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Szechuan Style Kung Pao Chicken

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Szechuan Style Kung Pao Chicken

The authentic version of Kung Pao Chicken made with leeks, ginger, garlic, dried chilis, peanuts, and Szechuan peppercorns for that numbing heat.

Szechuan Style Kung Pao Chicken recipe

Recipe Keywords:


servings: 4

total time: 30 minutes

recipe by: 


  • 2 TBSP cooking sherry
  • 1 TBSP cornstarch
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 TBSP soy sauce
  • 1 TBSP water
  • 1 TBSP sesame oil
  • 2 tsp freshly minced ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 4 TBSP peanut oil, divided
  • 2 tsp Szechuan peppercorns, coarsely ground
  • 6 dried chili peppers
  • 2 leeks, thinly sliced (white and pale green parts only)
  • 1 cup unsalted roasted peanuts
  • steamed rice for serving (about 2 cups uncooked)


  1. In a large bowl mix together the sherry and cornstarch until well combined. Add the chicken pieces to the bowl and toss to coat then cover and marinate for 20 minutes.

  2. In a small bowl mix together the soy sauce, water, sesame oil, ginger, and garlic and set aside.

  3. Heat a wok or large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 TBSP of the peanut oil to the pan and tilt the pan to coat. When the oil is hot add the chicken in a single layer and allow chicken to cook without moving for about 2 minutes then stir and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 to 5 more minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Transfer cooked chicken to a plate and set aside.

  4. Add the remaining 2 TBSP peanut oil to the pan. When the oil is hot add the peppercorns and dried peppers and cook while stirring until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Add the leeks and peanuts to the pan and cook while stirring about 30 seconds. Stir in the soy sauce mixture and bring to a slight boil. Return the chicken and any juices from the chicken into the pan and stir for 1 more minute. Take off the heat and serve with the steamed rice.

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