Kung Pao Chicken

This dish is named for Ding Bazohen, the governor of Sichuan, who ruled during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). It was said that the governor’s favorite dish was spiced chicken with peanuts; in time, this peanut dish was named for him through his official title-Gong Bao. Give this recipe a try and see if you can feel the pao.


10 dried red chili peppers
1-1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon water
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon rice wine
2 skinned and boned chicken breast halves, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon Chinese vinegar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons peanut oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
5 scallions, cut into 1-inch slices
1/2 cup unsalted dry roasted peanuts, chopped


Wearing rubber gloves, cut chili peppers in half and discard as many seeds as possible. Set aside. Combine 1-1⁄2 teaspoons cornstarch, salt, water, 2 teaspoons soy sauce, and rice wine in a small bowl. Add chicken pieces. Set aside. Combine sugar, ¾ teaspoon cornstarch, Chinese vinegar, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, sesame oil, and chicken broth in a small bowl. Set aside. Heat peanut oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add chili peppers and stir-fry briefly (do not burn); add chicken and stir-fry 2 minutes or until lightly browned. Add garlic, ginger, and scallions and stir-fry 2 to 3 minutes or until chicken is done. Add chicken broth mixture to chicken; stir-fry 2 to 3 minutes or until thickened. Sprinkle with peanuts. Serve with rice.

Cooking & Recipes


Makes 4 servings.

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