Kung Pao Chicken

Tested & Perfected Recipes

Kung Pao chicken, a classic Chinese takeout dish of stir-fried chicken, peanuts, and vegetables, is easy to make at home.

Kung pao chicken, the popular Chinese takeout dish of stir-fried chicken, peanuts and vegetables, is traditionally made with lots of specialty ingredients, like Sichuan peppercorns, Chinese black vinegar, Chinese rice wine, and whole dried red chilies.

Since my goal is always to share recipes that are easy to shop for, in this Americanized version I’ve replaced those hard-to-find-ingredients with staples from your neighborhood supermarket. It still has all the same spicy, sweet, and sour flavors of traditional kung pao chicken. What’s more, kids seem to love it (though they may nudge the veggies and peanuts to the side, sigh), which makes it a really nice weeknight dinner with a side of rice.

What you’ll need to Make Kung Pao Chicken

ingredients for kung pao chicken

How to Make Kung Pao Chicken

As with any stir-fry, you want to do all of your prep ahead of time because the cooking goes very quickly.

Since the chicken needs to marinate for 15 minutes, get that started first. In a medium bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, dry sherry, and cornstarch until the cornstarch is dissolved. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

marinating kung pao chicken

Meanwhile, chop the bell pepper, celery, scallions, and garlic.

mise en place for kung pao chicken

In another medium bowl, prepare the sauce by whisking together all of the sauce ingredients: balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, sugar, cornstarch, red pepper flakes, ground ginger, and water.

sauce for kung pao chicken

Heat a large nonstick skillet over high heat until very hot. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil and swirl to coat. Add the bell pepper, celery, and salt.

sauteing veggies for kung pao chicken

Cook, stirring frequently, until slightly softened and starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a large bowl and set aside.

sauteing veggies for kung pao chicken

Add an additional 1/2 tablespoon of oil to the pan and set over high heat. Add half of the chicken (it’s important not to crowd the pan) and brown on one side, about 1-1/2 minutes.

searing chicken for kung pao chicken

Turn the chicken pieces and continue cooking for about 1-1/2 minutes more, or until the chicken is just cooked through. Transfer the chicken to the bowl with the peppers and celery. Add another 1/2 tablespoon of oil to the pan. Add the remaining chicken and cook until golden on one side, about 1-1/2 minutes.

searing chicken for kung pao chicken

Turn the chicken pieces over and cook for 1 minute. Add 1/2 tablespoon more oil to the pan, along with the garlic and scallions.

adding scallions and garlic for kung pao chicken

Cook, stirring with the chicken, for about 30 seconds more.

cooking scallions and garlic for kung pao chicken

Add the reserved vegetables and reserved chicken to the pan, along with the sauce.

cooking kung pao chicken

Reduce the heat to low. Cook until the chicken and vegetables are warmed through and the sauce is thickened, about 30 seconds.

adding peanuts to kung pao chicken

Stir in the nuts. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary, and serve with rice.

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Kung Pao Chicken

Kung Pao chicken, a classic Chinese takeout dish of stir-fried chicken, peanuts, and vegetables, is easy to make at home.

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 10 Minutes
Total Time: 30 Minutes

Ingredients

For the Marinade

  • 1-1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dry sherry
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch
  • 1-1/2 lb chicken tenderloins, cut into 1-in pieces

For the Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce, best quality such as Kikkoman or Lee Kum Kee
  • 1 tablespoon Asian/toasted sesame oil
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (use half the amount for a milder sauce)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/3 cup water

For the Stir-fry

  • 2-1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 5 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup whole roasted unsalted peanuts or cashews

Instructions

  1. Marinate the chicken: In a medium bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, dry sherry, and cornstarch until the cornstarch is dissolved. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Prepare the sauce: In another medium bowl, whisk together all of the sauce ingredients until the cornstarch is dissolved (it can stick to the bottom of the bowl so be sure to scrape it up).
  3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over high heat until very hot. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil and swirl to coat. Add the bell pepper, celery, and salt and cook, stirring frequently, until slightly softened and starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a large bowl and set aside.
  4. Add an additional 1/2 tablespoon of oil to the pan and set over high heat. Add half of the chicken (it's important not to crowd the pan) and brown on one side, about 1-1/2 minutes. Turn the chicken pieces and continue cooking for about 1-1/2 minutes more, or until the chicken is just cooked through. Transfer the chicken to the bowl with the peppers and celery. Add another 1/2 tablespoon of oil to the pan. Add the remaining chicken and cook until golden on one side, about 1-1/2 minutes. Turn the chicken pieces over and cook for 1 minute. Add 1/2 tablespoon more oil to the pan, along with the garlic and scallions, and cook, stirring with the chicken, for about 30 seconds more.
  5. Add the reserved vegetables and reserved chicken to the pan, along with the sauce. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the chicken and vegetables are warmed through and the sauce is thickened, about 30 seconds. Stir in the nuts. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary, and serve. (Note: the sauce will thicken as it sits; thin it with a few tablespoons of water, if necessary.)

