posted in Asian Recipes

Easy Kung Pao Chicken

I’m taking this Saturday to celebrate Jaden Hair’s brand new cookbook:  Steamy Kitchen’s Healthy Asian Favorites100 Recipes That are Fast, Fresh, and Simple Enough for Tonight’s Supper.  To celebrate, I made my family Jaden’s healthier version of Easy Kung Pao Chicken for dinner.

I’m very excited about this book because I’m not terribly experienced with cooking a lot of Asian foods at home.  I’m not exactly sure why except that I just don’t really think about it as an option that much- probably because many Asian dishes are greasy and starchy… and those aren’t options that appeal to me.  But THIS BOOK… this one right here – is full of Asian-style recipes that are much healthier!  Yahoo!


Here’s a peek into how you make Kung Pao Chicken…  First thing to note: Jaden keeps things simple in her new cookbook.  Ingredient lists are manageable, and time involved in preparing the recipe is minimal.  I like to measure everything out so it’s ready to go when the pan is hot.

If you prep ahead of time, this meal is ready in like 5 or 10 minutes!  I made some steamed brown rice with peas mixed in to serve with this quick and healthy Kung Pao Chicken.

Roasted peanuts sprinkled on top, and dinner is good to go.  The verdict from the boys in my house: “Jaden rocks!”  I guess that means they liked it.  The recipe says it serves 4, but the three of us ate every bite 🙂  Oh, and another thing to note:  I was terrified to add the dried red pepper to the dish… for fear of setting mouths on fire.  I de-seeded two peppers, chopped them up and added them in.  Though I wish I’d kept some of the heat with the seeds or added an additional pepper.  The spice that I was so afraid of didn’t come through at all.  Next time I won’t fear the dried red pepper!

My thoughts on the book:
*Beautiful color photos of every dish (I wish all cookbooks could be like this!)
*I appreciate the healthy take on Asian (and I think others will too).
*Love the creative, modern take on Asian dishes (think pineapple- crab fried rice, Chinese- Style Parchment Fish)
*The recipes really are “fast, fresh and simple.”
*I can see myself trying quite a few of the dishes in the book.

Yield: 4 small servings (or 3 more generous)

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 8 minutes

Easy Kung Pao Chicken

We enjoyed our Kung Pao Chicken served over steamed rice.


  • 10 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 or 3 dried red chilies
  • 2 teaspoons cooking oil (I used canola)
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch dice
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped (my addition)
  • 3 tablespoons fat-free vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese black vinegar or non-aged balsamic vinegar (I used reg. balsamic)
  • 1/3 cup chopped, unsalted roasted peanuts


  1. In a bowl, combine the chicken with 1 teaspoon of the soy sauce and the cornstarch. Marinate for 10 minutes. In the meantime, soak the dried chilies in hot water for a few minutes and when softened, chop. You can discard the seeds if you want it a little less spicy (I recommend keeping some of them in for a little spice!)
  2. Heat a wok or large sauté pan over high heat. When hot, swirl in the oil and add the chicken. Spread the chicken out all over the surface of the pan. Sear on both sides until lightly browned, but not cooked all the way through, about 4 minutes.
  3. Add the chiles, garlic, bell pepper and zucchini. Stir-fry until fragrant. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon of the soy sauce, the stock and vinegar. Bring to a simmer and turn the heat to medium-low. Cook for 2 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Top with roasted peanuts and serve.


  • If you are preparing this recipe as gluten-free, just be sure to use brands of soy sauce and broth that are known to be GF.
  • Switch out the zucchini with some snow peas, if you'd like.
SOURCE: (reprinted with permission and adapted barely from Steamy Kitchen's Healthy Asian Favorites)

274 Responses to “Easy Kung Pao Chicken”

  1. postedFeb 9, 2013 3:45 AM

    I don’t cook Asian very much either. King Pao Chicken is my husbands favorite take out order, he will flip when I make this for him!! Good tip on the heat, he likes things quite spicy! I’m going to have to check out this cookbook!!

  2. postedFeb 9, 2013 3:52 AM

    Looks SOOOO good! Thanks for the chance to win this cookbook!

