Kung Pao Chicken aka Gong Bao Ji Ding (宫保鸡丁)



Gongbaojiding or Kung Pao Chicken (宫保鸡丁 或 宫爆鸡丁) is another famous Szechuan dish that is commonly served in China or Overseas’ restaurants. It is a very well known dish that was well liked by most Asians and also westerners.  Unlike lazijiding (辣子鸡丁),the dish are less spicy and it was served together with the nuts. 


Being in China many years, this dish is not uncommon to me  and it is another one of my must order dishes when I frequented Szechuan cuisine restaurant.. The reason is simple, I like the nuts being served.


In China, the nuts used are usually peanuts which is more economical. However, In overseas, most restaurants served the dish with cashew nuts possibly because it is more classy and in fact, with cashew nuts, the dish was charged at a much higher price premium.


Hmmm, it is very interesting to read about the background of this famous cuisine written in Wikipedia and I never know that there is such a history or politica associated with this famous dish. As per Wikipedia:


“Kung Pao chicken, (Chinese: 宫保鸡丁), also transcribed as Gong Bao or Kung Po, is a spicy stir-fry dish made with chicken,peanuts, vegetables, and chili peppers. The classic dish in Szechuan cuisine originated in the Sichuan Province of south-westernChina and includes Sichuan peppercorns. Although the dish is found throughout China, there are regional variations that are typically less spicy than the Sichuan serving. Kung Pao chicken is also a staple of westernized Chinese cuisine. The dish is believed to be named after Ding Baozhen (1820–1886), a late Qing Dynasty official, and governor of Sichuan Province. His title was Gongbao (Kung-pao; Chinese: 宫保; pinyin: Gōngbǎo; Wade–Giles: Kung1-pao; literally: “Palace Guardian”).[1] The name “Kung Pao” chicken is derived from this title. During the Cultural Revolution, the dish’s name became politically incorrect because of its association with Ding. The dish was renamed “Fast-fried chicken cubes” (Hongbao Jiding) or “chicken cubes with seared chiles” (Hula Jiding) until its political rehabilitation in the 1980s under Deng Xiaoping’s reforms” (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kung_Pao_chicken)




Servings: 4-5 adult servings


  • 300 grams of chicken drumstick , cut into cubes
  • 100 grams of roasted cashew nuts or peanuts
  • 2 Chinese leeks or 3 spring onions cut into small pieces
  • 10 dried chilli , cut into small pieces
  • 2 cm of ginger, sliced into small pieces
  • 3 cloves of garlics, cut into small pieces
  • 1 tablespoon of Sichuan pepper corn

Chicken marinating ingredients/sauce ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon of Chinese cooking wine
  • 1 tablespoon of corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon of dark soya sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of white pepper

Sauce ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon of Chinese cooking wine
  • 1 tablespoon of corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon of dark soya sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of black vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of water




PicMonkey Collage1

  • Cut the chicken drumsticks into cubes and marinate with the above marinating ingredients (Chinese cooking wine, corn starch, dark soya sauce, and white pepper) for at least 1/2 hour.

  • In a bowl, put all the sauce ingredients, stir until well mixed. Set aside for later use.

  • Heat a wok with 4-5 tablespoons of oil under high heat.

PicMonkey Collage2

  • Stir fry the marinated chicken cubes until it turn beige in colour or when the exterior is cooked. This will took about 3-4 minutes. Drain and keep 1-2 tablespoons of hot oil in the wok, sauté the garlic, Chinese leek or spring onion, ginger, dried chilli , sichuan pepper corn until fragrant. Add in the stir fried chicken, followed by sauce ingredients. Give it a quick stir for 2-3 minutes. Prior to dishing up, add in the cashew nuts or peanut. Stir until well mixed and best served hot with a bowl of steaming white rice.



Definitely not a difficult recipe to prepare and my kids love  the dish. Well, for kid’s purposes, I have reduced the usage of chilli and Szechuan peppercorn significantly, and they love the tangy, sweet and aromatic taste of the chicken. As for me, I loved the nut that was served in the dish.


Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.



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