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This take-out classic comes together in minutes, making it ideal for busy weeknight dinners.


For the chicken and marinade:
  • About 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • About 2 tablespoons Shaoxing Chinese rice wine, or dry sherry
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon crushed or ground Sichuan pepper
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken, tenderloins or breast and thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
For the sauce:
  • 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Chinese black vinegar, or aged Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon pourable light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
For the stir-fry:
  • 2 ribs celery with leafy tops from the heart, chopped
  • 1 red field pepper or bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 bunch scallions, or 2 leeks (chopped)
  • 1-inch piece ginger, grated or finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped or thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup peanut oil
  • 8-10 dried red chili peppers
  • ½ cup dry roasted peanuts
To serve:
  • 8 ounces flat rice noodles and a drizzle of sesame oil, or 1 cup white rice (cooked to package directions in chicken broth rather than water)
  • Cilantro/coriander leaves
  • Lime wedges


Serves: 4


Combine marinade and add chicken, toss to coat and let stand 30 minutes.

Combine the ingredients for sauce in a bowl, whisk up.

Chop up vegetables for stir-fry ingredients.

Bring water to boil for rice noodles or start rice to package directions.

Heat a large skillet over high heat with peanut oil, 4 turns of the pan, add chicken and brown, turn and brown opposite side, then transfer to a plate. Add celery, toss 2 minutes, add peppers, scallions or leeks, ginger, garlic and chilies to pan and toss to tender-crisp, 2-3 minutes more, then add sauce and toss, add chicken back to pan, add in nuts.

Serve Kung Pao Chicken with rice noodles or rice, then garnish with cilantro leaves and lime wedges.