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (4 servings)
  • Calories: 692
  • Fat: 45 g
  • Saturated fat: 7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 42 g
  • Sugar: 10 g
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Protein: 31 g
  • Sodium: 1639 mg
  • Cholesterol: 70 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.

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Reviews & Comments

  • Hi Jenn – I don’t have dry sherry. What would make a good substitute? Or can I simply leave it out altogether? LOVE your recipes – they never disappoint! Thanks in advance!

    • — Monica on August 2, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Monica, The best substitute would be Shaoxing rice wine; if you don’t have it, it’s fine to just leave it out. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on August 2, 2020
      • Reply
  • Very good recipe, easy and delicious. Just as I like it, thank you, Jenn

    • — katarina on July 29, 2020
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  • This was delicious. I think the cooking times for the peppers and chicken was too long. I sautéed both over high heat for two minutes. Hate celery so I left that out. Also added some Siracha to the marinade. Definitely will make again.

    • — Laurie on July 28, 2020
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  • Another great recipe that the family loved. Lots of flavor and added a bit more red pepper because my family loves the heat. I served with Jasmine rice.

    • — Janet on July 23, 2020
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  • This is a great recipe. Easy and tastes better than the local Chinese restaurant!!

    • — Suzanne Welch on July 20, 2020
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  • This is delicious!! The celery makes it taste really fresh and light. This is flavourful yet a lot less greasy than other Chinese style dishes I’ve made. I substituted the same amount of apple cider vinegar + equal of water for the sherry which I didn’t have. The next time I’ll add more red pepper flakes – I like more spice.

    • — Megara on July 13, 2020
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  • Delicious. I added sliced almonds at the end,perfect crunch.

    • — nina gellerman on July 10, 2020
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  • Really ‘spot on’ flavors and aromas of a very good Kung Pao Chicken! I added more heat with 1 teaspoon of crushed red peppers.
    We enjoyed alongside some fragrant jasmine rice.
    Thank you!

    • — JooJoo on July 4, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hello, I am going to be driving up north for the weekend. Can I prepare and marinade the chicken all day and also prepare the sauce and just bring it up north with me … then I don’t have to bring all of the ingredients up. Thanks … LOVE your recipes!!!

    • — Kendra on July 4, 2020
    • Reply
    • Sure, Kendra, that should be fine. Hope you enjoy (and so glad you like the recipes)! 🙂

      • — Jenn on July 6, 2020
      • Reply
  • Delicious! The best part about this recipe is that there are no obscure or unobtainable ingredients, and it’s not super salty. I only had chicken breasts but that was not a big deal. I adapted by slicing them down the center to reduce the thickness. Also, I happened to have farmer’s market sugar snap peas on hand and so I added those in at the end for extra crunch. Adults and kids all liked this one. Thank you!

    • — Laurie Atkinson on July 3, 2020
    • Reply
  • I have made this 3 times with chicken and I love it! I was thinking of trying shrimp do you that would work?

    • — Sherri on June 29, 2020
    • Reply
    • Sure! 🙂

      • — Jenn on June 30, 2020
      • Reply
  • Just yum.

    • — Emily Johnston on June 20, 2020
    • Reply
  • This is our new favourite recipe with rice and spring rolls. Very easy.

    • — Bev on June 11, 2020
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  • Sitting here eating this as I write, another winner! Followed exactly as written except I used boneless skinless thighs because I had them on hand. Will definitely make again.

    • — Cheryl B on June 10, 2020
    • Reply
  • Super easy delicious recipe. My family loved it.

    • — Sheejam on June 4, 2020
    • Reply
  • I am so in love with all of your recipes, so I think that the results were more my fault that yours. It was quite tasty, but I wanted to make more of it and I doubled the recipe, so I think something was out of wack. It seemed too heavy and I think that doubling the hoisin sauce was a mistake. Sometimes I think you can’t just double recipes, and this may have been an example of that? I put quite a bit of extra soy sauce in it at the end, which seemed to somewhat moderate the flavor.

