Kung Pao Chicken

Preparation info

    • Difficulty


Appears in

Balance and Harmony

By Neil Perry

Published 2008

  • About

This is one of the first Sichuan dishes people learn to cook — you’ve probably had it many times in Chinese restaurants.


  • 350 g (12 oz) free-range or organic chicken thigh fillets, skin on, diced
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 dried long red chillies, halved lengthways
  • 8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 small knob of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 red capsicums (peppers), diced
  • 1 tablespoon shaoxing
  • 2 teaspoons light soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Chinkiang vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 120 g ( oz/¾ cup) peanuts, roasted
  • 4 spring onions (scallions), finely chopped


    To make the marinade, mix together the soy sauce, shaoxing and sugar with the chicken, and leave to marinate for 20 minutes.

    Heat a wok until just smoking. Add half the oil and, when hot, stir-fry the chillies until they blacken. Add the chicken and cook undisturbed for 1 minute, allowing the chicken to start browning, then stir-fry for 1 minute, or until the chicken is brown on all sides but not completely cooked through. Remove.

    Heat the remaining oil in the wok and stir-fry the garlic and ginger until fragrant. Add the capsicums and stir-fry for 30 seconds, then deglaze the wok with shaoxing. Return the chicken and chillies to the wok with the soy sauce, Chinkiang, stock and sea salt and stir-fry until the chicken is cooked through. Add the peanuts and spring onions and stir-fry for 30 seconds, or until the spring onions are bright green. Transfer to a serving plate and discard the chillies before serving.