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5 from 4 votes

Kung Pao Chicken

Make the take-out classic kung pao chicken at home. Tender chicken, stir fried vegetables, and a tangy sauce all over warm jasmine rice.
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Total Cost: $6.27 recipe / $1.16 serving
Servings: 6
Author: Beth - Budget Bytes


  • 1 lb boneless chicken breasts $2.48
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil, divided $0.12
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce, divided $0.18
  • 3 Tbsp rice wine, divided $0.41
  • 2 Tbsp corn starch, divided $0.12
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar $0.06
  • 2 Tbsp sambal (chili sauce) $0.30
  • 2 tsp minced garlic $0.13
  • 1 tsp sesame oil $0.12
  • 1 bunch green onions $0.75
  • 1 medium bell pepper $0.69
  • 1/2 lb carrots $0.49
  • 1/2 cup roasted unsalted peanuts $0.42
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked jasmine rice $0.42


  • Prepare the marinade for the chicken. Dissolve 1 Tbsp of corn starch in 1 Tbsp of water and then add 1 Tbsp of vegetable oil, 1 Tbsp of soy sauce, 1 Tbsp of rice wine, and 2 tsp of minced garlic. Stir to combine.
  • Cut the chicken into small chunks and place it in a bowl or small container. Pour the marinade over top, stir to coat, cover, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  • While the chicken is marinating, prepare the sauce. The sauce is very similar to the marinade but with a couple more ingredients to amp up the flavor. So, again, start by dissolving 1 Tbsp of corn starch in 1 Tbsp of water. Then add 2 Tbsp soy sauce, 2 Tbsp rice wine, 2 Tbsp sambal, 2 Tbsp brown sugar, and 1 tsp sesame oil. Stir to combine and dissolve the brown sugar. Set the sauce aside until you’re ready to use it.
  • Prepare the vegetables. Dice the bell pepper and slice the carrots into strips as thin as possible. Slice the green onions, both the white and green will be used. Measure out 1/2 cup of peanuts.
  • Begin to cook the rice. Add 1.5 cups of dry jasmine rice to a medium pot with 2.5 cups of water. Place a lid on top and bring to a boil over high heat. As soon as it reaches a boil, reduce the heat to the lowest setting and let simmer for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, turn the heat off and let the rice sit undisturbed until it is ready to use. Fluff with a fork just prior to serving.
  • Heat 2 Tbsp of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is very hot (it will look wavy on the surface), add the white half of the sliced green onions. Stir and cook for about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add the marinated chicken. Cook and stir until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes. It will feel firm when it is cooked through.
  • Add the vegetables and peanuts and stir to combine with the chicken. Immediately add the sauce and cook until the sauce has thickened (2-3 minutes). I prefer the vegetables still crunchy so I didn’t really let them cook before adding the sauce.


Serve the chicken and vegetable mixture over the cooked rice. Garnish with sliced green onions.