Kung Pao Chicken (宫保鸡丁)
January 08th, 2014 194 Comments

Kung Pao Chicken (宫保鸡丁)

Kung Pao Chicken
Kung Pao Chicken pictures (1 of 6)

This Kung Pao Chicken recipe was originally posted on Nov 18, 2007. Updated with new photos.

(Popular and All-Time Favorite Chinese recipesBroccoli Beef, Sweet and Sour Pork, Egg Drop Soup, Chow Mein, Cashew Chicken, Fried Rice, Orange Chicken, Mongolian Beef, and more.)

Today, I am sharing with you a popular Chinese recipe that is well-loved by many in the United States and all over the world—the famous Chinese Kung Pao Chicken (宫保鸡丁).

Kung Pao is a cooking technique originated from the Sichuan province of China; the authentic Sichuan Kung Pao Chicken (宫保鸡丁) or Gong Bao Ji Ding calls for the staple Sichuan peppercorn for the numbing flavor, however, the version popular outside of Sichuan has since been adapted to many regional variations. For examples: in Malaysia, Kung Pao chicken is served without peanuts, but sometimes cashew nuts are used; in Thailand, fish sauce and sweet soy sauce are used to flavor a similar dish. However, the Kung Pao chicken we get in 90% of so-called Chinese restaurants in the United States is the heavily Americanized version that appears gooey, greasy, and sweet. You will also find all kinds of vegetables in the dish such as carrots, water chestnuts, celery, zucchini, and even broccoli.

Kung Pao Chicken (宫保鸡丁)

I tried to keep my Kung Pao Chicken recipe as authentic as possible, but feel free to tone down the quantity of dried chilies as you wish. I wanted to share the secret ingredient of Kung Pao chicken, which is vinegar in the sauce. It gives that subtle yet characteristic touch to complete the Kung Pao flavor.
If you like this Kung Pao Chicken recipe and Chinese recipes, you might also like the following recipes on Rasa Malaysia:


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Crab Rangoon Mongolian Beef
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Click Page 2 for the Kung Pao Chicken (宫保鸡丁) Recipe
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194 comments... read them below or add one

  1. Masud says:

    I tried it but it came out very dry. Any idea?

  2. TheJazzProphet says:

    Pat the chicken dry… with water? I’ll just go ahead and assume that’s supposed to be a paper towel.

  3. nicki says:

    Hi there,
    Can you please tell me how many people this the kung pao recipe serves. Looks really good as do all your recipes!. Have just discovered your website and cant wait to try lots of recipes.

  4. Shah says:

    Hi! Any halal substitute for the Shaoxing wine?

  5. Peter says:

    Shah, maybe I’m ignorant of Muslim law, but when you heat alcohol the ‘alcohol’ evaporates, and you’re left with the flavour, is this still forbidden.

    • Shidah says:

      It’s still forbidden as the alcohol may not evaporate totally. Still it’s a good recipe and I would just skip the wine :-)

      • Richard says:

        The alcohol evaporating is a myth rarely would you get more than a reduction of 50%. Cooking and stirring for 3 hours will reduce it to 5% of its original amount However remember if you add a quarter cup of wine and it is say 10% alcohol it is actually 10% of a quarter cup or about .4 of an ounce cooking even for a few minutes will reduce it to about 70% of that or about .3 of an ounce and that is contained within the entire pot and if it is a serving for 4 it now becomes .1 of an ounce or about 1.5 drops from an eye dropper. Keep in mind most mouth rinses, liquid medicine, cough syrup (some of them are 40% alcohol), make-up and finger nail polish (which can be absorbed through the skin) extracts (vanilla almond, chocolate, etc) widely used in commercial products contain alcohol (often a high percent)and they are also used in home cooking.

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  7. Siti says:

    I love to have the chicken with more gravy.Can i just add more water and adjust the salt accordingly or i should double up everything in the sauce ingredients.

    Many thanks.

    • martynGB says:

      Siti, you are used to Western restaurants where everything is drowned in sauce. Typical Chinese just has enough sauce to coat the ingredients so to not overpower them.

