by Debra Wysopal

Ok, so we are in isolation like all of you – and we were craving Chinese but someone ate my peanut reserve. SO, this is Kung Pao with cashews. Still great. If you can get Sichuan peppercorns for this try to, if not white pepper or even black will work. It looks like a lot of work but like all my favorite stir-fries – it goes quickly once you prep and it goes even more quickly once you serve it. Check out the Chinese Takeout Cookbook – for more recipes like this one.


Serves: 4
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 6 voted )


  • 2 TBS Peanut or Canola oil
  • 8-10 dried chilis
  • 3 scallions, white and light green parts, separated and thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 1 TSP minced or grated ginger
  • 1/4 cup unsalted dry-roasted peanuts
  • 1 TBS Soy Sauce
  • 3 TSP Chinese Rice Wine or dry sherry
  • 1 1/2 TSP Corn Starch
  • 1 LB Boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • ***SAUCE
  • 1 TBS Chinese black vinegar or good quality Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 TSP Soy Sauce
  • 1 TSP Hoisin Sauce
  • 1 TSP Sesame Oil
  • 2 TSP Sugar
  • 1 TSP ground Sichuan pepper, white pepper or black pepper


Marinate the chicken:  In a medium bowl, stir together the soy sauce, rice wine and cornstarch until the starch is dissolved.  Add the chicken and gently coat.  Let stand at room temperature while you prepare the other ingredients.

Prepare the Sauce: In another bowl, combine the black vinegar, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, sugar, cornstarch and  Sichuan pepper. Stir until sugar and cornstarch are dissolved and set aside. 

Turn on your stove exhaust and if you have a parrot like we do, open some windows.  Stir-frying hot chili peppers on high heat can get a little smoky.  Heat a wok or large skillet until a bead of water sizzles and evaporates then add the peanut oil (or other high heat neutral oil - NOT olive oil) to the pan.  Swirl to coat the bottom with a nice thin sheen.  Add the chilies and stir-fry for about 30 seconds, or until the chilies have begun to blacken and the oil is slightly fragrant.  Add the chicken and stir-fry until no longer pink, about two to three minutes.  

Add the scallion whites, garlic and ginger and stir fry for about 30 seconds, until fragrant. Pour in the sauce and mix to coat the other ingredients. Stir in the peanuts and cook for another 2 minutes. Transfer to a serving plate and sprinkle the scallion greens on top. 

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