Real Kung Pao chicken

    55 min

    Chicken thighs, crunchy peanuts, sweet and sour chilli sauce... this is the real thing and one of my all time favourites.

    4 people made this

    Serves: 2 

    • 1/2 a bowl of peanuts, unshelled
    • 3 tablespoons oil
    • 2 boneless chicken thighs
    • 2 tablespoons Shaoxing rice wine, divided
    • 1 teaspoon cornflour
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 3 slices fresh root ginger
    • 1 tablespoon sugar
    • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
    • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
    • 2 teaspoons cornflour
    • 30 Szechwan peppercorns
    • 3 dried chillies
    • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
    • 1/2 onion, diced
    • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
    • 1 tablespoon cornflour mixed with 2 1/2 tablespoons cold water
    • Chopped scallions for garnish

    Prep:40min  ›  Cook:15min  ›  Ready in:55min 

    1. Soak peanuts in hot water for 10 minutes, then peel off skins. In a wok, heat oil over medium heat and fry peanuts until browned. Drain off excess oil to use later; let peanuts cool - they will be crispier when cooled thoroughly.
    2. Remove fat and most of the skin from the chicken thighs. (I reserved some of the chicken skin to get more flavour and cut away the parts that are too fatty). Cut cross patterns on the thighs so they will absorb the sauce more easily. Dice the thighs and mix with 1 tablespoon rice wine, 1 teaspoon cornflour, salt and ginger; marinate for half an hour.
    3. Mix the sugar, soy sauce, rice vinegar and 2 teaspoons cornflour in a bowl.
    4. Heat the reserved peanut oil in a wok, stir in the Szechwan peppercorns and cook until fragrant. Turn heat to low, stir in dried chilli and cook until they begin to darken. Stir in the garlic and onion and cook for a few seconds. Add diced chicken mixture; turn to high heat and stir for a few minutes. Stir in the other tablespoon cooking wine and chilli powder - the oil will turn red. Stir in the cornflour paste and cook until the sauce is thickened. Add the fried peanuts and scallions; stir for a few seconds and serve.


    It’s best to wait until the wok is thoroughly heated before adding in oil so that the meat will not stick to the wok.

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