    • — Suzanne on May 29, 2020
    • Reply
  • Made this for the second time & not disappointed!!! I doubled the sauce & added baby corns and water chestnuts and broccoli (was out of red peppers!) So delish!!!!

    • — Kimberley on May 28, 2020
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  • My family loved this recipe! Super easy too – my teenager made it:)

    • — Michelle on May 27, 2020
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  • Amazing! I omitted the celery because I don’t care for it crunchy unless it is raw. Anyway, this is so tasty and was a big hit with both my husband and me. Will be regular in our house!

    • — GoGo on May 24, 2020
    • Reply
  • My family absolutely loves this recipe!
    Very simple to make and delicious.
    I make a double batch. I omit the sugar as we like things less sweet tasting.
    Another winner! Thank you!

    • — Sheenagh on May 24, 2020
    • Reply
  • This recipe is really good. It’s fairly easy, and light tasting. I didn’t have hoisin sauce so looked up a hoisin substitute that seemed fine. I used half the chillies and it was plenty spicy. I’ll definitely make it again.

    • — Nancy on May 21, 2020
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  • sorry. my family really did not like this recipe. it was rather bland.

    • — michelle on May 21, 2020
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  • This is delicious. 😋 Prepped everything in the morning including making marinade and sauce. easy to assemble come dinner time. This is a keeper for my family.

    • — Cal on May 21, 2020
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  • I made this last night….he was very good. I added mushrooms, carrots and broccolini and doubled the sauce. Added fresh asian noodles.

    • — Sheena on May 21, 2020
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  • Absolutely loved this recipe! Made it the first time the other night and cannot wait to make it again.

    • — Marilynn on May 21, 2020
    • Reply
  • Once again, Jenn, a delicious recipe. We loved it and will make it over and over again.

    • — Ginny on May 21, 2020
    • Reply
  • This was one of your very best recipes and I have tried a LOT of your fabulous recipes! My only variation was I added marinaded tofu and cooked it like the chicken. Sooooo delicious! Thank you again!

    • — Mary on May 20, 2020
    • Reply
  • Yum! Made this tonight and it was so tasty! I added a chopped zucchini and cooked it along with the bell pepper and celery because I am trying to get my toddler to eat more veggies. He cleaned his plate and my husband rated it an 11 out of 10! I think next time I will add water chestnuts too for an extra crunch.

    • — Emily F on May 20, 2020
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    • This was delicious! Every recipe of yours that I have tried has turned out to be a winner and this one is no exception! Next time I’m going to try this with shrimp. Thank you!

      • — Cathy on May 23, 2020
      • Reply
  • Easy and delicious. The sauce is spot on to flavor I know for this dish. I like my food a bit more spicy, but that’s easily adjusted.

    • — K. Hauser on May 20, 2020
    • Reply
  • Such a fan of your recipes! I have your book as well. Made this tonight, substituted vegetables with a bag of broccoli and carrots, as those are the ones the kids prefer. Delicious! Followed the recipe with the exception of cooking all the chicken at once, as I had a big enough pan to do so. Husband and kids all had seconds! Next time I make it, I may try asparagus and zucchini. Had all the ingredients out, from prep to table, 40 minutes. Served over jasmine rice. Thank you again!

    • — Andrea on May 20, 2020
    • Reply
  • I tried this out last night and happened to have black vinegar and birds eye chilies so made this with those items in place of the balsamic vinegar and red pepper flakes. It tasted just like if it was being served from a Chinese restaurant. So delicious! I love that you provide brands you like to use and picture of the ingredients. I find that so helpful in making sure my dish will come out delicious!!!

    • — Nancy A on May 19, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hello Jennifer

    Thanks for all your delicious recipes. Could shrimp be substituted for chicken in this recipe? I haven’t used hoisin sauce so I’m not sure if it would go well with shrimp. Obviously the cooking times might change a bit.

    • — Susanna on May 18, 2020
    • Reply
    • Sure Susanna, shrimp should work here. Please LMK how it turns out with shrimp!

      • — Jenn on May 18, 2020
      • Reply
    • This was delicious. Will make it over and over again. You are my chef..

      • — Virginia on May 18, 2020
      • Reply
      • ❤️

        • — Jenn on May 19, 2020
        • Reply
  • I made this last night. Found it good, but the overpowering taste was sweetness. I would cut down on the sugar a lot next time.

    • — Rita Demetzer on May 18, 2020
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  • LOVED!!!!! I substituted white wine for the sherry and made an extra mini batch of sauce on the side warming a combination of hoisin, sesame oil, and soy sauce to drizzle an extra punch of flavor when serving! Everyone cleared their plates!!!!

