This Easy Kung Pao Chicken recipe tastes better and is much healthier than Asian takeout.
This recipe comes from Jaden Hair’s cookbook: Steamy Kitchen’s Healthy Asian Favorites– 100 Recipes That are Fast, Fresh, and Simple Enough for Tonight’s Supper.
I love 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!
How to Make Kung Pao Chicken
Here’s a peek into how to make Kung Pao Chicken. First, measure everything out so it’s ready to go when the pan is hot. The secret to a good stir fry is a hot pan with really quick cooking.
If you prep ahead of time, this meal is ready in like 5 or 10 minutes! I make some steamed brown rice with peas mixed in to serve with this quick and healthy Kung Pao Chicken. But the rice is completely optional.
Sprinkle a few roasted peanuts sprinkled on top, and dinner is good to go. This Easy Kung Pao Chicken recipe has become a family favorite in our house.
The recipe says it serves 4, but I prefer to make this dish and divide it into three more generous servings. Don’t be afraid to add the dried red pepper to the dish. The peppers won’t set your mouth on fire, I promise!
Jaden keeps things simple in Steamy Kitchen’s Healthy Asian Favorites. Ingredient lists are manageable, and time involved in preparing the recipe is minimal.
My thoughts on the book:
- There are 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 do 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 plan to try quite a few of the dishes in the book.
Here are a few more Asian dinner recipes you might enjoy:
- Sweet and Sour Pork
- Shrimp Lo Mein
- Hoisin Pork Stir Fry
- Szechuan Orange Ginger Beef
- General Tso’s Chicken
- Cashew Chicken
Easy Kung Pao Chicken
- 10 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
- 2 to 3 dried red chiles
- 2 teaspoons canola oil
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
- 1 medium zucchini, chopped
- 3 tablespoons fat free chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1/3 cup chopped, unsalted roasted peanuts
- 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!)
- 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.
- 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.