Gunpowder Chicken with Dried Chillies & Peanuts


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves:


Appears in

My Street Food Kitchen

My Street Food Kitchen

By Jennifer Joyce

Published 2015

  • About

Better known as kung pao, this blistering Sichuan stir-fry is a takeaway classic just about anywhere. Black vinegar and dark soy sauce zip up the sauce and the salty peanuts give it crunch. I’ve kept the dried chillies pretty middle ground. Not all of us want to sweat through our dinner so adjust them depending on your heat tolerance. The chillies are solely there to infuse flavour: be sure to leave them in large pieces so no one accidently eats one!

Preparation: 20 Minutes, Plus 1 Hour Marinating
Cooking: 15 Minutes


  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, quartered
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon shaoxing rice wine
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 10 dried long red chillies, stems and seeds removed
  • 1 bunch spring onions (scallions), cut into 2.5 cm (1 inch) pieces
  • 40 g ( oz/¼ cup) whole roasted peanuts
  • 1 heaped teaspoon sichuan peppercorns, ground


  • 60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) soy sauce
  • 60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) Chinese black vinegar or red rice vinegar
  • 60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
  • 2 teaspoons caster (superfine) sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornflour (cornstarch), mixed with 1 tablespoon water
  • Steamed rice, to serve


Combine the chicken, soy sauce and shaoxing rice wine in a bowl, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, to make the sauce, combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

Heat half the vegetable oil in a large wok over high heat.

Cook the chicken, in batches, until golden all over, then set aside. Add the remaining oil and cook the chillies for 1 minute, shaking the wok constantly. Return the chicken to the wok, add the spring onion, peanuts and ground sichuan pepper and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the sauce and cook for another 1-2 minutes or until reduced and thickened. Serve immediately with steamed rice.