Big news everybody – BIG news! Last night, I had my first experience with cooking Chinese/Asian food!!! That deserves a big ‘ol freaking cookie! I know that sounds ridiculous, but for whatever reason, I’ve just never gotten around to cooking Chinese food – we usually just head over to Pei Wei or the local take-out place. But now that I’ve discovered these dishes, I think there will be a lot more Chinese food in the future! Yippee!

I’ve got a few of these type of recipes saved, but I chose this Kung Pao Chicken I saw on Pennies on a Platter recently because it has peanuts and I loooooove peanuts! It was super easy and took no time to put together. I paired it with a quick and easy recipe for Fried Rice that I found on And voila! The perfect meal!

The sauce for this chicken was delicious and simple, and of course I loved the crunch of the peanuts. I think next time I’ll add a little more heat – maybe a little Cayenne pepper or a chopped chili- a little more “PAO”! Hehe…

Kung Pao Chicken
-Blog Chef
1lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cut into 1” pieces)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons sesame oil
3 tablespoons green onions (chopped)
3 garlic cloves (minced)
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
1/3 cup dry roasted peanuts

Combine chicken and cornstarch in a small bowl and toss to coat. Heat sesame oil in wok (or large deep-dish skillet) over medium heat, add chicken and stir fry 5-7 minutes or until no longer pink inside. Remove chicken from wok.
Add green onions, garlic, red pepper flakes and ginger to the wok and stir fry for 15 seconds.
Combine vinegar, soy sauce and sugar in a small bowl. Mix well and add the sauce to the wok.
Return chicken to the wok and coat with sauce. Stir in roasted peanuts. Heat thoroughly. Top with additional green onions if desired and serve over white rice. (Or fried rice, in my case!)

The fried rice took about 10 minutes total – I love recipes like this! I think next time I’ll add a little oyster sauce and a tad more soy sauce – other than that, it was perfect!

Fried Rice

2 cups enriched white rice (I used Minute Rice)
4 cups water
2/3 cup chopped baby carrots
1/2 cup frozen green peas
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 eggs
soy sauce to taste
sesame oil, to taste

Cook rice according to package directions. In a small saucepan, boil carrots in water about 3 to 5 minutes. Drop peas into boiling water, and drain. Heat wok over high heat. Pour in oil, then stir in carrots and peas; cook about 30 seconds. Crack in eggs, stirring quickly to scramble eggs with vegetables. Stir in cooked rice. Shake in soy sauce, and toss rice to coat. Drizzle with sesame oil, and toss again.



  1. Chinese food is so fun to make at home. This looks great and I love your big photos 🙂


    Comment by Jillian — March 11, 2009 @ 8:10 PM

  2. MUST try this!!! YUMMMMMMMMMMM!!! 🙂


    Comment by Amy — March 12, 2009 @ 2:07 PM

  3. Yum! For more heat, try sriracha sauce – it’s chili garlic sauce (often from Vietnam) and it lasts in the fridge forever. You can just fling a little bit into the sauce for that tingle. I add it to other things, too, but I like to live dangerously.


    Comment by Fiona — March 12, 2009 @ 7:56 PM

  4. I recently started cooking Chinese…so I can totally relate your feeling! I’m very excited to try your recipe!!

    Found you on food gawker!


    Comment by Aggie — March 13, 2009 @ 2:06 PM

  5. Wow – that looks amazing! Now I’m craving take out. I love your photography – you’ve got such a cute blog!


    Comment by Kerstin — March 13, 2009 @ 9:07 PM

  6. This dinner looks so unbelievably delicious and I so LOVE your huge pictures. Youve got me craving Chinese food. Love your blog, nice to meet you.


    Comment by Donna — March 14, 2009 @ 8:33 PM

  7. Found your blog through Foodgawker. I tried this recipe tonight for dinner and it was a HUGE hit with my husband! Thanks so much.


    Comment by Emily — March 19, 2009 @ 5:55 PM

  8. That looks fantastic for your first time making Chinese–who needs take-out :)?!


    Comment by Sophie — March 20, 2009 @ 10:40 AM

  9. Glad you liked it! My husband keeps asking for this particular dish every week when making our meal plan. Your photos look great!


    Comment by Nikki — March 26, 2009 @ 5:21 PM

  10. that was so good.

    i come from Beijing of China.


    Comment by cheney — March 30, 2009 @ 9:55 PM

  11. that was so good.


    Comment by cheney — March 30, 2009 @ 9:56 PM

  12. hrmm, i must have done something wrong. 🙁 i tried the recipe and my chicken kept sticking w/ the cornstarch. how do u keep that from happening???


    Comment by lori — April 6, 2009 @ 5:25 PM

  13. Lori- I’m not sure what to tell you about it sticking. Maybe use a little more oil in the pan? A little less cornstarch? Sorry I’m not more help to you!



    Comment by Amy — April 6, 2009 @ 6:26 PM

  14. Lori (from previous comment) – I had the same thing happen, when I used a regular deep dish skillet because I didn’t have a wok. Then, I bought a cheapy wok from TJ Max and it didn’t stick at all and cooked beautifully!


    Comment by penniesonaplatter — April 15, 2009 @ 2:59 PM

  15. Thanks so much. That looks fantastic ! YUMMM…


    Comment by melissa — May 12, 2009 @ 10:31 PM

  16. Great Recipe. Everyone loved it 🙂 I added a few dried chili’s to mine for a little extra heat and color. The sauce seemed to be lacking punch… any suggestions for adding a little more POW to the sauce??


    amy Reply:

    Hey Matt,
    Really glad you enjoyed this! I tend to agree with you about the sauce lacking a little something…the second time I made this, I added some red pepper (cayenne) in addition to the red pepper flakes. It added much more flavor. You could also double the sauce – that’s always a good idea! 😉


    Comment by Matt — February 16, 2010 @ 10:33 PM

  17. This is now one of my very very very favorite dishes! Absolutely delicious and I dont even love chicken, but I love this dish! A friend of mine made it with shrimp and said was delicious as well! Thanks for sharing!


    Comment by Aly — February 27, 2011 @ 8:21 PM

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