Kung Pao Chicken with Rice Recipe


In Szechuan, their place of origin, kung pao dishes always contain chilies and Szechuan peppercorns. Western versions, usually made with chicken, omit the peppercorns and always include peanuts.

Ingredients: (Serves 4)

  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sambal
  • 4 tablespoons naturally brewed soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 9oo g uncooked dark chicken meat (from the legs and/or thighs), cut into 1 cm dice
  • 3o g cornflour
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 tablespoons grapeseed or rapeseed oil
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground Szechuan Peppercorns
  • 25o g trimmed baby carrots, sliced 57 mm thick
  • 5 celery sticks, cut into 1 cm dice
  • 15o g unsalted roasted peanuts
  • White Rice, for serving


In a small bowl, combine the sugar, sambal, soy sauce, sesame oil and lemon zest and juice and stir to dissolve the sugar. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the chicken and cornflour, and season with salt and pepper. Toss the chicken to coat it lightly in the cornflour, remove the chicken to a plate and set it aside.

Heat a wok over a high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the oil and swirl to coat the pan. When the oil is hot, add half the chicken and stir-fry, separating the pieces, for 3-4 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a plate, add 2 more tablespoons of the oil, swirl, and when the oil is hot, stir-fry the remaining chicken. Transfer the chicken to the plate.

Add the remaining tablespoon of oil and swirl. When the oil is hot, add the garlic, ginger and peppercorns and stir-fry for about 3o seconds until softened. Add the carrots, celery and peanuts and stir-fry for about 2 minutes until the flavors have combined. Add the sugar mixture, and when it simmers, return the chicken to the pan. Stir to combine.

Make a bed of the rice on a platter, top with the stir-fry and serve.

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