Randy Mayor; Mary Catherine Muir
6 servings (serving size: 3/4 cup stir-fry and 1 cup rice)

Also known as kung pao chicken, this 5-Star Sichuan classic boasts multidimensional hot-sweet and salty-sour flavors. As one user review put it, "It is, hands-down, the best stir-fry chicken recipe I've ever tried." Serve this soon-to-be favorite with rice and a steamed vegetable.

How to Make It

Step 1

To prepare marinade, combine first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl; cover and chill 20 minutes.

Step 2

Heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil in a wok or large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken mixture; stir-fry 4 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove from pan; set aside.

Step 3

To prepare sauce, combine broth and next 6 ingredients (broth through 1 teaspoon sesame oil); stir well with a whisk. Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in pan. Add 2 tablespoons green onions, ginger, garlic, and chile paste, and stir-fry for 15 seconds. Add broth mixture, and cook 1 minute or until thick, stirring constantly.

Step 4

Stir in cooked chicken, water chestnuts, sliced onion tops, and peanuts; cook for 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Serve over rice.

Ratings & Reviews

rstarrlemaitre's Review

February 19, 2013
This is a good stir-fry, warming heat from the chile paste, rather than tongue tingling. I'd swap out broccoli for the green onion tops, but the rest is nice.

EllenDeller's Review

October 01, 2012
Very delicious and easy recipe. For 2 adults, one of whom is a large man, I made 1/2 the chicken and marinade, and the full amount of everything else. I used some very thinly sliced carrots instead of water chestnuts to add more color to the dish and substituted cashews because we prefer the flavor to peanuts. Served with brown rice, stir-fried savoy cabbage, and steamed chinese mustard greens for a really good meal. The sake is very important to the flavor, so don't leave it out!

AngeeMcD's Review

August 17, 2012
My family really enjoyed this. I gave it 4 instead of 5 starts b/c it wasn't quite spicy enough. I will add some red pepper flakes next time for a little more heat.

pattyjhay's Review

February 15, 2012
Used splenda instead of sugar and 2 tablespoons of crunchy peanut butter and 1/4 cup of cashews instead of 3/4 cup of peanuts to cut calories. Add red and yellow bell peppers, carrot slices and broccoli pieces.

maryringo's Review

January 31, 2012
Solid stir-fry recipe. Added a can of chopped baby corn, 1 sliced large zucchini, and 1.5 cups fresh snow peas, doubled the sauce. We like it spicy - big squirt of sriracha sauce and about 1 tsp red pepper flakes in lieu of chili paste. Using fresh ginger and garlic really helps. It's definitely a keeper, but nothing outstanding.

mandofan's Review

January 26, 2012
Good stir-fry! I did change things a bit. I found 2 to 2 1/2 tsps of corn starch produces a better sauce. CL's Asian stir fries always feature the wateriest, runniest sauces known to man. No cling to them. They end up pooled at the bottom of your bowl or plate. Also, increased chili paste to 3 tsps and increased the green onions to about 1.5 cups. 2 (8 oz.) cans water chestnuts works fine.

cborden14's Review

October 29, 2011
This recipe is fantastic! I have made it many times. Very easy to make and so flavorful. Much better than a restaurant. I've made this several times when we've had company over and it always gets rave reviews and people asking for seconds. It is a little spicy, which we like, but some might want to reduce or cut out the chili paste. Definitely a keeper in my book!

rainyballard's Review

April 28, 2011
I make this recipe at least once a month and highly recommend it. It's delicious and so flavorful; definitely one of the best stir-fry recipes I've found. I'm honestly confused as to how people could call this "bland" given the ingredients, especially the fresh ginger and garlic. I've tweaked this to my liking over the years: I often add veggies like green beans, bell pepper, zucchini or baby corn (just increase the sauce and sautee and/or steam between cooking the chicken & adding spices). Taste the sauce beforehand to perfect the vinegar/sugar ratio - I usually reduce sugar to around 1.5 T so it's not too sweet. Use bottled ground ginger & minced garlic to reduce the prep time.

msgeiger's Review

January 16, 2011
I love this recipe. My kids rave about it and request it weekly. I add some dried chipotle peppers which makes it really good.

shellashley's Review

November 18, 2010
I love this recipe!! It was in one of my first cooking light recipe books i received _ _ and was one of the recipes that has had me SOLD on cooking light!! so much flavor - and such a quick recipe despite long ingredient list