Kung Pao Chicken

Classic Sichuan Kung Pao chicken. (Image: Alpha/Flickr)
Classic Sichuan Kung Pao chicken. (Image: Alpha/Flickr)

It is said that during the end of Qing Dynasty, the governor of Sichuan Province, Ding Baozhen 丁宝桢, loved Kung Pao chicken. It was his favorite dish and he liked to have it wherever he went. This dish was invented when Ding was an official in Shandong Province. His honorary title was Kung Pao, so the dish took on this name.

Kung Pao chicken is a classic dish from Sichuan cuisine.


  • Chicken meat
  • Crumbled peanuts
  • Dried hot chilies
  • Szechuan peppercorns
  • Sliced ginger
  • Spring onion
  • Sliced garlic
  • White vinegar
  • Soy sauce
  • Shaoxing cooking wine
  • Starchy flour mixed in water
  • Chicken stock
  • Oil


  1. Combine the potato starch water, some soy sauce, a bit of shaoxing wine, and a pinch of salt.
  2. Mix everything in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Dice chicken into 2 cm cubes.
  4. Add oil to wok and bring to high heat. Stir fry chilies and Szechuan peppercorns until they turn dark red and brown.
  5. Add chicken and stir-fry briefly. While stir frying, add ginger, green onion, and garlic. When the chicken cubes are almost done, add the sauce. Continue stir frying until the sauce is nearly absorbed. Add peanuts about one minute before done.


Plated, this dish should look red and bright. It should taste spicy, but not burning or dry. It should be smooth, tender, and refreshing, and have a slight sweet and sour taste. Today, many restaurants add vegetables to make the dish look good on the plate, but traditionally, the dish was served without vegetables.

Translated by Cecilia


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