Authentic Kung Bao Chicken Recipe

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Kung Pao Chicken is a classic Sichuan dish. It’s named after Ding Baozhen,
an Qing Dynasty official. It used to be his favorite dish. And it’s about to become yours too.

Kung Pao Chicken Recipe

Serves 2
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes

Chicken and marinade:
1 1/2 pound chicken thighs, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
Dash of soy sauce
Pinch of salt
Pinch of white pepper
1/2 egg white
1 tablespoon cornstarch slurry (1 tablespoon cornstarch and 1 tablespoon water)

2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon yellow wine (Huang Jiu) (Could be replaced with other cooking wine)
1 1/2 tablespoons Chinkiang vinegar (Xiang Cu) (Could be replaced with other black vinegar)
1 tablespoon red chili oil
1 tablespoon sugar
Pinch of salt
Pinch of white pepper
1 teaspoon cornstarch slurry (1 teaspoon cornstarch and 1 teaspoon water)

Side ingredients:
4 tablespoons vegetable oil, for stir-frying, separated
1/4 cup peanuts
1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns
10 pieces dried red chili peppers
6 pieces ginger, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3 stalk scallions, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces, white part


  1. To marinate the chicken, place the chicken in a large bowl. Then add in the soy sauce, salt, white pepper, egg white, and cornstarch slurry. Mix well. (The egg white and cornstarch slurry are going to make the meat super soft and tender. It’s a Chinese tenderizing meat technique, also call velveting.) Marinate for 10 minutes.
  2. To make the sauce, in a bowl, add soy sauce, dark soy sauce, yellow wine, Chinkiang vinegar, red chili oil, sugar, salt, white pepper, and cornstarch slurry.
  3. * Follow this step if you are using an iron wok, and skip this step if you are using a nonstick pan: To prepare the wok and add a nonstick layer to it, first, turn to high heat until smoking. Then add about 1/2 cup of vegetable oil in it (you can also use other types of high smoking point oil), move it inside the pan a bit, and make sure every part of the wok has a layer of oil on it. Pour out the oil (After the oil is cooled, you can put the oil in a jar, and store it in a cool place. You can still use it in cooking. ) The work has a nonstick coating on it now
  4. In the wok, turn to medium-low heat and wait until it’s hot. Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and peanuts in it. Stir-fry until lightly brown, about 5 minutes. Take out the peanuts and set them aside.
  5. With the remaining oil in the wok, over low heat, add the Sichuan peppercorns and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Take the Sichuan peppercorns out and discard them.
  6. With the remaining oil in the wok, over medium heat, add in the dried red chili peppers, ginger, garlic, and scallions. Stir-fry until aromatic, 30 seconds. Take out the ingredients, and leave the oil in the wok.
  7. In the same wok, over high heat, and heat it until smoking. Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil to it, and immediately add the chicken. Let it cook without touching it for about 30 seconds. (The second key for having a nonstick iron wok is — hot wok, cool oil. In Chinese we call it “猛火陰油” meng huo yin you.) Stir-fry the chicken until cooked, about 3 minutes. Then add back the side ingredients and sauce. Mix well. Lastly, put in the peanuts. Stir-fry. Serve!

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