Kung Pao Chicken with Cashews

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Prep time
15 mins
Cooking time
30 mins

This Kung Pao Chicken with tender chunks of chicken, crunchy cashews, and a spicy sauce, tastes better than takeout and is easy to make at home.


  • 4 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp cornflour
  • 1 ½ tsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tsp light soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp Chinkiang vinegar
  • ½ chicken stock cube
  • 2 tsp sesame oil


  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
  • 3 tbsp cornflour
  • 4 free-range chicken breasts
  • 1 bunch spring onions, white part
  • Vegetable oil
  • 6 dried Kashmiri chillies, halved and seeds removed
  • 2 tsp Sichuan peppercorns
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 1 thumb of ginger (same amount as garlic), chopped
  • 150 g roasted cashew nuts


  1. Mix the marinade ingredients together in a medium bowl. Cut the chicken breast into equal sized cubes (1.5 cm) and stir into the marinade - leave to marinate for a few hours, or overnight for maximum flavour
  2. Cut the spring onions into 1.5 cm lengths.
  3. Mix the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl.
  4. Place wok on high heat and add a splash of vegetable oil.
  5. Add the chillies and Sichuan peppercorns and fry for a few seconds, then add half of the chicken in a single layer. Brown the chicken, stirring occasionally (don’t move around too often). When caramelised, remove to a bowl and cook the rest of the chicken.
  6. Add the first chicken to the wok along with the garlic, ginger and spring onions and stir to combine.
  7. Check the chicken is cooked, then pour in the sauce and mix to combine.
  8. Add the cashews when the sauce has thickened, stir to coat, and serve straight away with fried or steamed rice.

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