Keyword: Healthy Kung Pao Chicken, Kung Pao Chicken Panda Express
1.5lbChicken breast2-3 breasts
3clovesgarlicsliced or chopped
1/2cuppeanutsraw (can also use cashews)
1/4tspred pepper flakesfor garnishing
2tbssoy sauceuse real (not low sodium)
2tspred chili garlic sauceadd less or more for your spice preference. 2tsp is medium to mild.
Marinade (for velveting chicken)
Velvet Chicken for 30 minutes
First you will want to slice your chicken and then velvet your chicken using the ingredients under marinade ( corn starch, soy sauce, sherry vinegar, rice vinegar, sesame oil). You will then let your chicken marinate for 30 minutes, letting the marinate break down the chicken fibers to tenderize the meat.
Next combine all the ingredients under "sauce" and whisk together. Add the corn starch last, slowly while whisking to prevent clumping.
Cook in the Wok or Skillet
This dish is best cooked in a wok or skillet. The chicken is so tender that the Instant Pot or Slowcooker will turn it into shredded chicken. Trust me!Once your chicken is done marinating, turn your wok on medium high heat and add a small amount of cooking oil to prevent sticking. I prefer avocado oil which can withstand high tempurates.Very quickly brown the chicken being sure to turn often to prevent sticking (about 1-2 minutes). Then add the veggies & garlic and continue stirring for about 2-3 minutes. Next give your sauce a quick whisk and add the meat and veggies. Cook an additional 1-2 minutes until sauce begins to thicken. This Kung Pao Chicken cooks very fast.Last, turn off the heat, and stir in your peanuts or cashews.Garnish with red pepper flakes before serving.
Velveting Your MeatVelveting is a chinese cooking technique which uses corn starch or baking soda to make the meat incredibly tender by breaking down the fibers. There are serveral variations to velveting and we use corn starch with a vinegar and oil which helps the corn starch coat the meat. This technique I prefer because you can just add it directly to the recipe with any rinsing and you do not need to boil the chicken first.Panda Express Kung Pao ChickenThis sauce is the most similar to what is used at Panda Express. Their ingredients use Red Chili Garlic Sauce. I prefer this to using real peppers because it allows each chef to tailor the spice level to their preference. It also adds an amazing flavor.Oyster SauceDo not skip the Oyster Sauce. You can find this at any grocery store. This is the secret ingredient to the Chinese Brown Sauce everyone knows and loves. All my chinese stir-fry dishes use this sauce as its' base. The only difference with my Kung Pao Sauce is the addition of the red chili garlic sauce.VeggiesFeel free to use your favorite veggies. While the Kung Pao Chicken at Panda Express uses zuchini, I prefer broccoli. You can also add carrots, mushrooms, baby corn, or water chestnuts.
Best Kung Pao Chicken Recipe (Like Panda Express)
Amount Per Serving (1 cup)
Calories 379Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Vitamin A 1359IU27%
Vitamin C 72mg87%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.