Panda Express Kung Pao Chicken Copycat
Full of spicy wok fired chicken breast, zucchini, red bell peppers and crunchy peanuts in a sesame ginger-garlic sauce, this recipe is authentically Panda Express! The recipe is straight from the source! A chef from Panda Express gave the recipe to a reporter in Honolulu and now I am bringing it to you with the addition of zucchini and red bell pepper just as it is served in the restaurants.
You know me, I absolutely love copycat recipes. There is just some part of me that finds something I love and then I need to figure out a way to make it at home. When I happen to land on authentic recipes that the restaurants have shared, then i feel like it is an even more exciting “get” and I move those recipes to the top of the list to test.
In fact in the list below the Spicy Cashew Chicken and the Kung Pao Chicken Spaghetti are authentic recipes released by the restaurants. Sometimes in obscure places like the Spicy Cashew Chicken that was only shared on a morning show on a local broadcast or this 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!
Serve it up with your favorite Panda Express recipes… especially the ones you can find here!
- Panda Express Orange Chicken
- Panda Express Mushroom Chicken
- Panda Express Firecracker Chicken Breast
- Panda Express Chow Mein
- Panda Express Fried Rice
- Panda Express Black Pepper Chicken
- Panda Express Kung Pao Chicken (you’re here!)
- Panda Express Beijing Beef
- Panda Express Mandarin Teriyaki Chicken
- Panda Express Sweet and Sour Sauce
- Panda Express String Bean Chicken Breast
- Panda Express Honey Walnut Shrimp
- Panda Express Cream Cheese Rangoon
- Panda Express Beef and Broccoli
- Panda Express Sweetfire Chicken Breast
Or if you fancy additional Chinese food recipes but don’t need them to be Panda Express Copycats… check out:
- Cheesecake Factory’s Spicy Cashew Chicken
- CPK’s Kung Pao Chicken Spaghetti
- PF Chang’s Orange Peel Chicken
- CPK’s Thai Chicken Peanut Pasta
You’ll love this dish, even if you have never enjoyed it at Panda because the amount of oil per serving is just 1 tablespoon and with the addition of white meat chicken, zucchini and bell peppers, this dish is very healthy even though it is “take out.” If you want to cut down the fat even further you can either ditch the peanuts in the pan and just sprinkle a couple of crushed peanuts on top or cut down on the oil by using half.
Combine the chicken, 1/4 cup water, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 egg, 1/4 cup cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and refrigerate at least 1 hour. In a small bowl add the wine, soy sauce and water and set aside. Heat wok/skillet on high heat 10 seconds, you want that pan to be nice and hot! Add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. Remove chicken from marinade and add to wok, cooking on high heat for 60 seconds.
Remove the chicken from the pan, add another 1/2 tablespoon of oil and the red bell pepper and zucchini. Cook on high and cook for 1-2 minutes, until just caramelized and slightly cooked. Remove vegetables and add the chili peppers. Stir until they darken a bit, then add the green onions, peanuts, ginger, garlic, crushed red pepper, and sesame oil. Stir for 2-3 seconds and immediately add the wine/soy/water mixture. Bring it to a boil, then add the cornstarch and water mix and stir until it has thickened. Add the chicken and vegetables back in, stir to combine. Don’t stir too long, you want the chicken to stay moist and tender. We really only need it to all get coated in the pan. Then serve it up with your favorite rice (like my Perfect Brown Rice) or noodles!
Panda Express Kung Pao Chicken Copycat
- 1 pound boneless , skinless chicken breast, diced into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 large egg
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon cooking wine (I used white wine)
- 2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce (I use Kikkoman Reduced Sodium)
- 1/3 cup water
- 2 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil , divided use
- 12 whole dry chili peppers (smaller than 3 inches; if longer, cut in half)
- 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 chili pepper
- 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1/2 tablespoon water
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 ounces dry roasted peanuts ,
- 1 red bell pepper , cut into 3/4 inch cubes
- 1 large zucchini cut into 3/4 inch cubes
Combine the chicken, 1/4 cup water, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 egg, 1/4 cup cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
In a small bowl add the wine, soy sauce and water and set aside.
Heat wok/skillet on high heat 10 seconds, you want that pan to be nice and hot!
Add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil.
Remove chicken from marinade and add to wok, cooking on high heat for 60 seconds.
Remove the chicken from the pan, add another 1/2 tablespoon of oil and the red bell pepper and zucchini.
Cook on high and cook for 1-2 minutes, until just caramelized and slightly cooked.
Remove vegetables and add the chili peppers.
Stir until they darken a bit, then add the green onions, peanuts, ginger, garlic, crushed red pepper, and sesame oil.
Stir for 2-3 seconds and immediately add the wine/soy/water mixture.
Bring it to a boil, then add the cornstarch and water mix and stir until it has thickened.
Add the chicken and vegetables back in, stir to combine.
Recipe NotesRecipe from Honolulu's Star Bulletin, given to them from Panda Express
Do you have a favorite restaurant recipe you would love to recreate? Let me be your own personal LA Times SOS section and see what I can figure out for you! Plus I would love to know what your favorite dishes are! I bet they are some of my favorites too!
Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.