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The best Chinese food ever: Kung Pao Chicken... spicy recipe (KUNG POW!)

Updated on February 29, 2012
Kung Pao Chicken (Spicy)
Kung Pao Chicken (Spicy)

The Best Chinese Food Recipe


Kung Pao Chicken is a traditional Chinese recipe that originated in the Sichuan (Szechuan) province of Southwestern China. This dish is well known, like most sichuan recipes, for it's bold and spicy flavoring due to it's liberal use of garlic, oil and spicy chili peppers.

The primary ingredient in kung pao chicken is marinated chicken and it is most often served over rice. Serving the kung pao over rice helps to distribute the heat of the chili peppers and sichuan pepercorns. If you can only handle small amounts of spice, I strongly urge you to serve this dish over rice (and maybe even consider being a little less liberal with your use of the dried chilis). While Kung Pao Chicken is my favorite dish, you can easily substitute chicken for shrimp or beef. The preparation will be slightly different but you can still use the basic ingredients and preparation methods listed in the sections below. One of the best parts about cooking is making these types of little changes, as well as little variations based on your family's own tastes and preferences (so please feel free to paly around with your own additional ingredients, or subtract or minimize some of the ingredietns listed below). If you spend any time at all in the kitchen on a regular basis, I am sure you will be able to manage just fine...

This recipe for kung pao chicken (which i like to call KUNG POW!, because it is nice and spicy) will be seperated into 3 segments:

1. Marinade: The marinade for your kung pow chicken is relatively simple. It's ingredients include soy sauce, egg, chinese rice wine, vegetable oil, Tapioca powder, garlic salt, and crushed red pepper flakes.

2. Sauce: The sauce is made of soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, salt, sesame oil, tapioca powder, chicken stock, and water.

3. Primary Ingredients: The primary ingredients are chicken (however, as I mentioned earlier, shrimp or beef can easily be substituted for chicken), garlic, sichuan peppercorns, peanuts, red bell peppers, red chili peppers, and vegetable oil.

Little known fact about Kung Pao

The name "Kung Pao" derived it's name from Gong Bao, which was the title given to Ding Baozhen who was the leader of the Shandong and Sichuan Provincesduring the mid and late 1800's.

So now you know a bit more about this delicious chinese recipe...

Get back to the recipe below...

kung pao recipe
kung pao recipe

Kung Pao Chicken Ingredients and Measurements

Kung Pao Marinade:

1 tablespoon of soy sauce

2 teaspoons of rice wine

2 teaspoons of cold water

1 beaten egg (never use the winning egg... bad joke...)

1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

2 teaspoons of tapioca powder

1 teaspon of garlic salt

1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes

Kung Pao Sauce:

2 tablespoons of soy sauce

1 tablespoon of rice vinegar

1 tablespoon of chick stock

1 tablespoon of granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil

1 teaspoon of tapioca

1 tablespoon of water

Kung Pao Primary Ingredients:

2.5 cups of sliced chicken thigh meat

3 cups of vegetable oil

10 whole dried red chili peppers

1 cup of sliced bell peppers (any color, but I usually go with the red)

1/8 of a teaspoon of ground Sichuan peppercorns

3 minced garlic cloves

3/4 cup of unsalted peanuts

Preparation of Kung Pao Chicken

There are only 5 steps to preparing kung pao chicken:

1. Combine marinade ingredients in medium bowl. Add chicken cuts and let marinate for 30 minutes to an hour.

2. Combine the sauce ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Add the water and tapioca powder last. Mix well.

3. Over high heat, add the 3 cups of vegetable oil to your wok. Once the oild is thoroughly heated (around 350F), carefully slide in the chicken slices from the side of the wok (be careful not to add to fast and risk spraying the hot oil everywhere). Cook the chicken, stirring and turning intermittently until all the pieces have turned white. Remove the chick pieces.

4. Add the peanuts, bell peppers and chili peppers to the oil and stir until the chilis plump and the skins starts turning color (darker red or brownish) or breaking. Add the garlic and groud peppercorns, along with the chicken we set aside in step 3, and stir fry for 30 more seconds.

5. Stir in the sauce and stri fry for another 30 seconds. Remove from heat and let sit for one minute.

This recipe serves approximately 4 people.


Kung Pao Chicken (spicy)

Spicy Kung Pao Chicken
Spicy Kung Pao Chicken

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    • aylsbillones profile image

      Aileen Billones 4 years ago from Naga City, Philippines

      Wow, thanks for sharing this recipe, I would love to try it.

    • MeanGreen profile image

      MeanGreen 6 years ago

      How can you tel that google plus got this. thanks for the message. I truly appreciate them.

    • MeanGreen profile image

      MeanGreen 6 years ago

      Thanks Posh,

      I will do this.

    • poshcoffeeco profile image

      Steve Mitchell 6 years ago from Cambridgeshire

      MeanGreen, google+ got you the comment above from katrinasui. I would advise you sign up to G+ also and promote every new hub via your hub page using the share button at the bottom of your hubs.

    • poshcoffeeco profile image

      Steve Mitchell 6 years ago from Cambridgeshire

      MeanGreen. This is a nicely laid out article and is full of good information. You say in your profile you need tips on promoting your pages. I would suggest trying a couple of other sites such as Wizzley


      Click the links and join.

      You can then write some alternative articles and link them to your hub pages.

      Digg is also good to promote as is Twitter!/bloghubber

      Let me know if I can help in any way.

      Also check out the learning centre by clicking on the link at the bottom of this web page.

    • katrinasui profile image

      katrinasui 6 years ago

      I love Chinese foods but i never tried this. Next time i will definitely taste it.