Easy Kung Pao Chicken

This Easy Kung Pao Chicken recipe tastes better and is much healthier than Asian takeout.

Kung Pao Chicken in a Bowl with Chopsticks

This recipe comes from Jaden Hair’s cookbook:  Steamy Kitchen’s Healthy Asian Favorites100 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

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.

Easy Kung Pao Chicken stir fried

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.

Kung Pao Chicken

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!

Steamy Kitchen's Healthy Asian Favorites

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:

Easy Kung Pao Chicken

This Easy Kung Pao Chicken recipe is much better than takeout and healthier too!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 198 kcal

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  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.

Recipe Notes

  • 3 WEIGHT WATCHERS Freestyle SmartPoints per serving-- 4 servings (rice is extra)
  • *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.
Nutrition Facts
Easy Kung Pao Chicken
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 198 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 45mg15%
Sodium 302mg13%
Potassium 535mg15%
Carbohydrates 7g2%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 19g38%
Vitamin A 1115IU22%
Vitamin C 48.1mg58%
Calcium 21mg2%
Iron 0.9mg5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Disclosure:  There are Amazon affiliate links included within this post.

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Lori Lange of Recipe Girl

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Comments

  • Lisa Cornely wrote:

    This was such a wonderful, yet simple meal. I have also been trying to avoid greasy takeout. When I make it myself I can control what goes into it. This was really a big hit. Thanks for sharing.

  • Carolyn wrote:

    This looks like a really delicious dish, all wonderful, fresh ingredients. so much better than take out!

  • lavi wrote:

    This looks wonderful!

  • Katie wrote:

    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!

  • Jeanette wrote:

    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!

  • Shannon wrote:

    Looks soo yummy! Love the veggies in it

  • Aimee @ ShugarySweets wrote:

    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!!