Chicken, Kung Pao

1338720043.461499 large

I’m a huge fan of stir-fry and have been making good use of the wok my Dad got for me a few years back.  If you don’t have one but cook Asian dishes, it really is a must-have.  Not the electric kind either…get one with a flat bottom so that you can maximize every BTU that comes out of your residential stove.  I love that Cooking Light has truly embraced Asian Fusion and this recipe is a keeper.   It is not authentic Kung Pao, but it is a slightly healthier Western version that will give you all the flavor of take-out at half the calories and half the cost.

Source: Adapted by Cooking Light, December 2010

Servings: 4


  • 1 tablespoons  dark sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup  chopped onion
  • 1 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 pound  skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3/8 cup  water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons  lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoons  cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon  brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon  bottled minced ginger
  • 1/2 to 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 cup  thinly sliced red bell pepper (about 1 large pepper)
  • 1/2 cup  snow peas, trimmed
  • 1 tablespoons  chopped unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts


  1. Heat sesame oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. 
  2. Add onion to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until softened. 
  3. Add garlic; sauté 30 seconds, stirring constantly. 
  4. Add chicken; sauté 3 minutes or until chicken begins to brown.
  5. Combine 3/8 cup water and the next 5 ingredients (through crushed red pepper), stirring with a whisk until sugar dissolves.
  6. Add water mixture to pan; bring to a boil. 
  7. Add bell pepper and snow peas to pan; cook for 2 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender and sauce thickens. 
  8. Sprinkle with nuts.
© Jay Deitch 2013