    • — Megan Webber on May 17, 2020
    • Reply
  • I made this last night and it was extraordinary – my boyfriend absolutely loved it as well. I love that you don’t need to do this in a wok. I find the wok a bit intimidating and messy – this was far less frenetic. I only had chicken thighs with skin and bone – so deskinned and deboned and used those and they were meltingly tender. The sauce – as with others I’ve made of Jenn’s – was the star of the dish. I didn’t have sherry so used rice wine instead. Thank you Jenn – I look forward to seeing your emails in my in box!!!

    • — Kim F on May 16, 2020
    • Reply
    • Oh – and I doubled the sauce because I know by now that Jenn’s sauces are wonderful.

      • — Kim F on May 16, 2020
      • Reply
  • Another winner! Very good recipe!
    Only change to the recipe was I cut down on the red pepper flakes to 1/4 tsp. Tasted like take out!

    • — Judy on May 16, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    Tonight I made the Kung Pao Chicken, it was absolutely delicious. I will certainly be making it again. So easy to make . I love how you show step by step instructions.
    When are you going to have your own cooking show, and make sure we see it in Australia.

    • — Judith Madan on May 16, 2020
    • Reply
    • 😊

      • — Jenn on May 16, 2020
      • Reply
  • This is a fantastic recipe! I doubled it because I had a feeling my family would love it! It seems like a lot of work but it’s actually fun and easy to prepare. We had it with rice and broccolini! Thanks so much again Jenn for another amazing recipe!!!

    • — Linda on May 15, 2020
    • Reply
  • Delicious Jen!! May I ask what type of non stick pan you use?

    • — Lisa on May 15, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Lisa, I use All-Clad nonstick pans. Glad you enjoyed!

      • — Jenn on May 15, 2020
      • Reply
  • Jenn, you do not disappoint. This looked like a lot of steps but it’s easy to make. I upped the red pepper since I had a 1/2 I didn’t want going bad. I may double next time or use one red and one yellow/orange. Took your suggestion for the sherry alternative. I was thinking vermouth but did the rice wine.
    This is a keeper. That you for your site and book!

    • — Cin on May 15, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hi, can I substitute fresh, grated ginger for the ground ginger? Would you use the same amount? Thank you.

    • — Steve on May 15, 2020
    • Reply
    • Sure, Steve. I would add 1 tablespoon fresh ginger along with the garlic and scallions.

      • — Jenn on May 15, 2020
      • Reply
  • It was AMAZING!!!!! Thank you! deb

    • — deb on May 15, 2020
    • Reply
  • I fixed the Kung Pau Chicken last night for friends and they were impressed!
    Thank you for the excellent instructions. I followed them exactly. It was fun to try a recipe I’ve never done before. My prep time is a lot slower than yours though.

    • — Dianne Wilson on May 15, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Jenn, I made this last night and it was a hit! I’ve tried many of your recipes and they have all turned out delicious. Your instructions are easy to follow. I also bought one of your cookbooks because all your recipes have been so good. I’ going to try the red curry chicken later this week. Thank you so much!

      • — Bettie Romer on May 16, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hi Jen,
    I made your Kung Pao Chicken last night. I’m going to be honest, it wasn’t all that it could be. For so many little bits of ingredients, it was lacking in flavor. I did add 5 Spice powder at the end after tasting it. My son suggested pineapple & cashews next time. I think that’s a good idea even though they might not be traditional in this dish.I know Chinese food is labor intensive…I don’t mind that but, when after all is said & done it should be very tasty. I’ll conclude with…I love your site & I have both of your books….so…I’m an avid follower. Nancy Visconti

    • — nancy g visconti on May 15, 2020
    • Reply
    • So sorry you didn’t enjoy it, Nancy. Thank you for the feedback.

      • — Jenn on May 15, 2020
      • Reply
  • Loved it!

    • — Gail Atamanchuk on May 14, 2020
    • Reply
  • Is there a substitute for the dry sherry? Also is toasted sesame oil okay or can the toasted one not be cooked with? Thank you!!

    • — Ayesha on May 14, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Ayesha, If you have Chinese rice wine, that’ll work. If not, just omit the sherry; the dish just won’t have quite as much depth of flavor, but will still be good. And toasted sesame oil and Asian sesame oil are the same thing, so you’re using the right ingredient. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on May 14, 2020
      • Reply
  • A good a satisfying meal. Next time I will make it spicier to suit my preference, but definitely a recipe I’m keeping.

