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Kung pao chicken with bok choi recipe

Kung pao chicken with bok choi recipe

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  • Ingredients
  • Meat and poultry
  • Poultry
  • Chicken
  • Cuts of chicken
  • Chicken breast

This version of the popular Chinese kung pao chicken is packed with bok choi, ginger, red chilli peppers and peanuts. Serve on top of brown rice.

4 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 5 teaspoons reduced salt soy sauce, divided
  • 2 teaspoons dry sherry
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 450g boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornflour
  • 4 teaspoons rapeseed oil
  • 4 dried red chilli peppers, seeded, broken into small pieces
  • 4 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 150g coarsely chopped bok choi
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 40g chopped, dry-roasted peanuts
  • 250g hot cooked brown rice

MethodPrep:20min ›Cook:10min ›Extra time:10min marinating › Ready in:40min

  1. Stir together 2 teaspoons soy sauce, sherry and sesame oil in a bowl. Add chicken and toss to coat. Cover and let marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, stir together water, rice vinegar, sugar, cornflour and remaining 3 teaspoons soy sauce; set aside.
  2. Heat 2 teaspoons rapeseed oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Stir fry chicken until nearly cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate. Add chilli peppers, spring onions and remaining 2 teaspoons rapeseed oil to pan; stir fry for 1 minute. Add bok choi and ginger; stir fry 1 minute more. Add chicken and soy sauce mixture; cook until simmering. Sprinkle with peanuts and serve with rice.

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  • 1/3 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced garlic (about 8 cloves)
  • 2 pounds baby or Shanghai bok choy, halved lengthwise
  • 2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil
  • Equipment
  • A well-seasoned 14-inch flat-bottomed wok with a lid

Stir together broth, soy sauce, cornstarch, and 1/2 teaspoon salt until cornstarch has dissolved.

Heat wok over high heat until a drop of water evaporates instantly. Pour peanut oil down side of wok, then swirl oil, tilting wok to coat side. Add garlic and stir-fry until pale golden, 5 to 10 seconds. Add half of bok choy and stir-fry until leaves wilt, about 2 minutes, then add remaining bok choy and stir-fry until all leaves are bright green and limp, 2 to 3 minutes total. Stir broth mixture, then pour into wok and stir-fry 15 seconds. Cover with lid and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are crisp-tender, 2 to 4 minutes. Stir in sesame oil, then transfer to a serving dish.


In a small bowl combine the ground white pepper powder, soy sauce, salt, cornstarch, sesame oil, and water together. Mix well and add the minced garlic (see note). Set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the chopped choy sum and cook until bright green, about 40 seconds. Drain well.

Heat vegetable oil in a wok over high heat until smoking. Add the choy sum, stir, and season with a few pinches of salt. Continue to cook while stirring regularly for about 2 minutes. Push the choy sum away from the center of the wok (see note). Stir the sauce and add it to the center. Once it starts bubbling, combine it with the choy sum. Season to taste with more salt as desired. Transfer to a serving platter and serve immediately.


Kung Pao Chickpeas

A follow-up recipe to my famous General Tso’s chickpeas has been a long time coming. I thought I would tackle another popular flavor found in Americanized Chinese food and these Kung Pao chickpeas hit the spot.

My research tells me that the takeout-style Kung Pao is a little sweeter, more thickly sauced, with celery added, and most importantly, does not feature Sichuan peppercorns, which are an ingredient in the more traditional version. Sichuan peppercorns are fragrant, slightly floral peppercorns that have a mouth-numbing sort of spiciness to them. It’s hard to explain, but if you can find them at the store I recommend giving them a try. I bought a small package and toasted and ground a bunch of them, storing the ground pepper in an airtight container to portion out as needed when making batches of Kung Pao chickpeas. (For grinding spices, I continue to use a designated cheap coffee grinder).

My take on Kung Pao chickpeas falls somewhere in between the takeout and the authentic version, as I do call for the Sichuan peppercorns here. (You can use black pepper if you can’t find the peppercorns.) I did, however, take some liberties with a few of the other ingredients like Chinese black vinegar and rice wine, which I don’t normally keep in stock and didn’t want to invest in. Balsamic vinegar, which is always in my pantry, made a good stand-in, lending a sweet, musty, tangy flavor to the sauce.

Red pepper flakes (always in my cupboard) were swapped in for whole dried chiles too, and while I absolutely love to put bok choy or broccoli into my stir fries as a green component, my CSA had other plans for me. So this time around I tossed in some ribbons of collard greens, and I was surprised at how much we liked them in the dish. It’s easy to mix and match whatever vegetables you like and have on hand.

These Kung Pao chickpeas are really good with a steaming hot bowl of white rice. I also previously served them on tacos with some fresh cabbage slaw, toasted cashews, and a little vegan mayo. After a few times of making the stir-fry and tinkering with the sauce and accompaniments, I’m ready to share the recipe with you, but please remember that, as with all dishes that hinge on an important sauce element, I highly recommend taking the time to read through the list of sauce ingredients, making any needed adjustments based on your taste both before and after mixing it together.


