Kung Pao Chicken Recipe

Cook Eat Share
30 mins (prep 30)
20 ingredients
4 servings
As you may know, my spouse is Chinese and we cook a Chinese dinner once a week. So this week I thought I would highlight his version of the Kung Pao chicken, which is my favorite Chinese dish. This classic Sichuan dish is also known as Kung Bao chicken, Gung Po chicken, and Kung Po chicken in English. It is reportedly named after a late Qing Dynasty official who served as head of Sichuan province . His title was Gōng Bǎo (宮保), or palatial guardian and the name "Kung Pao" is derived from this. During the cultural revolution it was renamed "fast-fried chicken cubes" (hong bao ji ding) or "chicken cubes with seared chiles" (hu la ji ding) until the 1980's when its original name was once again fashionable. While the dish exists in both traditional Sichuan and Westernized versions, I'm told that in China it is thought of as an 'old home-style' type dish and no longer popular in restaurants. This may be true in China, but in the United States you find it on most every Chinese restaurant menu. While the classic version in both countries calls for chicken, you can easily substitute shrimp or pork in the recipe, although traditionally only a single meat is used. The trademark ingredient is peanuts, which you roast in the wok. In China it is not traditional to include vegetables such as bell peppers, carrots or celery, but in the U.S. you usually find these ingredients. I include them here but feel free to omit them if you want to be more authentic. I personally like the addition of vegetables in the dish. I also include our 'secret ingredient' in this recipe which you won't find many other places, but I do think it adds to both the texture of the sauce as well as to the flavor. When this American-style dish is served with white rice, you have a complete meal. It should be noted however, that in China all food is served family style and no good family would present you with one single dish. As such, we usually have three dishes on nights when we make Chinese. Each person receives a bowl (or plate) of white fluffy rice, and then servings of each of the three dishes.

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Serving Size (36.21 g)
Servings 4
Amount per Serving
Calories 151.69 Calories from Fat 105.66
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 11.74g 72.25%
Saturated Fat 1.78g 35.66%
Trans Fat 0.0g %
Cholesterol 0.0mg 0.0%
Sodium 162.92mg 27.15%
Total Carbohydrate 7.89g 10.52%
Dietary Fiber 2.29 g 36.68%
Sugars 1.61 g %
Protein 6.15g 49.17%
Vitamin A 440.65IU% Vitamin C 0.08mg%
Calcium 22.38mg% Iron 0.97mg%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your diet value must be higher or lower depending upon your calorie needs:
  Calories 2,000 2,500
Total Fat Less Than 65g 80g
Sat Fat Less Than 20g 25g
Cholesterol Less Than 300mg 300mg
Sodium Less Than 2,400mg 2,400mg
Total Carb   300g 375g
Dietary Fiber   25g 30g
Potassium   3,500 mg
Protein   50 g
Calories Per Gram
Fat 9•Carbohydrate 4•Protein 4
*Nutrition information was calculated excluding the following ingredients:
boneless, marinade, or, chinese rice wine, dry sherry, sauce, dark soy sauce, or, chinese rice wine, dry sherry, dried red chili peppers, cloves garlic, red chili peppers, or