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An overhead view of a bowl filled with Copycat Panda Express Kung Pao Chicken.

Panda Express Kung Pao Chicken

  • Author: chefjar
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


Tender chicken, crunchy peanuts, and a spicy, savory sauce create a delicious combination that will satisfy your cravings. Bring the taste of your favorite Chinese takeout to your own kitchen!


  • 1 pound chicken breast, sliced into  ¼ inch thick pieces
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut into bite-sized, cubed chunks, approximately ½ to ¾ inch
  • ½ medium red bell pepper, cut into bite-sized, cubed chunks, approximately ½ to ¾ inch
  • 10 dried red chilis
  • 1/3 cup roasted peanuts
  • 2 stalks green onions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Chicken Marinade

Kung Pao Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons chicken stock or water
  • 1 tablespoon Chinkiang (black) vinegar or balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil, optional
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, grated
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper powder


  • In a medium bowl, mix the marinade ingredients and add the thinly sliced chicken breast. Cover with plastic and let it marinate for at least 30 minutes or overnight. Alternatively, let it sit while you prepare the other ingredients.
  • Combine all the ingredients for the kung pao sauce in a medium bowl and set it aside.
  • Heat oil in a wok or pan over high heat. Once it is hot, add the chicken pieces and arrange them in a single layer without the marinade. Do not overcrowd the wok or pan and cook undisturbed until  golden brown, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Flip the chicken over and repeat the process. Once cooked, transfer to a plate.
  • Add the zucchini, red bell pepper, dried red chilies, and peanuts to the pan and sauté them for 2-3 minutes or to your desired level of tenderness. Reduce the heat to medium and return the chicken to the pan.
  • Pour in the sauce (make sure to stir it beforehand as the cornstarch may settle). Sauté everything together for 1-2 minutes until the sauce thickens. Garnish with chopped scallions.
  • Serve immediately.
  • Enjoy!


Storage: Let it cool, transfer it to an airtight container, and refrigerate. Consume it within 3 to 4 days.

  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 10 min
  • Category: Copycat recipes
  • Cuisine: Chinese


  • Calories: 303 kcal
  • Sugar: 5 g
  • Sodium: 449 mg
  • Fat: 15 g
  • Saturated Fat: 6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 12 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 31 g
  • Cholesterol: 78 mg

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