Healthier Kung Pao Chicken

The spicy bite of ginger, the tang of rice wine vinegar, the smoky depth of sesame oil, and that certain indescribable something that says “I am Chinese takeout” is all here in this bright dish!

Serves: 4Hands-on: 20 minutesTotal: 20 minutesDifficulty: Easy

Serves: 4


  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 5 Tbsp. cornstarch, divided
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 2 whole Chinese dried red chilies
  • 2 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
  • 6 scallions, sliced, whites and greens kept separate
  • ¼ cup natural (unflavored) rice wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup unsalted peanuts, chopped


  • Place chicken broth, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, sesame oil, and sugar in a small bowl. Whisk well to combine and set aside.
  • Place chicken in a medium mixing bowl, add 4 tablespoons cornstarch and black pepper, and toss well to coat using a pair of tongs.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add chicken and cook until lightly browned on all sides, about 4 minutes total.
  • Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pan. Add chilies, ginger, and scallion whites and cook, stirring, 1 minute.
  • Add rice vinegar and scrape the bottom of the pan to incorporate any browned bits.
  • Give chicken broth mixture a quick whisk, then add to the pan.
  • Check the chicken. If still pink inside, reduce heat and cook a couple minutes more. Remove pan from heat, sprinkle chicken with nuts and scallion greens, and serve immediately.