  3. postedFeb 9, 2013 4:41 AM

    Can’t wait to cook these healthy and delicious Asian recipes! Thanks for the giveaway!

  4. postedFeb 9, 2013 5:03 AM

    Looks soo yummy! Love the veggies in it

  5. postedFeb 9, 2013 5:07 AM

    thanks for the giveaway!! i subscribe via RSS

  6. postedFeb 9, 2013 5:09 AM

    Love the healthier take on Asian dishes!

  7. postedFeb 9, 2013 5:11 AM

    I subscribe via RSS

  8. postedFeb 9, 2013 5:21 AM

    i love Jadens first cookbook! looking forward to trying this one.

  9. postedFeb 9, 2013 5:35 AM

    I love Asian food and would enjoy this cookbook!

  10. postedFeb 9, 2013 6:01 AM

    I would love to win her cookbook…her recipes look amazing!

  11. postedFeb 9, 2013 6:02 AM

    I’m a subscriber!

  12. postedFeb 9, 2013 6:11 AM
    April V

    The question said “what color blender stick do you like?”. Not sure that’s the correct question for this giveaway, so I’ll just say that this dish looks wonderful! Would love the cookbook to try different dishes at home!

  13. postedFeb 9, 2013 6:14 AM

    Looking forward to checking out this book. Thanks for the giveaway.

  14. postedFeb 9, 2013 6:19 AM

    Jaden’s a genius! I love her posts “How to cook perfect rice in the microwave” and “Japanese Mushroom Recipes” and her recipe for Tofu and Mushroom Miso Soup. Her new book has one for Vietnamese Summer Rolls with Grilled Tofu…yumza!

  15. postedFeb 9, 2013 6:33 AM
    Molly Koecher

    I need all the help I can get when it come to cooking Asian!

  16. postedFeb 9, 2013 6:46 AM

    It’s hard to pick just one asian dish but I do love kung pao chicken!

  17. postedFeb 9, 2013 6:47 AM

    I’m an email subscriber!

  18. postedFeb 9, 2013 6:48 AM

    I love Orange Chicken. =o] It’s usually my go-to when I order from somewhere!

  19. postedFeb 9, 2013 6:51 AM

    Stir-fry veggies!

  20. postedFeb 9, 2013 7:01 AM
    denise r

    love the book…thanks !!!

  21. postedFeb 9, 2013 7:04 AM

    it is fried rice!

  22. postedFeb 9, 2013 7:05 AM
    Kara D

    I love ginger chicken broccoli!

  23. postedFeb 9, 2013 7:09 AM

    I love a good fried rice recipe.

  24. postedFeb 9, 2013 7:25 AM

    Anything Thai! I love red curry with chicken and pahd thai with chicken the most, I think.

  25. postedFeb 9, 2013 7:29 AM

    I never thought of Asian as really a healthy or an easy choice to cook. Love this option!

  26. postedFeb 9, 2013 7:30 AM

    love asian food. haven’t been able to figure out how to make it myself. this book would be a huge help.

  27. postedFeb 9, 2013 7:31 AM
    Cyndy Q.

    Orange chicken

  28. postedFeb 9, 2013 7:33 AM

    my favorite asian dish would probably be pad thai. delicious!

  29. postedFeb 9, 2013 7:33 AM

    My favorite Asian dish is Pad Thai with tofu.

  30. postedFeb 9, 2013 7:34 AM
    Lia Simpson

    General Tso’s chicken

  31. postedFeb 9, 2013 7:36 AM

    I love pho, Singapore noodles, and spring rolls! I made kung pao chicken last night and it couldn’t have been this healthy!

  32. postedFeb 9, 2013 7:36 AM

    YUM! I love that Steamy Kitchen has created a healthy Asian Cookbook! I hope she has a fried rice recipe!

  33. postedFeb 9, 2013 7:37 AM

    In the Rafflecopter, it says to leave a separate comment to let you know I subscribe. Did you mean a separate BLOG comment? If so, Yes, I do subscribe to your email feed!

    Great giveaway, BTW. I love the Steamy Kitchen website.