    • — Daniel on May 14, 2020
    • Reply
  • Our family can’t get enough of it! Amazing flavor (hold back on pepper flakes if you don’t like spicy) and easy to make. We didn’t have all ingredients at home, so we made a few substitutions that worked just as well: canola oil for sesame oil and we made our own hoisin sauce by mixing bbq sauce, soy sauce, and molasses. It worked beautifully. We have Jenn’s book and can always trust her recipes to be delicious!

    • — Ana on May 14, 2020
    • Reply
  • This looks delicious – only thing is I’m out of balsamic vinegar. Can you recommend a substitute?

    • — P on May 14, 2020
    • Reply
    • Red wine vinegar or rice vinegar will work. 🙂

      • — Jenn on May 14, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenny,

    If I don’t have dry sherry, what can I substitute?

    Thanks for your help and recipes!

    • — Kay on May 7, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Kay, If you have Chinese rice wine that’ll work. If not, just omit the sherry; the dish just won’t have quite as much depth of flavor, but will still be good! 🙂

      • — Jenn on May 7, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn! Just wondering what a good non-alcoholic substitute would be for sherry?

    Would red wine vinegar work?

    Thanks,

    Zahra

    • — Zahra Juma on April 28, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Zahra, I’d just omit the sherry; the dish just won’t have quite as much depth of flavor, but will still be delicious!

      • — Jenn on April 28, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn! Making this tonight but want to know if I can make some extra and freeze for my elderly mother. I have been making her homemade and healthy meals. Thanks and so enjoy your recipes, you are so talented and accessible for the home chef. Stay safe.

    • — Wendy on April 2, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Wendy, I’ve never frozen this so I can’t say from experience, but it doesn’t have any ingredients in it that I think would be problematic to freeze so I think it’s worth a try. Stay healthy and safe!

      • — Jenn on April 2, 2020
      • Reply
  • Delicious!!

    • — Nicole Reynolds on March 8, 2020
    • Reply
  • Could I substitute sweet and sour stir fry sauce for the hoisin sauce? Hoisin sauce doesn’t agree with me. If so would I need to add or remove any other ingredients?

    • — Lesley on March 6, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Lesley, Sweet and sour sauce has a very different flavor profile than hoisin sauce, so I don’t think it would be a great substitute. There are a number of homemade options you could use in place of the hoisin. If you scroll down on this page a bit, the BBQ and molasses combination sounds easy and good. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on March 9, 2020
      • Reply
  • I made it tonight and it was so good. My husband can’t believe how great it is. Thanks Jenn from Mary in Des Moines

    • — Mary Andersen on March 2, 2020
    • Reply
  • Excellent. I made the recipe as written with 1lb of chicken and 1/8t red pepper since I don’t like spicy. Next time I will try 1/4t red pepper. My husband likes spicy so he added more red pepper to his plate and he too was very happy. I served this with brown rice and asparagus.

    • — Carol F. on February 27, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    What is your suggestion for a decent substitute for dry sherry?

    • — Leah on January 13, 2020
    • Reply
    • If you happen to have Chinese rice wine that will work. If not, it’s fine to omit the sherry; the dish just won’t have quite as much depth of flavor, but will still be good!

      • — Jenn on January 13, 2020
      • Reply
      • Thank you Jenn- turned out wonderfully! Thanks 😊 But I am going to add dry sherry to my next shopping list so I can try it next time.

        • — Leah on January 17, 2020
        • Reply
  • Do you think this marinade would work with tofu?

    • — Claire on January 9, 2020
    • Reply
    • Sure!

      • — Jenn on January 10, 2020
      • Reply
  • Thank you! I followed the recipe exactly and my family loved it. I will definitely repeat it

    • — Chaya Kurz on September 12, 2019
    • Reply
  • Thanks Jenn for yet another great recipe!! When I get stumped as to what to make for dinner, I go to your website and always find something really good to make. You truly inspire me with your recipes and get me motivated to cook. I followed the recipe exactly as written and my family devoured it. No leftovers!! I will definitely be making this again!!

    • — Michele Zimmer on August 30, 2019
    • Reply
    • 😊

      • — Jenn on August 30, 2019
      • Reply
  • Delicious!!! All plates cleared!

    • — Anne on July 28, 2019
    • Reply
  • Easy and delicious!

    • — Rebekah on July 19, 2019
    • Reply
  • This recipe was amazing! It is packed with so much flavor! Thank you!!!

