Kung Pao Chicken(宫爆鸡丁)

A lighter KP that cooks up fast. This was adapted from a recipe in Food & Wine magazine.

Serves 4


    • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

    • red and green bell pepper

    • whole dried red chilis (chili flakes are a fine substitute, but the whole chilis look totally bad-ass on the plate!)

    • fresh ginger, garlic, onion

  • OJ, tamari, cider or rice vinegar


Mix together in a small bowl:

  • ½ cup orange juice

  • ¼ cup rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar

  • ¼ cup soy sauce or tamari

  • 1 T sugar

  • 2 t cornstarch

Cut chicken breasts into bite-sized chunks, pat dry and sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt. Reserve.

In a wok or large skillet heat:

  • 1 T canola oil

Add to the wok and sauté:

  • 8 small dried red chilis, or 2-3 t chili flakes

  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped or pressed

  • 2 T fresh ginger, finely chopped or grated

Add the chicken to the wok and cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes, or until browned all over. Transfer to a bowl and reserve.

Add 1 T canola oil to the wok and heat. When hot add:

  • ½ red bell pepper, sliced in thin strips

  • ½ green bell pepper, sliced in thin strips

  • 1 small onion, halved and sliced crosswise

When the peppers have softened (allow about 5 minutes cooking time), add the chicken back to the wok and stir to combine. Heat thru and cook everything together for a few minutes.

Add the sauce to the pan and cook until thickened, another minute or two. Stir in:

  • ½ cup roasted peanuts or cashews

  • 1 t sesame oil

Taste for seasoning and serve with basmati or other long-grain rice.

copyright 2008-2014 Katie Fairbank