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Stir-Fried Chinese Chicken and Peanuts

Serve this home-style version of kung pao chicken and peanuts with a side of steamed white rice. If you're feeding a large crowd, stir-fry an additional batch instead of making one large serving at once; overcrowding the pan won't allow the ingredients to cook properly. From the book "Mad Hungry," by Lucinda Scala Quinn (Artisan Books).

  • Yield: Serves 2 to 4
Stir-Fried Chinese Chicken and Peanuts

Source: Mad Hungry, October 2010


  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons shaoxing cooking wine or dry sherry
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar or white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 whole boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons peanut oil or vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup unsalted dry-roasted peanuts or cashews
  • 2 whole scallions, thinly sliced
  • 4 whole dried Chinese red peppers
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch


  1. In a bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, wine, vinegar, sugar, and sesame oil. Dice the chicken and toss it in the marinade.

  2. Heat a wok or skillet over high heat until very hot. Add the oil. Lightly fry the peanuts for about 1 minute and remove. Add the scallions, red peppers, and garlic. Stir-fry for about 20 seconds.

  3. Just before adding to the pan, coat the chicken in the cornstarch. Fry until the chicken is just cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes (depending on the pan and the heat). Return the peanuts to the pan and mix thoroughly to combine with the chicken. Serve immediately with white rice.

Cook's Note

Stir-frying requires only a good wok or saute pan, a long-handled spatula, some protein or vegetables, a heat source, and oil. Whenever making stir-fry, set the table, including the drinks, and prepare all the ingredients in advance, then start to stir-fry at the last minute. Use the highest heat possible and work fast in order to cook the food without “steaming” it and losing moisture. Work in batches, don’t overcrowd the pan.

Reviews (3)

  • katielicht 20 Jan, 2014

    My family devoured this! I omitted the red peppers (for my little ones that don't like spicy food) and added some broccoli into the stir fry to get our serving of veg into the meal. Love all Lucinda's recipes! This one's a keeper.

  • JBG65 16 Jan, 2011

    Just made this along with the other recommended sides (the celery side and the noodle side). Very tasty and easy b/c I did all the prep this morning. Will definatly make again and would also make for company!

  • suscrapper 28 Oct, 2010

    I love using my iphone app

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