    • — Katherine on July 12, 2019
    • Reply
  • Again, another incredible recipe from Once Upon a Chef. Following the recipe exactly and it was absolutely delicious. Perfect flavor, no need to change a thing. I did add some broccoli florets and as another reviewer suggested steaming first. Next time I will not steam as the broccoli was too “soggy” when added to the sauce

    • — carol oneill on May 24, 2019
    • Reply
  • Better than take out! I substituted asparagus for the celery and it still turned out great. I will definitely make this again . . . and again.

    • — Alyssa on May 9, 2019
    • Reply
  • Jenn your recipes are amazing! I especially like the tried and perfected.
    If it’s possible, could you put the recipe instructions and the ingredients on one view.
    I’ve used it on another recipe site and it makes cooking so easy. Without a doubt you are the best recipe site out there. This change would make you so much better then all the rest. Cheers Wayne

    • — wayne kinsella on April 27, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Wayne, So glad you enjoy the recipes! It sounds like you are just looking at the portion of the page that has the pictures with some instructions underneath. If you scroll down a bit to under the pictures, you’ll find the full recipe. Alternatively, at the very top of the page, to the right of the recipe name, you’ll see an icon that looks like a notepad – if you click on that, it will take you directly to the recipe. Hope that clarifies! 🙂

      • — Jenn on April 29, 2019
      • Reply
  • This was very easy to make. If you know you will have leftovers before adding cashews, divide in half and only add cashews to one half. When you reheat the leftovers add the cashews, this way they won’t get soggy. Also if you like extra sauce on your rice make a double recipe. I’m really not a big chicken eater but this was wonderful. I have made it 2 weeks in a row. Also very good with noodles instead of rice.

    • — Karen Kosec on April 11, 2019
    • Reply
  • Thank you so much for your quick response as to substitutions for the Hoisin sauce. I had tried googling but didn’t find any good subs. I used the BBQ sauce minus the pinch of Chinese 5 Spice (since I didn’t have that) your search turned up. It was delicious. If anyone is worrying about the heat of the dish, it’s really a rather mild version – I’m the one in my family that “can’t take the heat” lol, but it wasn’t too hot at all for me. I will be making this again and again (like I do your Chipotle Lime Corn Salad!)

    • — Timaree on March 7, 2019
    • Reply
    • So glad you enjoyed it, Timaree – thanks for the follow-up! 🙂

      • — Jenn on March 8, 2019
      • Reply
  • Hi Jen! What are your thoughts on adding vegetables to this dish? Broccoli/carrots/cauliflower? Saute or steam and then add?

    • — Nader Jazayeri on March 7, 2019
    • Reply
    • Yes and yes!

      • — Jenn on March 7, 2019
      • Reply
  • I made it as directed but as with all recipes, I had to make 1.5 times the amount to ensure there was enough to satisfy the appetite of two 15 year old boys. All recipes need a teen boy stomach calculator. They loved it and it and as with many of your recipes, it will be a regular in the rotation.

    • — Lisa on March 2, 2019
    • Reply
    • I used liquid stevia for all her recipes that call for sugar and they all turn out great! I also added broccoli and swapped peanuts for cashews and topped with fresh cilantro.

      • — katherine on June 18, 2019
      • Reply
  • Can you eliminate the sugar for this recipe?

    • — Mary on February 1, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Mary, I think the sugar helps to balance out the other flavors in the sauce – if possible, I’d just reduce it instead of completely omitting it. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on February 1, 2019
      • Reply
  • This is phenomenal! Even if celery isn’t necessarily your thing, try it in this dish, as it really takes on the flavor of the delicious sauce, and adds a wonderful crunch to every bite. I doubled the amount of the sauce-used about 2/3t. red pepper flakes, and the amount of veggies (yep, even the scallions and garlic), but kept with 1.5 LBS of chicken. Set the timer on my phone to a minute and thirty seconds and dared to cook the chicken at high heat as directed. Perfect. When I got to the stage of adding the sauce, it hit the pan and thickened up within seconds beautifully. The sauce is not too sweet, not too salty, and for us, pleasantly spicy with the amount of pepper flakes I used. Served it over plain old long grain rice because that’s what I had in the house. The complexity of the flavors is amazing. Thank you Jenn for another outstanding dinner. You have transformed our family dinners. You get the golden buzzer ( I think that’s what it’s called on AGT) for this one!

    • — Mary M. on February 1, 2019
    • Reply
  • Hi. We love your recipes! I am wondering if you have any tips for doing this ahead of time? I would love to use it for a dinner party. Thanks!

    • — Kate on January 23, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Kate, I really think this is best if made right before serving, but Chinese food reheats nicely so you could make it all ahead and reheat before sitting down to eat. Another option is to have everything chopped and prepped and just quickly cook it immediately before serving. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on January 25, 2019
      • Reply
  • Love it! Turned out excellent.

