Kung Pow Chicken

This meal comes together quickly, although if serving with rice then extra time may be needed. The ingredients may also be prepared in advance, including adding the chicken to the marinade, and stored in the refrigerator for a few hours until ready to cook. I like some spice heat in my food and this recipe reflects that. If you do not like spicy food then omit the dried chilies, or for a little spice then you may substitute the dried chilies with a pinch of crushed red pepper, or for even milder heat, a couple pinches of red chili flakes..


Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 25 minutes

Equipment Notes

  • A large wok is used for this



  • 2t corn starch
  • 2t soy sauce
  • 1t dry sherry
  • 1/8t kosher salt


  • 1/2t corn starch
  • 2T balsamic vinegar
  • 1T honey
  • 1T dry sherry
  • 2t soy sauce

Stir Fry

  • 2T high smoke-point oil (e.g. avocado or canola)
  • 6 small, dried chilies (àrbol), cut into 1/2in pieces with seeds and stems removed
  • 3/4C raw peanuts
  • 3 chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized cubes
  • 6 scallions, white and firm light green parts only, sliced in 1in pieces
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, sliced in 1in squares
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced thinly or grated
  • 1in (about 1T) piece of ginger, julienned very small (about 1mm)  or grated
  • (Optional) 2T scallion greens sliced thinly and/or 1/2t sesame seeds for garnish


  1. Mix the marinade ingredients in a bowl. Add the chicken chunks and mix very well. Set aside for at least 10 minutes while prepping the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Add the sauce ingredients to a bowl and whisk well.
  3. Wipe a thin layer of oil on the wok and heat on medium-high until the oil starts smoking.
  4. Add the oil, peanuts, and chilies, and cook for 30 seconds stirring constantly.
  5. Add the chicken and marinade, and cook 2 minutes or until the outsides are lightly browned, flipping occasionally.
  6. Add the garlic and ginger, and cook 30 seconds stirring constantly.
  7. Add the peppers and scallions, and cook 1 minute stirring constantly.
  8. Add the sauce and stir well so everything is lightly coated. Cook about 1 minute more.
  9. Sprinkle optional scallion greens and/or sesame seeds on the top.


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