Ground Kung Pao Chicken with chopped zucchini, bell peppers and crunchy peanuts in Panda Express copycat sauce and done in 20 minutes!
Just like the Ground Orange Chicken the crisp texture the chicken has because we brown it well before breaking it apart is amazing and it still has that amazing Panda Express Kung Pao Chicken Sauce that we all love.
With the use of ground chicken and finely chopped vegetables this dish literally takes 20 minutes to make, and that is at a leisurely pace.
In fact the sauce in this recipe is authentic and released by Panda Express. Sometimes they release them in obscure places like the Spicy Cashew Chicken that was only shared on a morning show on a local broadcast or this sauce recipe which was shared in a local news story about a location opening up in Honolulu in 2007. Sometimes being an internet detective pays off!
Set your rice to cook in the rice cooker, start cooking the chicken, and wash and cut up some broccoli to steam in the microwave (glass bowl, a bit of water and a wet paper towel over the top for 3 minutes). By the time the rice is done cooking, so is dinner.
Want more Chinese Food Recipes?
- Honey Orange Firecracker Shrimp
- Cheesecake Factory Mandarin Cashew Chicken
- PF Chang’s Orange Peel Chicken
- California Pizza Kitchen’s Kung Pao Chicken Spaghetti
- General Tso’s Chicken
- Easy Mongolian Beef
- Panda Express Recipes… every single one in fact: Panda Express Recipes Index
- Many more Chinese food options…
Tools Used in the making of the Ground Kung Pao Chicken:
Wok: Great for high heat, quick cooking. This wok is a great addition to your kitchen if you love cooking Chinese food or stir fries in general.
Large Frying Pan: I use this Cuisinart for most of my non cast iron cooking unless I am going with a stainless steel option, then I choose my All Clad.
Soy Sauce: Nothing much to say here except Kikkoman has the best flavor overall and I always recommend reduced sodium.
Sesame Oil: The flavor of sesame oil in this dish is unmistakeable and not really able to be substituted. Some Asian grocery stores will try and sell less expensive options that aren’t actually sesame oil, so just be sure the one you’re buying is authentic sesame oil.
Rice Wine: Adds an authentic flavor to the sauce, in a pinch if you absolutely can’t find it you can substitute white wine, but it will make it taste slightly different.
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil , divided
- 1 red bell pepper , minced
- 1 large zucchini , minced
- 1/4 cup diced green onion , white part only, in 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground garlic
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon cooking wine (I used white wine)
- 2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 4 tablespoons water
- 2 ounces dry roasted peanuts , crushed
- Heat wok/skillet on high heat 10 seconds, you want that pan to be nice and hot!
- To a large pan add 1 tablespoon canola oil and ground chicken.
- Cook until a good crust forms before breaking apart, then finish cooking by breaking it apart with a spatula and cooking for an additional 2-3 minutes.
- Remove the chicken from the pan, add the other tablespoon of canola oil, red bell pepper and zucchini.
- Cook on high and cook for 1-2 minutes, until just caramelized and slightly cooked.
- Add the crushed red pepper, green onions, ginger, garlic, crushed red pepper, sesame oil and cooked ground chicken.
- Stir for 2-3 seconds and immediately add the wine, soy sauce and water mixed with cornstarch.
- Bring it to a boil for a minute or so until the sauce has thickened.
- Garnish with crushed peanuts if desired.