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May 9, 2016

Kung Pao Chicken

Skip takeout, and instead make this easy and lighter version of spicy kung pao chicken with plenty of red peppers, broccoli and peanuts.

Skip takeout, and instead make this easy and lighter version of spicy kung pao chicken with plenty of red peppers, broccoli and peanuts.

Kung Pao Chicken

I know this sounds ridiculous, but I feel responsible for our neighborhood Chinese restaurant going out of business.

Yes, that is a lot of blame to put squarely on my shoulders.

For a long time when I walked by, I noticed they were never full.

I figured they must have had a booming takeout business to balance out the handful of occupied tables.

Clearly I was wrong.

I was being naïve not considering the competition for take-out. With how easy it is to have dinner delivered, most people do not restrict their options to a place in their immediate area.

Of course I don’t know what happened, but the lack of orders, including me, must have led to the shut down.

Now that I don’t have Chinese food right outside my door, I’ve been craving it A LOT.

And I can’t remember the last time I ordered delivery, so it felt weird to just start now.

Instead of finding somewhere else to order from, I decided to take matters into my own hands.

Besides cashew chicken, kung pao chicken is one of my favorites, so I made my own version of this spicy, sweet and salty classic.

Served with brown rice, it turned out to be an easy weeknight stir-fry that that’s lighter than the restaurant version.

Kung Pao Chicken

How To Make Kung Pao Chicken

As with any stir-fry, it is important to have all your ingredients ready before you start cooking on the stove.

First, I whisk together the marinade for the chicken in a small bowl. Its a mix of soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, peanut oil, salt, pepper and cornstarch to thicken it.

The chicken marinates in the sauce for 30 minutes.

Then I heat vegetable oil in a wok or skillet. When it is hot, I brown the chicken on both sides.

After that I spoon the chicken onto a plate and add a little more oil to the pan.

I stir-fry sliced scallions, garlic, ginger and chilies. until they are fragrant.

Next, I add the red peppers and broccoli cooking them for a few minutes.

Finally it is time to put the chicken back in with the peanuts and remaining sauce, letting it bubble.

I serve kung pao chicken with brown rice.

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Kung Pao Chicken

Kung Pao Chicken

  • Author: Paige Adams
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 42 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 1x

Skip takeout, and instead make this easy and lighter version of spicy kung pao chicken with plenty of red peppers, broccoli and peanuts.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons peanut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 scallions, sliced thinly, white and green parts separated
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 dried red chilies, halved
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 ounces broccoli florets
  • 1 cup salted roasted peanuts
  • Brown rice for serving

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, peanut oil, salt, pepper and cornstarch. Add the chicken and marinate for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. Cook the chicken in a single layer until it has browned and is almost cooked through, about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove the chicken from the wok and transfer to a plate.
  3. Add the remaining vegetable oil to the wok. Sauté the white parts of the scallions, ginger, garlic and chilies until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the peppers and broccoli sautéing until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the chicken, peanuts and remaining soy sauce simmering until it has thickened, about 2 minutes. Toss in the scallion greens and serve with rice.

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