This quick & easy Kung Pao Chicken Stir Fry can be on the table in 20 minutes! The popular takeout dish gets even better made at home.
Aside from being super delicious, American-Chinese food is also incredibly fascinating. I started listening to a podcast called Gastropod. In their shows the 2 hosts examine the history and science of a variety of food-related topics.
In the most recent episode (The United States of Chinese Food) they looked into the phenomenon of Chinese food in America. Did you know that…
- Chinese restaurants first became popular not on the West coast but the East coast?
- there are more Chinese restaurants in the US than all major fast food chains combined?
- although Chinese food in China is very different, they still have American-Chinese food; although it goes by the name of American food?
These are just a few of the truly fascinating tidbits I learnt. If you are equally interested in food and culture (and science) as me, definitely have a listen. I love podcasts during activities like photo editing or running on the treadmill. If I was commuting to work, that would be another perfect podcast time.
We eat a lot of delicious Thai food here, but going out to eat can get tiring (especially with a toddler) even if it’s super affordable and tastes amazing. So when I cook at home, I’ve been gravitating towards quick stir fries – specially homemade versions of our favorite Chinese takeout items.
One of those favorites is Kung Pao Chicken. I love that this delicious stir fry can be on the table in 20 minutes. That’s probably just as long as the accompanying rice needs to steam.
This version of Kung Pao Stir Fry uses Sriracha sauce to give the dish an easy level of delicious spiciness. Two whole bell peppers provide a decent amount vegetables per serving and roasted peanuts take care of some crunchy texture contrast.
For tender chicken pieces without marinating it is important not to overcook them. Make sure your pan is really hot and quickly stir fry the chicken for only a couple minutes until just done. Keep in mind that it will continue cooking for a little while even after being removed from the pan.
I have no plans of ending my series of homemade Chinese takeout recipes.
Do you have any favorites that you would like to see me make into a quick & easy homemade version?
- 1 lb chicken breast, cubed
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 teaspoons grated ginger
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ cup soy sauce (Tamari for gluten-free)
- ¼ cup water
- 1 tablespoon Sriracha hot sauce (more to taste)
- 2 teaspoons corn or tapioca starch
- 2 bell peppers, red + yellow, sliced
- ¼ cup roasted peanuts
- sesame + green onions for sprinkling
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a frying pan to high heat. Stir-fry the chicken quickly for a few minutes (until just done - don't overcook). Place on a plate and set aside.
- Fry the onion, garlic, ginger in another tablespoon of oil for 2 minutes.
- In a small bowl combine soy sauce, water, Sriracha and cornstarch until smooth.
- Add the sliced peppers and peanuts to the pan and cook until the peppers are tender-firm for 3 minutes.
- Add the sauce mix and chicken back into the pan and cook for 2 more minutes.
- Serve with steamed rice and sprinkle with sesame and sliced green onions.