Chinese takeout. So greasy, so salty, so sweet…so good. But bad, so so bad…for you that is. I mean, not all of it, but most of it is very unfriendly to your waistline.
I’m a big fan of spicy and sweet, which is why I have always LOVED Kung Pao Chicken…but when I found out it is usually deep fried and full of fat and sugar, I thought twice and decided against it. Sad face.
Luckily, you can make it at home, the healthy way.
My version of Kung Pao Chicken is low calorie, low sugar, low fat and full of flavor. I make this a lot at home because it is just so damn good and Ben requests it like…at least once a week.
I like to serve it on top of cauliflower “rice” or jasmine rice (for those days when you need something a little more carb-y and hearty…)
It is pretty simple and fun to make.
I add broccoli to the dish, which is different that its OG takeout version, but I love broccoli, and I take any chance I can to add a little more green to my food. AND the broccoli soaks up the yummy sauce SO well.
Skinny Kung Pao Chicken
1 teaspoon grapeseed or vegetable oil
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1.5 cups chopped broccoli
1 teaspoon sesame oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoon fresh ground ginger
3 tablespoon crushed dry roasted peanuts
3 scallions sliced into little circles (greens and whites divided)
1 teaspoon cornstarch
For the sauce:
2 tablespoon reduced sodium soy sauce
1.5 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
3 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon Asian Red Chili Paste- (I use Sambal Oelek, and I like it spicy, so use less if you don’t want it so firey!)
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoon cornstarch
In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, balsamic, hoisin, water, red chili paste, sugar and cornstarch; set aside.
In a large bowl, season chicken with salt and pepper and sprinkle with 1 tsp of cornstarch, toss to coat. Heat grape seed or vegetable oil in a wok (or another large, deep skillet) over high heat…wait until oil is heated before adding chicken. Add chicken and cook, stirring frequently until browned and almost cooked through- this takes about 3-4 minutes. Set aside.
Reduce wok heat to medium-high. Add sesame oil to wok or pan and swirl it around. Then add garlic, ginger and scallion whites and cook until fragrant and browned slightly, about two minutes. Add the bell pepper and the broccoli and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Pour in soy sauce mixture and bring to a boil, then reduce to medium heat- a simmer. Cook for about 3 more minutes (this allows the sauce to get thick and yummy…and the broccoli will become softer). Add the chicken back in, stir and cook another 2 minutes or so until chicken is cooked through. Divide the yumminess between 2 bowls and top with crushed peanuts and scallion greens. I serve this with Cauliflower Fried “Rice” or just plain jasmine rice.