2 tbsp vegetable oil
500g pork, chicken, turkey or beef mince
1 spring onion, ends trimmed, finely sliced
12 lettuce or cabbage leaves

Place the VERMICELLI NOODLES in a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave to soak for 3 minutes or until soft but not soggy. Drain noodles and rinse with cold water. Cut into short strips using scissors or a knife. Set aside for later.

Heat oil over medium heat and fry mince until evenly browned. Pour in the SAN CHOY BOW SAUCE and mix through mince. Simmer for a couple of minutes to let the mince absorb that tasty sauce.

Open up those crunchy WATER CHESTNUTS, drain away the liquid and pop them into the pan along with your softened vermicelli noodles. Toss to combine, then remove from heat.

Sprinkle mince mixture with the CRUSHED PEANUTS and sliced spring onion. Serve with lettuce or cabbage leaves and napkins for messy fingers!


    1. 1. Trim and discard the rough bottoms from the baby bok choy. Separate the leaves, rinse, and pat dry.
    2. 2. In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, rice wine, and sugar. Set aside.
    3. 3. Heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat until a bead of water sizzles and evaporates on contact. Add the peanut oil and swirl to coat the bottom and sides. Add the garlic and ginger and stir-fry until aromatic, 20 to 30 seconds. Add the bok choy and stir-fry for about 2 minutes, until crisp-tender. Add the soy sauce mixture and cook for another 30 seconds. Turn off the heat, and drizzle with sesame oil. Transfer to a serving plate and serve hot.

    Reprinted with permission from The Chinese Takeout Cookbook by Diana Kuan, © 2012 Ballantine Books


    Keto Cashew Chicken

    This a very quick dinner that you cane make on busy weeknights. You can layer the low carb cashew chicken it over some cauliflower rice.

    Ingredients

    • 2 Tbsp avocado oil
    • 1½ pounds chicken breasts
    • 1 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced
    • 1 green onion, thinly sliced
    • 1 tsp fresh ginger, finely minced or grated
    • 1/3 cup cashews, raw
    • ½ tsp garlic, grated
    • Salt and pepper, to taste
    • 1 bunch baby Bok choy, leaves separated
    • 3 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
    • 2 Tbsp tamari or soy sauce
    • 2 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds, for garnish

    Ingredient Swaps

    If you have chicken thighs, you can use that instead of chicken breasts in this recipe.

    Tools & Supplies

    Here are some of my favorite KETO Kitchen Tools and Gadgets that you have to check out!


    Pictorial: Kung Pao Chicken

    I have looked for years for a black steel wok with a flat bottom it had to be thick steel to stop it from warping on the induction cooktop 3500W Burner. Well I found it made by the French company Mauviel it is 12.5" diameterwith 3mm thick steel the flat bottom is 4 1/2 inches, although it has a flat inside too it cooks wonderfully. The weight is 5lbs heavy but manageable .The cost is $100 considering there is no alternative it's cheap.Here is my review. I know there are people looking for a good wok for induction so I hope some find this post good information.I do have a JWright cast iron wok that I've used for 5 years and it too is great but it's discontinued. This M Steel Wok is much better. Posted some images of the seasoned wok so you can see it . This is after oven season @500 Degrees.Turning black already non stick .Happy !

    Mauviel M'Steel Black Steel Wok, 11.8", Steel

    If you have any ?? please post i'll do my best to answer.

    I've recently become aware of the existence of this chain of Xi'an restaurants in NewYork. Are there more elsewhere?

    They were recenty referenced in a BBC article about biang biang noodles.

    Following my posting a supermarket bought roast rabbit in the Dinner topic, @Anna N expressed her surprise at my local supermarkets selling such things just like in the west supermarkets sell rotisserie chickens. I promised to photograph the pre-cooked food round these parts.

    I can't identify them all, so have fun guessing!


    Stewed Duck Feet (often served with the snails above)


    Beijing Duck gets its own counter.

    More pre-cooked food to come. Apologies for some bady lit images - I guess the designers didn't figure on nosy foreigners inspecting the goods and disseminating pictures worldwide.

    While there have been other Chinese vegetable topics in the past, few of them were illustrated And some which were have lost those images in various "upgrades".

    What I plan to do is photograph every vegetable I see and say what it is, if I know. However, this is a formidable task so it'll take time. The problem is that so many vegetables go under many different Chinese names and English names adopted from one or other Chinese language, too. For example, I know four different words for 'potato' and know there are more. And there are multiple regional preference in nomenclature. Most of what you will see will be vegetables from supermarkets, where I can see the Chinese labelling. In "farmer's" or wet markets, there is no labelling and although, If I ask, different traders will have different names for the same vegetable. Many a time I've been supplied a name, but been unable to find any reference to it from Mr Google or his Chinese counterparts. Or if I find the Chinese, can't find an accepted translation so have to translate literally.

