Kung Pao Chicken Recipe: An outstanding Chinese specialty


The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.

Kung Pao Chicken recipe is the guide to a wok-fried chicken dish that’s dotted with tangy herbs and most specifically – the spicy sweet sauce.

Kung Pao Chicken – History of Origin

Kung Pao Chicken, originally Gōngbǎo Jīdīng (宫保鸡丁), is a Chinese cuisine mainstay whose recipe was initiated in Sichuan – southwest province of China.

The dish was the creation of Din Bao Zhen – Sichuan’s governor-general at the time, under Emperor Guangxu rule. That truly well-explained its exclusive name. Soon, Kung Pao then spread rapidly within the locals and became a very popular home dish.

Later then, in the light of Westernizing tendency back in the 20th century, Kung Pao Chicken was introduced into the US with minor alterations. From that point on, the dish has been reckoned worldwide with a sweeter and less bold flavor.


Kung Pao Chicken is actually a much older dish than General Tso’s Chicken, regarding their histories of origins. Kung Pao was authentically created in Chinese in the 19th century, while General Tso’s Chicken first appeared somewhere in the Upper Eastern of the US in the 1980s.

Surprisingly, General Tso’s Chicken didn’t even come to the native Chinese’s credits in the first place – they only heard about it when the US chefs brought the dish to China.

Kung Pao Chicken and its meritorious recognition

Kung Pao Chicken has always been one of the most go-to dishes in Chinese repertoire thanks to the notable spiciness that’s supported by the touch of Sichuan pepper. The ingredients work together so well to balance out the tanginess and sweetness of the sauce base, hence, give the dish its meritorious recognition.

Most specifically, Kung Pao Chicken requires no deep-frying, which obviously makes it much less oily but obtain the aromatic flavor of wok-frying. Totally worth a spot on your family table.

Being so adjustable and easily paired, Kung Pao Chicken is often put on scale with several similar dishes. To find out more, please visit:

Kung Pao Chicken Recipe

prep: 5 mins | cook: 35 mins | total: 40 mins

Author: Luna | Yield: 2 servings

If you or your dining mates can’t stand its considerable tanginess, slinging in more veggies might help flatten the flavor a little bit. Broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy or carrots are nice choices here. After all, it takes no guts to go for a new alteration, you think?


For chicken breasts frying:

  • 1/2 pound chicken breasts (sliced into 1-inch cubes)
  • 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 3/4 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 tbsp chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil

For the sauce:

  • 1/8 white pepper
  • 2 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil

For the veggies frying:

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp ginger, minced
  • 1/4 cup peanut
  • 1/2 tbsp honey
  • 2 scallions (white and green parts separated, thinly sliced)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1/2 green bell pepper
  • 1 tbsp roasted black sesame

How to Make

Step 1. Fry the chicken

  • Combine chicken cubes 1/2 tbsp soy sauce, 1/4 tbsp oyster sauce and 3/4 tbsp cornstarch, mix them all thoroughly in a medium bowl. Let sit 10-15 minutes at room temperature.
  • Preheat your wok (better a non-stick one) with 1 tbsp vegetable oil. Add the marinated chicken breasts, cook and stir until golden brown in every side (approximately 10 minutes in high heat). Set aside.

If your kitchen happens to not having a wok around, using a regular frying pan or saucepan is totally fine.

Step 2. Prepare the sauce

  • In another bowl, combine all the ingredients for the sauce as listed. Stir until the sugar and cornstarch are dissolved. Set aside.

Step 3. Fry the veggies

  • Heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil in medium-high heat, let shimmer. Add garlic, ginger and scallion whites. Fry for 3 minutes until aromatic, or when the garlic turns light brown.
  • Add the red and green bell pepper to the wok and cook over medium heat in 5 minutes (check if they’re more tender).
  • Add peanut, honey and sesame, stir for another 30-second.
  • Return the cooked chicken breasts into the wok, pour in the sauce done at step 2. Normally, it only takes about a minute for the sauce to be thicken. That’s also when the chicken is coated evenly in the sweet brown sauce.
  • Pour in scallion greens, give everything one final proper stir to make sure the remaining ingredients are well combined.

Step 4. Serve

  • Remove the wok from heat. Dish out, garnish with sesame seeds or black pepper, and serve immediately.

Remember to stir constantly every time there are new ingredients added.

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...


The Opening of a CRITICAL ❤️ HEART

by Andrea Bandazian

Corona Cookbook Comfort

by Noah Charney

Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breast Recipe

by Luna Regina

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.


We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.