    • — Olga on January 5, 2019
    • Reply
  • My husband and I prefer to make Chinese recipes at home; this recipe for Kung Pao Chicken had super flavor and honest ingredients. I would not change a thing!

    • — Gemma Jablonski on December 20, 2018
    • Reply
  • Delicious! Flavorful and the chicken is so tender. I will be making this again and again.

    • — Laurie R on December 17, 2018
    • Reply
  • Very tasty! Yet another great recipe. Thank you. The only variation I did was to add thin strips of carrot plus used Maggi Original Seasoning Sauce instead of soy as it has a ‘sharper’ flavour.

    • — Karen on October 22, 2018
    • Reply
  • Thank you for such an authentic recipe. It’s become a family favourite.

    • — Jane on October 4, 2018
    • Reply
  • I’m no stranger to your recipes. I made this tonight and I have to say it is spot on! Perfect. Served with some white rice. Thanks so much to all you contribute. I have yet to try a recipe that disappoints.

    • — Jason Stoner on October 1, 2018
    • Reply
    • Delicious!!!!! Empty plates all round!

      • — Anne on July 28, 2019
      • Reply
  • Hey Jenn! My family LOVED this dish. Five stars all around. This is the second time I made it and the chicken sticks to the bottom of the pan and I have to switch pans halfway through. What am I doing wrong? The end product was delicious I want to avoid having to use two pans. Not enough oil? Too hot? I honestly don’t know why it happened twice.

    • — Christine Chippindale on August 27, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Christine, So glad your family enjoyed. Are you using a nonstick pan?

      • — Jenn on August 27, 2018
      • Reply
      • Yep…sure am. Crazy right?

        • — Christine on August 27, 2018
        • Reply
        • Is there a chance that the pan is losing its nonstick quality? I’ve had to replace mine once every several years.

          • — Jenn on August 27, 2018
          • Reply
  • Just made this tonight for supper and it was a hit with the whole family! Every recipe I’ve made on this site is delicious and I keep coming back. The only substitute I made was rice vinegar in place of the dry sherry for the marinade.

    • — Caroline Bange
    • Reply
  • We’ve made this twice now and loved it both times! Really appreciate that there are not too many exotic ingredients. It’s often difficult for me to buy ingredients for ethnic dishes in my small, rural grocery. Also pleased we could so readily tweak the heat. Some of us can’t take the spicy foods. Looking forward to making Kung pao chicken again.

    • — HARRIET MUZLJAKOVICH
    • Reply
  • Every time I cook and/or bake one of your recipes, I feel like a professional chef! Thank you for all of the delciousness. I cannot wait to try this recipe tonight! I truly appreciate you including an estimated nutritional value in all of your recipes, but would there be anyway in the future you could include an estimated serving size as well?

    • So glad you like the recipes, Anna! Yes, I will try to remember to measure out servings for new recipes before posting them – thanks for your suggestion. Hope you enjoy the chicken!

      • Another. Home. Run. Thank you!

  • This was amazing! My husband was really impressed. My only change was to sub carrots for celery. I’m buying your cookbook-your site is hands down the best I visit and your recipes are favorites in my house. Thanks!

    • So glad you enjoy the recipes (and thanks in advance) for buying the book- I hope you find lots of new favorites to prepare!

  • Jenn’s Kung Pao Chicken will be my go-to homemade Chinese dish from now on. I have Celiac disease and substituted gluten-free hoisin and soy sauce. I also used fresh ginger. My family loved it! Thanks Jenn.

    • — Andrea Murdock
    • Reply
  • This was so much better than any Kung Pao I’ve had in restaurants. I had a small zucchini in the refrigerator so I chopped and added it too.

  • Wow. Really good. 1/4 t. of red pepper flakes gave it just the right amount of heat. Didn’t have powdered ginger so I used a micro plane to grate the same amount of fresh ginger. Otherwise made exactly as written.

  • Delicious and I didn’t change a thing! Perfect as is!

  • Out of this world amazing! Just enough spice with amazing flavours. I used boneless chicken thighs with great success and served over Chinese noodles. It’s a keeper!

  • Outstanding! I like it extra spicy, so I doubled the garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes. Absolutely perfect with basmati rice and toasted sesame seeds. Thank you so much!

    • — Sarah Pfennigs
    • Reply
  • I made this tonight. My middle son, the picky eater, was skeptical since he’s never had Kung Pao chicken. I told him that the recipe is by “The Broccoli Beef Lady.” (That’s you Jen!) He said, “I’m in!” Of course, the whole family loved this dish. It was so flavorful and the chicken was very tender. Another winner that I’ll make again and again!

