Kung Pao Chicken

This dish works just as well without peanuts. If you desire a nut-free dish, omit the peanuts and switch to vegetable oil.

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

Serves: 4


  • 1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1" cubes
  • 1½ tsp. plus 1 Tbsp. cornstarch, divided
  • 2 tsp. light soy sauce
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. rice wine vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2½ tsp. peanut oil, divided
  • 1 tsp. chili paste with garlic
  • 2 thin slices fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp. Shaoxing rice wine or medium-dry sherry
  • 3 Tbsp. garlic chives or other chives, cut into 1" segments, greens sliced and reserved for garnish
  • 2 Tbsp. roasted peanuts


  • Mix chicken with 1½ teaspoons of cornstarch, soy sauce, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir well and set aside.
  • In a small bowl, mix sugar, vinegar, remaining cornstarch, and water. Set aside.
  • Heat a wok over high heat. Add 1 teaspoon of oil and swirl to coat the pan. When the oil is thoroughly heated, add chicken and stir-fry until seared, about 2 minutes. Transfer chicken to paper towels to drain.
  • Wipe the wok clean. Return to medium-high heat. Add remaining 1½ teaspoons of oil, chili paste, ginger, and garlic. Stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add chicken, wine, vinegar-cornstarch mixture, chive segments, and peanuts. Stir-fry until chicken is thoroughly cooked, about 2 more minutes. Serve hot.