      I think most Kung Pao recipes I’ve mulled over always have white pepper. Apart from that Bee’s Kung Pao is the proper recipe.

    • martynGB says:

      Also most restaurants nearly always use thigh meat, rarely breast, so you may notice that also. It’s cheaper but also the has more flavor than breast. As it’s fattier I use a mix when cooking chicken. When cooking pork you have to get the fattier cuts, lean pork doesn’t stir fry well at all unless in tiny strips.

  8. ginobean says:

    I followed your recipe and it turned out really well. It was delicious !

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  11. presa1200 says:

    Szechuan cuisine is so palatable

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  13. ampurr says:

    Can you make this recipe without the spice or very little spice?

  14. That’s a lovely straightforward recipe and very Chinese rather than western

    I have posted a recipe for a Chinese version that your readers might like to look at here:

    and also a westernized dish in the same spirit here:

  15. Liz says:

    Thank you for the nice recipe. Have a wonderful day!

  16. Andrina Goetz says:

    This is one of my favorite dishes. I like it spicy. Thanks for sharing.

  17. Howard Dappen says:

    Hi Rasa,
    I really enjoy your recipe’s, Im a novice when it comes to cooking, but, I really try several of your recipes and end up pleasantly surprised as well as my wife, she is amazed, I even try new recipe’s.Have a nice day.



  18. Pris says:

    Hi ,

    Can I simplify by frying the ginger, dry chilli and garlic first , then add chicken , then add the sauce ? What is the purpose of cooking the chicken to 70% first ? Thanks .

    • Yes you can do it your away. The reason of pre-cooked the chicken is to seal in the moisture and make the chicken extra tender, smooth, and silky. Try it, you won’t regret it.

  19. Vickie says:

    I can’t wait to try this. Kung Pao Chicken is my favorite, I can only find good Kung Pao at one local restaurant.

  20. Jennifer M. says:

    I’ve never heard or seen black red wine vinegar an acceptable substitution?

  21. ronald.rodrigues says:

    Hi! Rasa, Any other Wine you would prefer me to use instead Shaoxing Wine. Kind regards Ronnie.

  22. Polyglot says:

    This turned out perfectly; thanks so much for sharing the recipe. It has a great balance of flavors.

    Keep up the great work!

  23. Paddy says:

    Hi rasa, my wife finds the Kung pao a little dry can I double you on the sauces and vinegar to make it a bit wetter?

  24. Brad says:

    Hi Rasa,

    We used to have a Chinese restaurant around the corner which used to have a lovely plum sauce chinese chicken stir fry. The restaurant has now closed. Do you have a recipe for this?

  25. paulina says:

    I love this version of Kung Pao , less vinegar. I also love the changes in your website and the options for printing.

  26. Jesse says:

    Should we use the baking soda trick with this recipe too?

  27. chinese cuisine says:

    i tried this once and never had again. but since you posted this recipe for sure i am making this one of this days. as i love it, very tasty.

  28. Wes at Red Bean says:

    Really appreciated your comments introducing the myriad regional variations of this dish. Writing from here in the U.S. I’m definitely most familiar with the “gooey, greasy, and sweet” version found on so many takeout menus. Enjoyed being reminded of the dish’s Sichuanese origins, as well as the different styles found in places like Malaysia and Thailand. Also served as a reminder that the Chinese-American population here is dwarfed by overseas Chinese communities in other countries!

  29. Hi Rasa,
    Loved the recipe. The fun thing abt Chinese food is less ingredients but full of flavour. Going to give it a try now

  30. Shanta says:

    Hi Rasa,
    I am writing from India. Here shaoxing wine or rice wine is not available..other than sherry can this wine be replaced with something else in this recipe..preferably non-alcoholic
    Thank you.

  31. Shanta says:

    Hi Rasa,
    I am writing from India. Here the Shaoxing Wine or Rice wine is not avaialable.. Can you suggest any replacement in the recipe for these wines other than dry sherry?? I would
    prefer a non alcoholic replacement.


  32. janagi says:

    with all these positive comments, I am going to try this as I am not so good in cooking Chinese dishes.

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