KungPao-ish Chicken

Okay so I call this recipe KungPao-ish because it is definitely not 100% authentic. I don’t have sichuan peppers that are typically used in this dish to give it that tingly heat. Other than that though the ingredients are fairly authentic – chicken, celery, red bell pepper and peanuts. This is probably not the same kungpao chicken you are used to getting at Panda Express or even your local Chinese restaurant – often times those are loaded with sweeter flavors to appease to American palates. This one is spicy with a very subtle sweetness and has a tang to it. This kungpao chicken recipe is going to be very similar to the dish you would find in China, or in the local, less well-known Chinese restaurant perhaps in an Asian market or Asian district. I love this dish so much and it has always been one of my favorites. When I first ate this dish in China though, it was much different from what I was used to in the States, but it was way better and I fell in love with the authentic version. Like I mentioned above, this is definitely not authentic, and I will not claim that it is. But it is delicious and a very close replication of the authentic version you should absolutely try. The chicken is tender and juicy and the peanuts add a delicious nutty flavor and crunch! Make this the next time you want take out or are in the mood for trying something new!

  • 2 Chicken Breasts, Cubed
  • 2 Red Bell Peppers, Diced
  • 5 Ribs Celery, Sliced Thinly
  • 3/4 Cups Peanuts
  • 3 Tbsp Cornstarch
  • Salt + Pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Oil
  • 1 Cup Jasmine Rice

For the Sauce:

  • 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Sambal Oelek
  • 1 Tbsp Minced Ginger
  • 1 Tbsp Minced Garlic
  • 1 Tbsp Miso Paste
  • 3 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Fish Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Sriracha
  • Serves: 4
  • Prep Time: 15 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 Minutes
  • Total Time: 35 Minutes

To Make:

  1. Let’s start with the rice – in a pot add the rice and 2 cups of water. Cover and turn on low and let the rice cook for 20 minutes.
  2. Now let’s make the sauce – in a medium bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, soy sauce, sambal, ginger, garlic, miso, rice vinegar, fish sauce and sriracha and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, add the chicken and generously season with salt and pepper. Add in the cornstarch and toss together until the chicken is coated evenly.
  4. Heat a large pan over high heat and add in the oil. Once hot, add in the chicken and cook for a few minutes to brown the chicken. Reduce the heat to medium, remove from the heat and transfer the chicken to a plate.
  5. Add the sauce to the pan and scrape any brown bits from the bottom of the pan and cook the sauce for 2 minutes to reduce down.
  6. Add the celery and red bell pepper and continue cooking for 5 minutes.
  7. Next, add the chicken back in to the pan and stir to coat the chicken evenly. Continue cooking for 8 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce starts to thicken.
  8. Lastly, add in the peanuts and stir to evenly combine.
  9. Divide the rice between 4 bowls and top with the chicken and sauce!

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