Photo of Kung pao chicken by WW

Kung pao chicken

Total Time
30 min
20 min
10 min
Kung pao chicken is a spicy-sweet Chinese-restaurant favorite. Who knew it was so easy (and healthier) to make at home? Though kung pao chicken is typically seasoned with hard-to-find Szechuan peppercorns, we used pantry-staple crushed red pepper to add the heat.


Uncooked boneless skinless chicken breast

1 pound(s), cut into ½-inch chunks

Low sodium soy sauce

3 Tbsp, divided

Rice wine vinegar

5 tsp, divided


3 tsp, divided

Hoisin sauce

1 Tbsp

Ginger root

2 tsp, fresh, peeled, grated

Garlic clove

2 clove(s), finely chopped

Crushed red pepper flakes

¼ tsp, or more to taste

Canola oil

3 tsp, divided

Sweet red pepper(s)

1 large, cut into 1-inch pieces

Uncooked celery

2 rib(s), medium, cut into ½-inch slices (1 cup)


cup(s), coarsely chopped

Uncooked scallion(s)

2 medium, sliced


  1. In a medium bowl, combine chicken, 1 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tsp vinegar, and 1½ tsp cornstarch and toss to coat. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine ½ cup water, hoisin, ginger, garlic, crushed red pepper, and remaining 2 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp vinegar, and 1½ tsp cornstarch. Set sauce aside.
  3. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 tsp oil over medium-high. Add chicken and cook, stirring often, until lightly browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
  4. Heat remaining 1 tsp oil in same skillet. Add bell pepper and celery and cook, stirring often, until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Stir in sauce and bring to a boil. Cook until sauce thickens, about 30 seconds. Add chicken, peanuts, and scallions and toss until heated through.
  5. Serving size: 1 cup