste and crunchiness that completes the chicken.

Fried peanuts add additional crunchiness and richly aromatic flavor, pleasant touch to this classic dish. Chinese people like these fried peanuts a lot, as an appetizer item to go with a beer, a side dish to go with porridge, or as a garnish for a dish such as Kung Pao Chicken.

chinese style fried peanuts

How to cook Kung Pao Chicken easy, tasty and healthy?

Marinate the chicken first is the key to delicious Kung Pao Chicken

It is the key to prime the chicken, so it is tender and full of flavor.

Stir-fry the spices

Stir-fry ginger, garlic, Sichuan pepper powder along with dried chili pepper with a little oil. The aroma shall help elevate the flavor of the chicken.

The sauce

The sweet, sour, and savory sauce locks in the flavor and taste. Mix the sauce before you cook. This Kung Pao Chicken is a very typical Chinese style stir-fry. The actual cooking time is a mere few minutes, but preparation takes longer. The marination, the cutting, and mixing the sauce. All need to be done in advance.

Kung Bao Chicken {Easy Delicious Family Style}

Do you like classic & healthy Chinese food? Make sure you check out below, all are fantastic choices for weeknight dinner.

Kung Pao Chicken {Gong Bao Ji Ding 宫保鸡丁}

Kung Pao Chicken Recipe {Easy Delicious Family Style}

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 18 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Kung Pao chicken is a well-liked classic Chinese dish. Family-style Kung Pao chicken uses less oil, less chili, and none Sichuan pepper to present a delicious appetizing dish every family member can enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • a small piece of ginger, about 10 g, thin sliced and minced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, thin sliced
  • 1 tsp Sichuan pepper {Hua Jiao}, freshly ground
  • 1 tsp Sichuan chili powder {Xiao Mi Jiao Mian}
  • 1 green bell pepper, optional

For marinating:

  • 1 tbsp naturally aged soy sauce, or dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Shaoxing Wine
  • 2 tsp arrowroot flour

For Stir-Fry Sauce:

  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp Zhenjiang vinegar
  • 1 tbsp organic cane sugar
  • 1 tsp arrowroot flour

For garnish:

  • 3 stems of green onion whites, cut in angles
  • 1 cup fried peanuts, home fried preferably, see notes

Instructions

  1. Remove skins and/or bones from the chicken thighs if necessary , cut them into small cubes.
  2. Place chicken cubes in a mixing bowl, add everything under "for marinating", mix well, and set aside.
  3. Place everything under "For the Stir-Fry Sauce" in a small bowl, mix well.
  4. Cut green onion whites in angles about 1.5 inches long. Cut green bell pepper into small square shapes
  5. Turn the heat to medium-high, heat a hard-anodized frying pan for 1 minute.
  6. Add about 2 tsp canola oil and marinated chicken chunks. Mix, flip and fold until chicken is cooked, about 3 minutes
  7. Move the chicken pieces to one corner of the pan to empty some space on the fry pan.
  8. Add about 1 tsp canola oil, along with the ginger, garlic, Sichuan chili powder and Sichuan pepper. Stir fry for about 15 seconds or till fragrant. Fold and mix the chicken with the fried seasoing mixture, blend well.
  9. Add green bell pepper, continue to stir-fry for 30 seconds.
  10. Re-mix the sauce quickly and then pour into the pan in a circula motion. Mix and fold using a slotted turner until the sauce is thickening and chicken is coated and glazed with the sauce.
  11. Turn off the heat, add green onion whites and fried peanuts, mix and serve.

Notes

  • This is family-style Kung Pao Chicken only has a hint of spiciness. Add additional dried Sichuan chili pepper or extra Sichuan chili powder to spice up.
  • See here for a step-by-step tutorial on how to make pan-fried peanuts at home.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 540Total Fat: 38gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 29gCholesterol: 145mgSodium: 1659mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 5gSugar: 6gProtein: 38g

Nutrition calculation is provided by Nutritionix to the best knowledge per ingredients description and isn't always accurate.

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