Sweet and salty, kung pao chicken


Photo by shirl1_

  • Prep Time


  • Total Time


  • Servings



  • 6

    skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces

  • 3

    tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce, divided

  • ¼

    cup plus 1½ teaspoons cornstarch, divided

  • ¼

    teaspoon kosher salt

  • 2

    tablespoons canola oil, divided

  • tablespoons honey

  • 1

    tablespoon dark sesame oil

  • 2

    teaspoons rice vinegar

  • 1

    teaspoon sambal oelek (ground fresh chile paste)

  • 1

    large garlic clove, minced

  • 3

    tablespoons coarsely chopped dry-roasted peanuts

  • ¾

    cup diagonally sliced celery (about 2 stalks)

  • 8

    (6-inch) corn tortillas

  • cup sliced green onions

  • ½

    medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced

  • 4

    lime wedges


1. Place chicken in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add 1 tablespoon soy sauce to bag; seal. Marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes. Remove chicken from bag; discard marinade. Place 1/4 cup cornstarch in a shallow dish. Sprinkle the chicken evenly with salt. Add chicken to cornstarch in dish, and toss chicken to thoroughly coat. Shake off excess cornstarch. 2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon canola oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add half of coated chicken; sauté for 6 minutes or until done, turning to brown. Remove chicken from pan using a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels. Repeat the procedure with remaining 1 tablespoon canola oil and coated chicken. 3. Combine remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch, remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce, honey, and next 3 ingredients (through sambal oelek) in a microwave-safe bowl, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Microwave at HIGH for 1 1/2 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring twice. Stir in garlic. Combine soy sauce mixture, chicken, peanuts, and celery; toss to coat chicken. 4. Toast tortillas under broiler or on a griddle until lightly blistered, turning frequently. Place 2 tortillas on each of 4 plates; divide chicken mixture evenly among tortillas. Top each taco with green onions and bell pepper strips; serve with lime wedges.


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