Kung Pao Chicken


This tasty kung pao chicken is similar to what is served in Chinese restaurants. It's easy to make, and you can be as creative with the measurements as you want. You can't go wrong! The sauce reduces until nice and thick.

Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
30 mins
Additional Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
1 hr 30 mins

Make restaurant-worthy Kung Pao chicken at home with this top-rated recipe.

overhead shot kung pao chicken

What Is Kung Pao Chicken?

Kung Pao chicken (a.k.a. Gong Bao or Kung Po) is a stir-fried Chinese dish that consists of cubed chicken in a sweet, spicy, and savory sauce. It originated in southwestern China in the early 1800s.

What Is In Kung Pao Chicken?

This Kung Pao chicken recipe consists of cubed chicken breasts soaked in a marinade (made with cornstarch, water, white wine, soy sauce, and sesame oil) and tossed in a sweet-savory sauce (made with hot chili paste, brown sugar, white vinegar, water chestnuts, peanuts, onions, and garlic).


· Use Shaoxing wine if you have it on hand.
· You can substitute cashews for peanuts and bamboo shoots for the water chestnuts.
· If you want, you can add cubed red and green bell peppers for color and flavor.

How to Make Kung Pao Chicken

You'll find the full, step-by-step recipe below — but here's a brief overview of what you can expect when you make this top-rated Kung Pao chicken:

1. Make the marinade, then marinate chicken in the fridge.
2. Make the chili paste-brown sugar sauce. Add the remaining ingredients and cook.
3. Cook the marinated chicken in a skillet until it's cooked through.
4. Add the chicken to the chili paste-brown sugar sauce.
5. Continue cooking until the sauce thickens.

stir-fried chicken breast pieces with peanuts and sauce over white rice

What to Serve With Kung Pao Chicken

This Kung Pao chicken pairs perfectly with plain rice, but you can kick things up a notch with one of these top-rated Chinese-inspired side dishes:

· Egg Drop Soup
· Easy Fried Rice
· Chinese Broccoli

Allrecipes Community Tips and Recipes

"Easy to make and amazing flavors," according to one Allrecipes community member. "Preparation is everything as there is a lot of chopping. I added celery and a touch of ginger. Nice touch."

"I made this by adding red bell pepper and chopped onion (didn't have green onions) because that's what our favorite Chinese restaurant does," says Lucy. "I also had to substitute garlic chili sauce for the chili paste."

"I added broccoli, scallions, green pepper, and lightly salted dry roasted peanuts and it was amazing," raves Shirley R. Ritter.

Editorial contributions by Corey Williams


  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch, dissolved in 2 tablespoons water

  • 2 tablespoons white wine, divided

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce, divided

  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil, divided

  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into chunks

  • 1 ounce hot chili paste

  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar

  • 1 (8 ounce) can water chestnuts

  • 4 ounces chopped peanuts

  • 4 green onions, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic


  1. Combine water and cornstarch in a cup; set aside.

  2. Combine 1 tablespoon wine, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, and 1 tablespoon cornstarch/water mixture in a large glass bowl. Add chicken pieces and toss to coat. Cover the dish and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

  3. Combine remaining 1 tablespoon wine, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, and remaining cornstarch/water mixture in a medium bowl. Whisk in chili paste, brown sugar, and vinegar. Add water chestnuts, peanuts, green onions, and garlic and toss to coat.

  4. Transfer water chestnut mixture to a medium skillet. Heat slowly over medium heat until aromatic.

  5. Meanwhile, transfer chicken from marinade into a large skillet; cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear.

  6. Combine water chestnut mixture and sautéed chicken together in one skillet. Adjust heat and simmer together until sauce thickens.

    stir-fried chicken breast pieces with peanuts and sauce over white rice

Editor's Note:

The nutrition data for this recipe includes information for the full amount of the marinade ingredients. Depending on marinating time, ingredients, cooking method, etc., the actual amount of the marinade consumed will vary.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

437 Calories
23g Fat
25g Carbs
34g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 437
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 23g 30%
Saturated Fat 4g 19%
Cholesterol 66mg 22%
Sodium 596mg 26%
Total Carbohydrate 25g 9%
Dietary Fiber 4g 15%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 34g
Vitamin C 6mg 28%
Calcium 49mg 4%
Iron 2mg 13%
Potassium 621mg 13%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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