Kung Pao Chicken Stir Fry

A highly requested dish, this Kung Pao Chicken recipe is a crowd favorite with tender chicken and mouthwatering sauce. A perfect blend of sweet, savory, and spicy!

Kung Pao Chicken is one of the most popular Chinese recipes we have here on LCA and for good reason. It’s such an easy stir-fry dish that’s bursting with addicting flavors.

Skip Chinese takeout and learn how to make this healthy kung pao chicken easily and quickly!

Kung pao chicken stir fry svered in a white bowl topped with green onions, chopped macadamia nuts and green pepper being picked up with a pair of red chopsticks.

What is Kung Pao Chicken Stir Fry?

Kung Pao Chicken uses all the classic flavors you would find in a Chinese restaurant, sweet, savory, and spicy.

This recipe uses low carb and keto friendly ingredients such as a monkfruit erythritol blend to replace sugar and macadamia nuts in place of peanuts. Therefore, you won’t use ingredients such as cornstarch, or sugar but trust me when I say that the flavor is amazing, if not better than the original!

If you prefer the traditional route, feel free to use cane sugar and peanuts in this recipe.

What does Kung Pao Chicken taste like?

Kung pao chicken is sweet, spicy, a little tangy, and full of flavor.

What is the difference between Kung Pao chicken and General Tso?

The difference between kung pao chicken and general tso chicken is that general tso chicken is battered and deep fried then coated with sweet and spicy sauce while kung pao chicken uses naked chicken that’s coated in sauce.

What is Kung Pao Sauce made of?

This healthy, low carb, sugar-free, and keto friendly Kung Pao sauce is made up of garlic, soy sauce, chicken broth, Japanese sake, sweetener, red wine vinegar, sriracha, sesame oil, and xanthan gum.

Kung pao chicken stir fry svered in a white bowl topped with green onions, chopped macadamia nuts and green pepper.

What ingredients do I need and how do you make the Kung Pao chicken recipe?

Stir Fry

  • Chicken – preferably chicken thigh for juicier and tender meat. Chicken breast can be used as well.
  • Squash – cut into cubes. Can also use other vegetables such as bell peppers.
  • Salt – table salt or sea salt.
  • Black Pepper – fresh or pre-ground black.
  • Macadamia Nuts (or peanuts) – chopped by hand or using a food processor.
  • Green Onions – washed and chopped.
  • Cooking Oil – use high-temp neutral cooking oil such as vegetable oil, safflower oil, grapeseed oil.

Sauce

  • Garlic – use fresh garlic cloves and mince finely.
  • Soy Sauce – low sodium is preferred. For gluten free you can use tamari or coconut aminos.
  • Chicken Broth – canned or tetra pack chicken broth.
  • Japanese Sake – use Japanese cooking sake which is fairly inexpensive and can be found in most Asian supermarkets.
  • Sweetener – to keep this recipe sugar-free, we use a monkfruit erythritol blend. It is low carb, keto friendly, and has 0 calories. Feel free to use your preferred sweetener, regular cane sugar, or mirin.
  • Red Wine Vinegar – adds to the tangy flavor of this dish.
  • Sriracha – this famous spicy sauce adds spice and so much flavor. It can be found in most supermarkets in the Asian grocery section.
  • Sesame Oil – use toasted sesame oil (dark and rich in color). Check to make sure it is not a sesame oil blend.
  • Xanthan Gum – used in place of cornstarch for a low carb and keto friendly thickener.
  • Red Chiles – you can add fresh or dried red chilies if you prefer very spicy.

Mix sauce ingredients and set aside. In a deep fry pan or wok, add neutral cooking oil on high heat. Once the oil starts to lightly smoke, add in chicken and reduce to medium heat. Sprinkle salt and pepper and keep stirring/mixing until chicken is nearly cooked through about 4-5 minutes.

Next, reduce heat to medium-low and add squash and the sauce. Continue to cook for an additional minute while coating the chicken and squash with the sauce. Remove from heat and mix in green onions and crushed roasted macadamia nuts. Top with dried chiles and enjoy!

What is the nutrition information for this kung pao chicken recipe?

  • 525 Calories
  • 6g Carbohydrates
  • 2g Fiber
  • 30g Protein
  • 43g Fat
  • 167mg Cholesterol
  • 461mg Sodium
  • 464mg Potassium
  • 45mg Calcium
  • 2mg Iron
  • 223ui Vitamin A
  • 4mg Vitamin C

Kung pao chicken stir fry svered in a white bowl topped with green onions, chopped macadamia nuts and green pepper, top down shot.

Do you have any other Chinese recipes?

Now, let’s get cooking this Kung Pao Chicken Stir Fry recipe!

  • Prepping Time 10M
  • Cook Time 10M
  • Total Time 20M
  • Net Carb/Serv ~2g
  • Servings 2

Ingredients

Stir Fry

  • 3/4lbs Boneless Chicken Thighs (about 3-4 small thighs)
  • 1/2 Squash
  • 1/8 tsp Salt
  • 1/8 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/4 Cup Roasted Macadamia Nuts
  • 1 Stalk Green Onions
  • 1 tbsp Neutral Cooking Oil

Sauce

  • 4 Garlic Cloves
  • 2 1/2 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 2 tbsp Chicken Broth
  • 2 tbsp Japanese Sake (can substitute with dry sherry or shaoxing wine)
  • 1 tbsp Sweetener (Monkfruit Erythritol Blend, sugar or sweetener of choice)
  • 2 tsp Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Sriracha (4 tsp if you like a lot of heat)
  • 1 tsp Sesame Oil
  • 1/8 tsp Xanthan Gum (or thickener of choice)

Directions

1) Gather all the ingredients.

