20-Minute Kung Pao Chicken

Posted: January 25

Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

recipe image

Takeout is time-consuming, expensive, and often arrives only lukewarm. 20-Minute Kung Pao Chicken, on the other hand, is speedy, affordable, and always warm. Who would think of ordering out when this is on the menu? The tender chicken is marinated in a scrumptious sauce with distinctly tangy, sweet, and savory notes.Mixed with fresh, flavorful stir fry veggies for a perfectly balanced meal, 20 Minute Kung Pao Chicken is so tasty, you won’t have to worry about what to do with your leftovers — it’ll be gone in no time!


For the chicken: • 28 ounces chicken breast, boneless, skinless, and cut into 1-inch cubes • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine or dry sherry • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce • 2 teaspoons baking soda • 1 teaspoon cornstarch or cornflour For the sauce: • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken stock • 5 tablespoons light soy sauce • 2 tablespoons Chinese black vinegar • 2 tablespoons Chinese Shaoxing wine or dry sherry • 2 teaspoons dark soy sauce • 2 teaspoons hoisin sauce • 2 tablespoons sugar • 1 teaspoon cornstarch or cornflour For the stir fry: • 4 tablespoons cooking oil, divided • 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and diced • 1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and diced • 1 1/2 tablespoons garlic, minced • 1 tablespoon ginger, minced • 8-10 dried chilies, halved • 1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns, lightly toasted and ground • 4 green onion or scallion stems, cut into 1-inch pieces • 1/2 cup peanuts, roasted and unsalted • 2 teaspoons sesame oil


Step 1

Combine the chicken, the 1 tablespoon of the Shaoxing wine, 1 tablespoon of the light soy sauce, the baking soda, and the 1 teaspoon of the cornstarch in a shallow bowl.

Step 2

Cover and marinate the chicken for at least 10 minutes.

Step 3

Whisk the chicken stock, 5 tablespoons of the light soy sauce, 2 tablespoons of the black vinegar, 2 tablespoons of the Shaoxing wine, the dark soy sauce, the hoisin sauce, the sugar, and the remaining cornstarch together until the sugar dissolves, and set aside.

Step 4

Heat a large skillet, pan, or wok over high heat.

Step 5

Add 2 tablespoons of the cooking oil.

Step 6

Once the oil is shimmering, add the marinated chicken, red bell pepper, and green bell pepper.

Step 7

Fry the chicken and peppers while occasionally stirring, until the edges of the chicken are browned and the peppers are tender, about 3-4 minutes.

Step 8

Transfer the chicken and peppers from the heat and set them aside.

Step 9

Add the remaining cooking oil into the same pan or wok.

Step 10

Stir in the garlic, ginger, chili diced peppers, and Sichuan peppercorns, and stir fry until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Step 11

Stir the sauce mixture and pour it into the pan.

Step 12

Bring the sauce to a boil while stirring.

Step 13

Once it begins to thicken slightly, add the chicken and peppers back into the pan or wok.

Step 14

Stir the chicken and peppers through the sauce until the chicken is evenly coated and the sauce has thickened, about 2 minutes.

Step 15

Stir in the green onions, peanuts, and sesame oil.

Step 16

Toss well and continue to cook until the flavors have melded together and the chicken reaches 165 degrees F internally, about 2-3 minutes.

Step 17

Serve immediately with white rice or fried rice!

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