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Posted by on Feb 7, 2013 in Anything-but-Boring-Stir-Fry Series, Chicken, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Gluten-Free, Recipes, Seafood-Free | 6 comments

Gong Bao Chicken (宮保雞丁) Recipe

Gong Bao Chicken (宮保雞丁) Recipe


I was wrong about this one. When I was making it, I thought, nah this recipe wont be a keeper. It’s just too simple, with only a little soy, chili and Sichuan peppercorns as seasonings, I couldn’t imagine anything more than “it’s alright, not bad, but not great.” But I underestimated the ability of scallions, ginger, garlic to make a dish super fragrant, and how marinating meat for just 10 minutes could produce a magical difference. I also didn’t think that little amount of chili would satisfy my love of spice.

I am so glad I gave this recipe a try! It had such a good kick (coming from someone with a good tolerance), which intensified the overall flavors of the dish. It was definitely simple enough to make on a weekday yet it feels like such a treat because I never thought I could get these flavors outside of a restaurant.

W Gong Bao Chicken-2

For those of you that are unfamiliar with Chinese dried chili and Szechuan peppercorns, you can find them in Asian supermarkets. If you like authentic Chinese flavors and spice, they are must-haves in the pantry. Be careful though, because a little really goes a long way. These kind of spices produce a numbing-to-the-mouth kind of spicy sensation so you can decide if that’s your thing. Also, if you accidentally bite into a Szechuan peppercorn, you’re gonna notice a soapy taste in your mouth. It’s interesting but I don’t think anyone really enjoys tasting soap so try to pick them out when you eat.

W Gong Bao Chicken-1

Adapted from Serious Eats

Gong Bao Chicken

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4

Calories per serving: 315

Fat per serving: 22.7

Gong Bao Chicken

Mouth-numbing spiciness that keeps you eating bite after bite.



  • 1 lb Skinless Boneless Chicken Thighs
  • 1 tbsp Cornstarch
  • 4 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1/3 cup (38g) Unsalted Peanuts
  • 2 tbsp Oil
  • 2 tsp Szechuan Peppercorns
  • 4 Dried Red Chiles, roughly chopped or crushed
  • 2 cloves Garlic, peeled and very thinly sliced
  • 1-inch piece of Ginger Root, peeled and very thinly sliced
  • 4 Scallions, trimmed and roughly chopped


  1. Combine the chicken, cornstarch, and 2 tbsp soy sauce in a small bowl. Mix well and marinate for 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a dry skillet over medium heat. Add peanuts and toast for several minutes, until golden and fragrant. Set aside.
  3. Heat oil in a skillet on medium high heat. Add peppercorns and dried chilies and cook, stirring ocassionally, until fragrant and the chiles turn brown.
  4. Turn heat up to high and add chicken. Cook until chicken is cooked on both sides.
  5. Add garlic, ginger, scallions and peanuts and continue to cook until chicken is cooked through. Remove from heat and pour remaining soy sauce over the chicken.


This recipe is gluten-free if you use gluten-free soy sauce.

Gong Bao Chicken Nutrition

Per each of 4 Servings (4oz Chicken/Serving)

W Gong Bao Chicken-4

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  1. I believe this dish MUST have dark soy and chinese black vinegar to truly be good…..

    • Hm! Those would be great additions, I’ll add some next time I make this!!

  2. Oh my goodness, this chicken dish looks so good! Aren’t the simpler ones so much better? I also love the smell of scallions, ginger, and garlic! It’s so funny that you talk about the numbing-to-the-mouth kind of spicy sensation from the Szechuan peppercorn. I just made my version of a mapo tofu taco yesterday and purposely left these out. . but now, I think I may have to buy some of these and try it!

    • Thank you!! Oh gosh, mapo tofu taco sounds super interesting! I’m heading over right now to your blog to check it out!!

  3. Ah, simple recipes. I was looking for a plain, good Gong Bao.. if I’ve learned one thing, it’s that the truly good way to make a dish is the simple way, especially when it’s about “traditional” recipes – no matter from which country.
    We just had this for dinner, served with rice and assorted vegetables. I used Cashews and added a dash of sweet soy sauce to the initial soy sauce (blended 1:6 sweet:normal), it was absolutely perfect! Just like they serve it at my favourite Chinese place in my hometown. The chicken was so tender and marshmallowy-soft and everyone was blown away. Definitely part of my collection now!

    • Oh the cashews are a great choice! Glad it worked out so well for you!

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