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2) Place Roasted Macadamia Nuts into a food processor and pulse until broken into small pieces.  Note – if you don’t have a food processor, place Roasted Macadamia Nuts into a zip lock bag with a towel covered over and use the flat portion of a meat tenderizer (or rubber mallet) to gently crush the Roasted Macadamia Nuts.

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3) Cut squash into 1/2 inch thick slices and then cut each slice into 1/4th.

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4) Thinly slice green onions and set aside.

5) Pat chicken dry with a paper towel and cut into small bite-size pieces, about 1/2 x 1/2 inch and set aside.

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6) Finely mince garlic and add into a mixing bowl along with Soy Sauce, chicken broth, Japanese sake, red wine vinegar, sweetener, Sriracha, Sesame Oil and mix well.

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7) In a small fry pan, add sauce mix on medium heat and bring to light boil.  Once boiling, gently sprinkle in Xanthan Gum and mix well until dissolved.  Lower heat to simmer for 2-3 minutes until sauce is thickened and set aside.

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8) In a deep fry pan or wok, add neutral cooking oil on high heat.  Once oil starts to lightly smoke, add in chicken and reduce to medium heat.  Sprinkle salt and pepper and keep stirring/mixing until chicken is nearly cooked through, about 4-5 minutes.

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9) Next, reduce heat to medium-low and add in squash and sauce.  Continue cook for an additional minute while coating the chicken and squash with the sauce.

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10) Remove from heat and mix in green onions and crushed Roasted Macadamia Nuts.  Transfer to serving plate.

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Hope you enjoy your Kung Pao Chicken Stir Fry!

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More Recipes

Kung pao chicken stir fry svered in a white bowl topped with green onions, chopped macadamia nuts and green pepper being picked up with a pair of red chopsticks.

Kung Pao Chicken Stir Fry

A highly requested dish, this low cabr inspired Kung Pao Chicken is a crowd favorite with tender chicken and mouthwatering sauce. A perfect blend of sweet, savory and spicy!
4.73 from 11 votes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese
Keyword: hot and spicy chicken chinese, how to make kung pao chicken, kung pao chicken panda express, kung pao chicken recipe
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 2
Print Recipe
Calories: 525kcal

Ingredients

Stir Fry

  • 3/4 lbs Chicken Thighs boneless, about 3-4 small chicken thighs
  • 1/2 Whole Squash
  • 1/8 tsp Salt
  • 1/8 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/4 Cup Macadamia Nuts or dry roasted peanuts
  • 1 Stalk Green Onions
  • 1 tbsp Neutral Cooking Oil

Sauce

  • 4 Cloves Garlic
  • 2 1/2 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 2 tbsp Chicken Broth
  • 2 tbsp Japanese Sake can substitute with dry sherry or shaoxing wine
  • 1 tbsp Sweetener monkfruit erythritol blend, sugar or sweetener of choice
  • 2 tsp Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Sriracha 4 tsp if you like a lot of heat
  • 1 tsp Sesame Oil
  • 1/8 tsp Xanthan Gum or thickener of choice

Instructions

  • Gather all the ingredients.
  • Place Roasted Macadamia Nuts into a food processor and pulse until broken into small pieces. Note - if you don't have a food processor, place Roasted Macadamia Nuts into a zip lock bag with a towel covered over and use the flat portion of a meat tenderizer (or rubber mallet) to gently crush the Roasted Macadamia Nuts.
  • Cut squash into 1/2 inch thick slices and then cut each slice into 1/4th.
  • Thinly slice green onions and set aside.
  • Pat chicken dry with a paper towel and cut into small bite-size pieces, about 1/2 x 1/2 inch and set aside.
  • Finely mince garlic and add into a mixing bowl along with Soy Sauce, chicken broth, Japanese sake, red wine vinegar, sweetener, Sriracha, Sesame Oil and mix well.
  • In a small fry pan, add sauce mix on medium heat and bring to light boil. Once boiling, gently sprinkle in Xanthan Gum and mix well until dissolved. Lower heat to simmer for 2-3 minutes until sauce is thickened and set aside.
  • In a deep fry pan or wok, add neutral cooking oil on high heat. Once oil starts to lightly smoke, add in chicken and reduce to medium heat. Sprinkle salt and pepper and keep stirring/mixing until chicken is nearly cooked through, about 4-5 minutes.
  • Next, reduce heat to medium-low and add in squash and sauce. Continue cook for an additional minute while coating the chicken and squash with the sauce.
  • Remove from heat and mix in green onions and crushed Roasted Macadamia Nuts. Transfer to serving plate.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 525kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 43g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 22g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 167mg | Sodium: 461mg | Potassium: 464mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 223IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 45mg | Iron: 2mg
*Values Based Per Serving
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