Kung Pao Chicken with Bell Peppers


Here's an easy chicken recipe you'll definitely want to add to your dinner repertoire. A quick marinade tenderizes the chicken and infuses flavor in this stir fry. Adding a little oil to finish the marinade coats the chicken and helps keep it from sticking to the pan.

bowls of chicken and peppers
Prep Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
30 mins
4 cups


  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices

  • 2 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce plus 1 Tbsp., divided

  • 1 teaspoon dry sherry plus 1 Tbsp., divided

  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted chicken broth

  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

  • 2 teaspoons chile-garlic sauce (see Tips)

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

  • 3 slices fresh ginger, peeled and smashed (see Tips)

  • 1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch squares

  • 1 medium green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch squares

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted dry-roasted peanuts


  1. Combine chicken, 2 tsp. soy sauce, 1 tsp. sherry, and cornstarch in a medium bowl. Stir until the cornstarch is no longer visible. Add sesame oil and stir until the chicken is lightly coated.

  2. Combine broth, vinegar, chile-garlic sauce, and the remaining 1 Tbsp. soy sauce and 1 Tbsp. sherry in a small bowl. Set aside.

  3. Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed carbon-steel wok (or a 12-inch stainless-steel skillet) over high heat until a drop of water vaporizes within 1 to 2 seconds of contact. Swirl in 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil. Add ginger; stir-fry until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Push the ginger slices to the sides and add the chicken in an even layer. Cook, undisturbed, until it begins to brown, about 1 minute. Using a metal spatula, stir-fry the chicken until lightly browned but not cooked through, about 1 minute more. Transfer to a plate.

  4. Swirl in the remaining 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil. Add bell peppers; stir-fry for 1 minute. Return the chicken to the pan along with the reserved sauce; season with salt and stir-fry until the chicken is cooked through, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and sprinkle with peanuts.


Tips: You can find chile-garlic sauce in the Asian-foods aisle of most major grocery stores. It is a red sauce often sold in a clear plastic jar. If you can't find it, you can add 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper and 1 tsp. minced garlic with the ginger in Step 3.

A slice of ginger is about the size of a quarter. You can smash it with the side of a chef's knife or with the bottom of a small pot or pan.

Equipment: 14-inch flat-bottomed carbon-steel wok or 12-inch stainless-steel skillet

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

264 Calories
14g Fat
7g Carbs
25g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Serving Size 1 cup
Calories 264
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 7g 3%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 25g 50%
Total Fat 14g 18%
Saturated Fat 3g 13%
Cholesterol 63mg 21%
Vitamin A 1107IU 22%
Vitamin C 62mg 69%
Folate 26mcg 6%
Sodium 459mg 20%
Calcium 22mg 2%
Iron 1mg 7%
Magnesium 41mg 10%
Potassium 477mg 10%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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