  34. postedFeb 9, 2013 7:40 AM

    I’m a big fan of broccoli beef! Also fried rice

  35. postedFeb 9, 2013 7:41 AM

    Stir-fry veggies, eggrolls, fried wontons… 🙂 LOVE Asian food, and learning to cook a healthier version would be wonderful!!!

  36. postedFeb 9, 2013 7:41 AM
    Kelly Fox

    I just started experimenting with cooking Asian food so a chance to win a cookbook is great!

  37. postedFeb 9, 2013 7:43 AM
    Laurel M.

    my family loves asian food so this would be great to get us to start eating healthy…hope I win it 🙂

  38. postedFeb 9, 2013 7:44 AM

    Yum. I love most asian dishes – I love making them at home since they can always be made healthier!

  39. postedFeb 9, 2013 7:45 AM

    I subscribe via RSS feed!

  40. postedFeb 9, 2013 7:48 AM
    Rita K. Karsouma

    I love Asian food but have always found them to be too ‘fussy’…looks like this recipe book would be a great addition to my library! 🙂

  41. postedFeb 9, 2013 7:49 AM

    I subscribe via RSS! It’s the best way to find new recipes and pins!

  42. postedFeb 9, 2013 7:50 AM

    Spring rolls and shrimp fried rice!

  43. postedFeb 9, 2013 7:55 AM
    Cyn Smith

    I love stir fry!

  44. postedFeb 9, 2013 7:55 AM
    Stephanie N

    I love beef & broccoli!

  45. postedFeb 9, 2013 8:01 AM
    April Miller

    I love stir fry!

  46. postedFeb 9, 2013 8:05 AM

    Favorite Asian dish? Anything Thai! Especially Tom Kha soup…mmm!

  47. postedFeb 9, 2013 8:05 AM
    April Miller


  48. postedFeb 9, 2013 8:08 AM

    I also seem to “forget” that Asian dishes are an option when making dinner. However, I’d love to add some of these recipes to my usual rotation if I win this book! My favorite Asian dish that I do actually make is a peanut chicken satay.

  49. postedFeb 9, 2013 8:08 AM

    Chicken with broccoli is my favorite Asian dish!

  50. postedFeb 9, 2013 8:09 AM

    I subscribe to RecipeGirl!

  51. postedFeb 9, 2013 8:34 AM

    I love chicken teriyaki!

  52. postedFeb 9, 2013 8:40 AM
    Anne Tierney

    My favorite Asian dish to make is a 3 way tie between Combination Lo Mein, Sesame chicken, and chicken fried rice.

  53. postedFeb 9, 2013 8:47 AM

    I LOVE sushi and pad thai.

  54. postedFeb 9, 2013 8:48 AM

    I like several asian dishes, hard to pick one so to name a few…. orange chicken, beef and broccoli, kung pao chicken, teriyaki chicken.

  55. postedFeb 9, 2013 8:50 AM

    I’m a subscriber!

  56. postedFeb 9, 2013 8:53 AM

    Healthy Asian food is a wonderful idea!

  57. postedFeb 9, 2013 9:02 AM
    Kristi F


  58. postedFeb 9, 2013 9:03 AM
    Diana - Highland, IL

    My fav is anything spicy!!!..

  59. postedFeb 9, 2013 9:09 AM

    Vegetable lo mein! Or really anything with veggies and noodles.

  60. postedFeb 9, 2013 9:12 AM

    I am an email subscriber.

  61. postedFeb 9, 2013 9:18 AM

    I love Asian food!

  62. postedFeb 9, 2013 9:53 AM

    My favorite is Sesame Chicken, but I also love stir-fries and Thai Cashew Chicken.

  63. postedFeb 9, 2013 10:02 AM

    I have never tried Kung Pao chicken, but I would definitely try it if I won! My favorite Asian dishes are sesame chicken and spring rolls!

  64. postedFeb 9, 2013 10:08 AM
    Christy S Uscilka

    Sesame Chicken is my favorite most days but others it’s Beef & Broccoli.

  65. postedFeb 9, 2013 10:09 AM

    I love veggie lo mein

  66. postedFeb 9, 2013 10:39 AM

    Fave make-at-home Asian is peanut noodles & peanut sauce. I bet Jaden’s book is full of amazing ideas!

