Fast Recipes

Kung pao chicken

This quick and easy stir-fried kung pao chicken recipe is marinated in Shaoxing wine and is full of Sichuan flavours and spices.

By Lisa Featherby
  • Serves 4
Kung pao chicken
Kung pao chicken

If you'd like a thicker sauce, add a slurry of a teaspoon of cornflour mixed with a tablespoon of cold water in the last two minutes of cooking.


  • 4 dried long red chillies, coarsely chopped
  • 1½ tbsp peanut oil
  • 3 tsp Sichuan peppercorns, coarsely crushed with a mortar and pestle
  • 1½ tbsp julienned ginger
  • 80 ml (1/3 cup) chicken stock, or water
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) Chinkiang vinegar (see note)
  • 2 tbsp Shaoxing wine
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 spring onions, thinly sliced, plus extra to serve
  • 100 gm roasted peanuts
  • steamed long-grain rice and coriander (optional), To serve
Marinated chicken
  • 750 gm chicken thigh fillets (about 5), cut into 1cm pieces
  • 2 tbsp Shaoxing wine
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce


  • 1
    For marinated chicken, place chicken in a bowl with wine, soy sauce and a large pinch of white pepper and set aside.
  • 2
    Heat a wok over high heat until hot. Add chillies and stir-fry until toasted (1 minute), then set aside. Add oil and Sichuan peppercorns and stir-fry until fragrant (1 minute). Add ginger and marinated chicken in 2 batches and stir-fry until chicken is cooked and golden brown (3-4 minutes). Return all chicken to the pan along with stock, vinegar, Shaoxing, soy, sesame oil and spring onion and bring sauce to the boil. Add peanuts and toasted chillies, toss to combine and serve on rice scattered with extra spring onion and coriander.


Note Chinkiang, a black Chinese vinegar, is available from Asian grocers. If it's unavailable, substitute 1-2 tbsp malt vinegar or to taste.