    Also, there is the problem that most of the names which are used in the English speaking countries have, for historical reasons, been adopted from Cantonese, whereas 90% of Chinese speak Mandarin (普通话 pǔ tōng huà). But I will do my best to supply as many alternative names as I can find. I shall also attempt to give Chinese names in simplified Chinese characters as used throughout mainland China and then in traditional Chinese characters, now mainly only used in Hong Kong, Taiwan and among much of the Chinese diaspora. If I only give one version, that means they are the same in Simp and Trad.

    I'll try to do at least one a day. Until I collapse under the weight of vegetation.

    Please, if you know any other names for any of these, chip in. Also, please point out any errors of mine.

    I'll start with bok choy/choy. This is and alternatives such as pak choi or pok choi are Anglicised attempts at the Cantonese pronunciation of the Mandarin! However in Cantonese it is more often 紹菜 Jyutping: siu6 coi3. In Chinese it is 白菜. Mandarin Pinyin 'bái cài'. This literally means 'white vegetable' but really just means 'cabbage' and of course there are many forms of cabbage. Merely asking for bái cài in many a Chinese store or restaurant will be met with blank stares and requests to clarify. From here on I'm just going to translate 白菜 as 'cabbage'.

    Brassica rapa subsp. pekinensis

    This is what you may be served if you just ask for baicai. Or maybe not. In much of China it is 大白菜 dà bái cài meaning 'big cabbage'. In English, usually known as Napa cabbage, Chinese cabbage, celery cabbage, Chinese leaf, etc. In Chinese, alternative names include 结球白菜 / 結球白菜 ( jié qiú bái cài ), literally knotted ball cabbage, but there are many more.

    This cabbage is also frequently pickled and becomes known as 酸菜 (Mand: suān cài Cant: syun1 coi3) meaning 'sour vegetable', although this term is also used to refer to pickled mustard greens.

    In 2016, a purple variety of napa cabbage was bred in Korea and that has been introduced to China as 紫罗兰白菜 (zǐ luó lán bái cài) - literally 'violet cabbage'.

    Yesterday, an old friend sent me a picture of her family dinner, which she prepared. She was never much of a cook, so I was a bit surprised. It's the first I've seen her cook in 25 years. Here is the spread.

    I immediately zoomed in on one dish - the okra.

    For the first 20-odd years I lived in China, I never saw okra - no one knew what it was. I managed to find its Chinese name ( 秋葵 - qiū kuí) in a scientific dictionary, but that didn't help. I just got the same blank looks.

    Then about 3 years ago, it started to creep into a few supermarkets. At first, they stocked the biggest pods they could find - stringy and inedible - but they worked it out eventually. Now okra is everywhere.

    I cook okra often, but have never seen it served in China before (had it down the road in Vietnam, though) and there are zero recipes in any of my Chinese language cookbooks. So, I did the sensible thing and asked my friend how she prepared it. Here is her method.

    1. First bring a pan of water to the boil. Add the washed okra and boil for two minutes. Drain.

    2. Top and tail the pods. Her technique for that is interesting.


    3. Finely mince garlic, ginger, red chilli and green onion in equal quantities. Heat oil and pour over the prepared garlic mix. Add a little soy sauce.


    4. Place garlic mix over the okra and serve.


    When I heard step one, I thought she was merely blanching the vegetable, but she assures me that is all the cooking it gets or needs, but she did say she doesn't like it too soft.

    Also, I should have mentioned that she is from Hunan province so the red chilli is inevitable.


    Sauteed Bok Choy with Shrimp

    Sauteed Bok Choy with Shrimp is a simple recipe that involves baby bok choy. This vegetable is somewhat similar to a vegetable known as pechay in the Philippines – thus this dish can be considered as a variation of ginisang pechay.

    Sauteed Bok Choy with Shrimp is quick to make. This is one of the reasons why I always make it when the ingredients are available in my fridge. I think that the sherry or cooking wine helps the dis taste better.

    A few notes before you start cooking Sauteed Bok Choy with Shrimp make sure that the bok choy leaves are separated from each other. Do this by slicing the lower end of the bok choy crosswise. This will set the leaves apart. Also, use medium shrimp for this recipe. It might be more convenient if you buy frozen packaged shrimp from the grocery. It will save you time cleaning and removing the shell from the shrimp.


    Chinese Recipes

    Chinese cuisine has a very unique and distinctive style. The Chinese put an emphasis on fresh seasonal ingredients which emphasizes a balanced color, texture and presentation. Typically the Chinese prepare their food by stir-frying, deep-frying, steaming, red stewing, boiling, roasting and braising their food.

    Our Chinese recipes have all been tried and tested in our kitchen, so enjoy!

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