  • This was VERY good! We didn’t change a thing. I will say- the leftovers tasted even better the next day! Thanks, Jenn!!

  • Made this dish for my husband and it received rave reviews. Definitely, will be making again!

  • Hi Jenn,
    would it be fine to use chicken breast and double the recipe if I cook for 6?
    Just got your book today and I am looking forward to try new recipes you perfected.
    Thanks
    A fan

    • Sure, Lyne – that’ll be fine. Just be sure not to crowd the pan when cooking the chicken. Hope you enjoy the recipe and the book! 🙂

  • Hi Jen,

    I don’t love celery. Do you think it will be ok if I just add other veggies to this chopped in the same size? Was thinking of adding carrots.

    Thanks!

    Elizabeth

    • Definitely! Hope you enjoy. 🙂

  • This was good—but flavors not really complex enough for us

    • I understand what you are saying. However, if one is used to msg added to their Chinese dishes? Then, this may be why!? This dish was delicous.

  • I made this last night and it was amazing and so flavourful. I didn’t have sherry so I used rice wine vinegar instead and it tasted great. I’m a big fan of your website and just received your new cookbook so looking forward to making some of your new recipes.
    I noticed you were traveling to Toronto for a book signing…any chance you are heading out west to Vancouver? You have lots of fans here 🙂

    • So happy you enjoyed this dish, Jude. I’m not headed to Vancouver this trip…they are keeping me on the East coast. But, who knows, maybe over the summer or in the fall. 😊

  • Hi Jen,
    Any suggestion on what to replace the dry sherry with? Cant find that in Tunisia.
    Also, on an unrelated note, I can’t wait to finally put my hands on your cookbook! Ordered and shipped to France, my mum is supposed to bring it over next week =) Best of luck on the book tour!

    • Ah! Sorry, slow internet and I see someone else has already asked that question. Never mind!

    • Hope you enjoy the book, Marine! ❤️

  • This dish is so pro! Chinese food is one of my all time favs and we all know how good Chinese recipes are!! Well, Chef Jenn did them proud! She did her homework and you have got to try her recipe to believe how good it is!

  • Thanks for another great recipe Jenn. I made this for dinner tonight and my wife and I both enjoyed it. The only thing that I did different was that I didn’t serve it over rice. We sort of made Kung Pao Wraps. I put it on flour tortillas and made wraps out of it. Very tasty! Thanks again for sharing your knowledge and expertise with us! Loving the book!!!!

  • Hi Jenn! So excited to make this! I feel like I should give it five stars already – it looks so good. Do you think cooking sherry from the grocery store would be okay, or should I get something better like what’s in the picture? Thanks. Good luck with the tour. Your book is lovely!

    • Hi Carol, I’d get a good dry sherry. It keeps forever so you won’t be sorry. Hope you enjoy!

  • This looks great! Is there a substitution you could recommend for the dry sherry?

    • — Rachel Hartman
    • Reply
    • Hi Rachel, The dry sherry is actually a substitute for Chinese rice wine. It’s fine to omit it; the dish just won’t have quite as much depth of flavor.

      • Thanks! I ended up using rice wine vinegar as Jude A suggested. Delicious Sunday dinner!

        • — Rachel Hartman
        • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, Is dry Sherry considered to be alcohol? If it is, is there a substitute for it to use in the recipe? Thanks, Madhuri

    • — Madhuri Krothapalli
    • Reply
    • Hi Madhuri, It’s fine to omit the sherry; the dish just won’t have quite as much depth of flavor, but will still be good!

  • Jenn,
    One thing I absolutely LOVE about your recipes is that when a new one comes up on the blog you have taken the time to “fix” it for the average home cook and all the ingredients are usually in the pantry/fridge/freezer! I will be making this soon! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the cookbook! Already given 4 as gifts and have mine ready to have you sign as soon as I can make a trip to one of your signings! So enjoyed helping test recipes! Belinda

    • — Belinda Hunter
    • Reply
    • Thanks so much for all the kind words, Belinda – so glad you enjoy the recipes and find them to be “accessible” for the home cook – that’s definitely my goal! Happy to hear you’re enjoying the cookbook, too — I really appreciate the support. 💗

      • This was easy, and delicious. I served it over cauliflower rice to which I added a little cilantro, salt and pepper. Yummy!

        • Forgot to mention, I am loving the cookbook. So fun to read, and recipes are great. The tips on the side are very useful and I have learned many new tips.

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