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Kung Bao Chicken Recipe

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This recipe for Kung Bao Chicken, by , is from Brues, Let's Eat, one of the cookbooks created at FamilyCookbookProject.com. We help families or individuals create heirloom cookbook treasures.

Erik Brue
Added: Saturday, April 18, 2009


1 lb. chicken breast

Marinade for chicken

½ tsp. salt
2 tsp. soy sauce
1.5 tsp. sherry or Chinese rice wine
2 tsp. corn starch
white pepper to taste

Kung Bao sauce
3 T. black bean sauce
1 T. hoisin sauce
1 T. red chili sauce
2 tsp. sugar
1 T. sherry/Chinese cooking wine
2 tsp. white vinegar
*2 cloves garlic (not needed if the black bean sauce used is black bean with garlic sauce)
2 chilies

2 cloves garlic - minced
equal amount ginger - minced
½ lb Raw peanuts
10-20 chili peppers
2 scallions chopped into fine slivers
Kosher salt to taste

Cut the chicken into small ¼ inch cubes (about the size of two to three peanuts)

Marinate the chicken with marinade ingredients above (around 30 minutes)

Combine Kung Bao sauce ingredients

Add 1 cup oil to wok and heat over high flame. When oil is hot, shimmering but not smoking, add the raw peanuts and cook until slightly browned. Take out peanuts with a strainer and place on paper towels to drain oil away. They will continue to cook so be careful not to overcook. The peanuts will need about 5-10 minutes to cool down and harden before they can be re added to the dish (they can also be done well in advance)

Remove oil from wok.

Add 2 T. of oil (it is fine to reuse the peanut flavored oil) to wok and heat over high flame. When oil is hot, shimmering but not smoking, add the chilies. After a few moments until they are crisp but not burnt add garlic and ginger and the white part of the scallions. After about 30 seconds or so, depending on the heat of the stove, add the chicken stirring constantly.

Continue cooking, stirring constantly until the chicken is cooked through, but just barely, and add the Kung Bao sauce. As soon as the sauce has become thick and shiny add the peanuts stir in and serve garnishing with the green scallion slivers.

*some of the prepared sauces used in this recipe already have quite a bit of salt in them. If you feel that it is not quite salty enough add salt to taste to the Kung Bao marinade.

**If preparing more chicken just increase the amount of ingredients -- what is important is maintaining the right ratios. Having said that playing around with the ratios and adding different ingredients to the Kung Bao sauce is not something you should be afraid of.

Number Of Servings:
Number Of Servings:
Preparation Time:
Preparation Time:
30 minutes
Personal Notes:
Personal Notes:
I don’t think that it is a surprise to any one that my contribution to the cookbook is a Chinese dish. I have always loved Chinese food and my earliest food memories are of standing and staring dreamily at the window displays of hanging bar-be-qu pork ribs in Chinatown. This has been my signature dish for a long, long time and is a dish that to my tastes’ is better than any version I have had in any restaurant.

I have always loved spicy dishes and this dish can certainly be spicy. To control the spice, take out the seeds and reduce the amount of chilies. I on the other hand would probably increase them. As Alexia and Marget have pointed out, I used to strategically add more chilies when I made this dish on our Chinese cooking nights so that the rest of the family would only eat a small portion and I could eat the rest.

This dish has been a constant companion in my life; I have made it for school projects (on Chinese cooking no less), for family, for friends, for myself and I have even made it in China to impress my prospective in-laws (fortunately they like the dish). Unfortunately, my old gambit of turning up the heat no longer works, Hanna likes it spicier than I do.

A more authentic Kung Bao dish has a couple of different tweaks but the basic format is the same.

For another more Authentic version the Kung Bao sauce should be modified to include only the following:

3 tsp. sugar
1 1/8 tsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. dark soy
1 tsp. light soy
3 tsp. chinkiang or black Chinese vinegar
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 T. chicken stock or water

In addition, when adding the chilies one should also add a tsp. or 2 of whole Sichuan peppercorns.




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