  67. postedFeb 9, 2013 10:41 AM
    Tina Sue Yip

    I think this will be a very interesting take on Asian foods in a healthier way. It also looks like there is a wide range of dishes to try. Thank you for sharing!

  68. postedFeb 9, 2013 10:51 AM
    Suzanne H

    I love cold sesame noodles!

  69. postedFeb 9, 2013 11:21 AM

    Lori – this is one of my husband’s favorite dishes – been making it since we were in college together (that’s a really long time!). I’ve been enjoying all of Jaden’s recipes – they are so easy, approachable and the ingredients can be found readily. Happy Cooking!

  70. postedFeb 9, 2013 12:17 PM

    I love spring rolls with peanut sauce, stir-fry, or cashew chicken! Yum!

  71. postedFeb 9, 2013 12:33 PM

    I love any type of eggrolls.

  72. postedFeb 9, 2013 1:29 PM

    I love Kung Pao Chicken

  73. postedFeb 9, 2013 1:35 PM

    This is my favorite asian dish – thank you! Or spring rolls…

  74. postedFeb 9, 2013 3:00 PM

    I dont eat asian much, so not sure if I have a favorite. But I do know that anytime we go out for asian food I always get something with all veggies and no meat….and I almost always love it!

  75. postedFeb 9, 2013 3:15 PM

    Anything spicy.

  76. postedFeb 9, 2013 3:27 PM

    I love almost anything Asian. I especially enjoy sushi.

  77. postedFeb 9, 2013 3:33 PM

    orange chicken!

  78. postedFeb 9, 2013 3:44 PM
    Sarah Jane Jennings

    I would LOVE to add this cookbook to my collection!

  79. postedFeb 9, 2013 3:44 PM

    General Tso’s Chicken

  80. postedFeb 9, 2013 4:00 PM

    I love having Recipe Girl posts come through my RSS feed, love Jaden’s Steamy Kitchen emails, and love Asian food!

  81. postedFeb 9, 2013 4:23 PM
    Heather McNamara

    General Tso’s Chicken

  82. postedFeb 9, 2013 4:45 PM

    Healthy Asian? Sign me up.

  83. postedFeb 9, 2013 5:26 PM

    Pot stickers must be steamed though.

  84. postedFeb 9, 2013 5:43 PM

    I love this recipe and Jaden’s new book! I made this recipe on Thursday night for dinner and we devoured it just like your family did!

  85. postedFeb 9, 2013 6:17 PM

    My Asian dish favorite is sweet and sour chicken.

  86. postedFeb 9, 2013 6:34 PM

    Sesame chicken

  87. postedFeb 9, 2013 7:12 PM

    That looks so tasty! Thanks for sharing!

  88. postedFeb 9, 2013 7:14 PM

    I also subscribe.

  89. postedFeb 9, 2013 7:28 PM

    Fried Rice! I loveee fried rice.

  90. postedFeb 9, 2013 7:29 PM
    Sarah L

    I love Chinese noodle soup with hand-pulled noodles.

  91. postedFeb 9, 2013 7:31 PM

    I’m subscribed through RSS feed.

  92. postedFeb 9, 2013 7:31 PM

    That looks so good. I must try it one day. Thanks for sharing!

  93. postedFeb 9, 2013 8:00 PM
    Karen Lynch

    I love Moo Goo Gai Pan.

  94. postedFeb 9, 2013 8:07 PM
    Lisa Thomas

    I love any type of dish with noodles. But, that Kung Pao looks delicious!

  95. postedFeb 9, 2013 8:07 PM
    Lisa Thomas

    I’m an e-mail subscriber.

  96. postedFeb 9, 2013 8:58 PM

    Pad Thai!

  97. postedFeb 9, 2013 8:59 PM

    i’m a subscriber on RSS feed

  98. postedFeb 9, 2013 9:55 PM
    Naomi Fiordimondo

    I love most any asian food. Tom Yum soup is a fav as is Pad Thai.

  99. postedFeb 9, 2013 10:03 PM
    Naomi Fiordimondo

    I subscribed, too!

  100. postedFeb 9, 2013 11:48 PM

    My favorite Asian food would be a toss up between spring rolls and coconut shrimp.

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