Deep-Fried Kung Pao Chicken With Peanuts

Kung Pao Chicken

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Prep: 50 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 60 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
582 Calories
50g Fat
15g Carbs
21g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 582
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 50g 64%
Saturated Fat 8g 40%
Cholesterol 47mg 16%
Sodium 703mg 31%
Total Carbohydrate 15g 5%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Protein 21g
Calcium 68mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Kung Pao Chicken, named after a court official or "Kung Pao," is a spicy Szechuan dish made with diced chicken, peanuts and chili peppers. This recipe calls for deep-frying; for a lighter version, try Kung Pao chicken stir-fry.


  • 2 boneless chicken breasts (about 6 ounces each)
  • For the Marinade:
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese rice wine (or dry sherry)
  • 2 teaspoons cold water
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • For the Sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar (black or red, or red wine vinegar)
  • 1 tablespoon chicken broth (or water)
  • 3 teaspoons sugar (granulated)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 to 4 drops sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • For the Stir Fry:
  • 6 to 8 small dried red chili peppers (or as desired)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup peanuts (skinless, unsalted)

Steps to Make It

  1. Cut the chicken into 1-inch cubes.

  2. Mix in the soy sauce, rice wine or sherry, water and cornstarch.

  3. Marinate the chicken for 30 minutes.

  4. In a small bowl, mix together the sauce ingredients, whisking in the cornstarch last.

  5. Remove the seeds from the chile peppers and chop.

  6. Peel and finely chop the garlic.

  7. Heat the oil for deep-frying to between 360 and 375 F.

  8. Carefully slide the chicken into the wok, and deep-fry for about 1 minute, until the cubes separate and turn white.

  9. Remove and drain on paper towels.

  10. Drain all but 2 tablespoons oil from the wok.

  11. Add the chilies peppers and stir-fry until the skins start to darken and blister.

  12. Add the garlic.

  13. Stir-fry until aromatic (about 30 seconds).

  14. Add the deep-fried chicken back into the pan.

  15. Stir-fry briefly, then push up to the sides of the wok and add the sauce in the middle, stirring quickly to thicken.

  16. Stir in the peanuts.

  17. Mix everything together and serve hot.