Kung Pao Chicken with Noodles

Kung Pao Chicken with Noodles: an easy to make, slightly spicy sauce getting all happy with chicken & noodles.

There’s some things that just go together. Salt & pepper, peanut butter & jelly. Chocolate and caramel. And now: Kung Pao Chicken with Noodles.

Kung Pao Chicken & Noodles

As soon as I heard of Kung Pao Chicken & Noodles, I was ready to jump right on the bandwagon. I mean, c’mon? Kung Pao with its complex, slightly spicy sauce mingling and getting all happy with the noodles? It’s like Kung Pao is looking at those lovely noodles and saying, “You complete me.”

I tried a few versions of Kung Pao with Noodles, and we liked them all. Especially the folks, who in their late 80’s and 90’s seem to like spicy food more and more. (God help me for introducing my Da to Sriracha!)

Kung Pao Chicken & Noodles

I wanted a Kung Pao sauce that had a bit of heat, just a bit of “bite” and wasn’t too sweet, though. I also didn’t want to pull out a zillion jars and bottles so I could marinade the chicken in one sauce and then turn around and make another for the final dish.

Ming Tsai came through with this recipe for Kung Pao Sauce. It takes literally minutes to make and the flavor is beyond compare. I divided some out so I could marinade the chicken and saved the rest for the final dish. Easy peasy. Less work, more flavor is always the way to go.

Kung Pao Chicken & Noodles

Kung Pao Chicken with Noodles

  • Servings: 4 - 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Kung Pao Sauce:

  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoon grated ginger (use large holes of a grater)
  • 3 tablespoons sambal oelek
  • 1 cup dark soy sauce (substitute if necessary 1 cup soy plus 1 1/2 teaspoons dark molasses
  • 3 tablespoons sugar, or more to taste
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground Sichuan pepper or white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water for a slurry

In a wok or saute pan, heat  coated lightly with oil over high heat, add garlic and ginger and saute for 1 minute, just to soften.

Add sambal and stir until well-blended. Add soy sauce to deglaze, then add sugar and rice vinegar, sesame oil and pepper.

Bring to a boil and slowly whisk in slurry to thicken.  Check for flavor and season if necessary.  Keep warm to use in recipes or cool to room temperature, store in an air-tight jar and place in the fridge.

Adapted from Kung Pao Sauce by Ming Tsai

Kung Pao Chicken & Noodles:

  • 1 recipe of Kung Pao Chicken Marinade, above, 1/2 to 3/4 cup reserved for the chicken, the rest for the final dish
  • 2 chicken breasts, cut in 3/4″ chunks
  • 4 to 8 ounces of dry noodles, like thin spaghetti, cooked al dente and drained
  • 4 tablespoons of oil, divided
  • 1 onion, diced 1/4″
  • 2 stalks celery, diced 1/2″
  • 5 to 6 dried red chilis, optional
  • 2 bell peppers, diced 1/2″
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons garlic
  • 1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion, optional

Marinate chicken at least 4 hours and preferably overnight, in about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of the sauce.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat and add chicken, cooking, stirring often, until lightly golden brown and just cooked through. Remove to a plate and tent to keep warm.

Wipe skillet clean, reheat and add a little more oil. Add onions and celery and cook for two to three minutes, stirring. Add dried chilis, if using. Add bell pepper and continue to cook a few minutes more until vegetables are tender but still retain some crunch. Add garlic and stir until fragrant.

Add in the chicken and the noodles, drizzle with the remaining sauce and toss together until heated through.

Garnish with peanuts and green onions. Serve immediately.

Note: If you would prefer to not use noodles, just add as much sauce as you’d like and serve over rice.

Nutrition Facts
Servings 6.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 457
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 20 g 30 %
Saturated Fat 2 g 12 %
Monounsaturated Fat 8 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 47 mg 16 %
Sodium 1521 mg 63 %
Potassium 190 mg 5 %
Total Carbohydrate 56 g 19 %
Dietary Fiber 3 g 10 %
Sugars 17 g
Protein 23 g 46 %
Vitamin A 4 %
Vitamin C 25 %
Calcium 17 %
Iron 9 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.


I’m posting this recipe on Fiesta Friday Blog Link Party, hosted this week by Ai @ Ai Made It For You and Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook.

37 thoughts on “Kung Pao Chicken with Noodles

  1. Pingback: ★★★★★ 0 Kung Pao Chicken with Noodles - Chinese Recipe

  2. Beautiful plateful Mollie– so inviting!! Love that you simplified with just one sauce. And I pretty much love any Chinese with noodles!! One question– what is sambal oelek?? We have lots of Chinese markets around here, so I can track it down… thanks for another great recipe Mollie! Hope you’re doing great– busy this weekend?? xox

      • I’m writing on my shopping list Mollie! You are such an awesome versatile cook! Seems like you can make anything! Happy weekend ahead– hope it’s a good one. Any plans?? xox

          • I know about being late to reply Mollie– sitting here with a long list of unaddressed comments! been a little lazy this week– and hanging out with my Mom. What kind of museums are on your list?? Have fun!! xoxox

    • I think tummy issues affect a lot of our elders. Both the folks take prilosec…but nothing seems to bother them. Meds, I found, also make food taste different. My stepmom in particular always says things “Don’t taste like anything.”

  3. Pingback: Kung Pao Chicken with Noodles | My Meals are on Wheels

  4. Gotta love kungpao chicken! My biggest challenge is finding the right soy sauce as I find different brands taste differently. I still haven’t found my perfect one. Do you have a favourite brand? 😊

    • My sister’s boyfriend is 1st generation American and all his family swear by Kikoman. So that’s what I use. When I use the mushroom soy, I just buy whatever I can find, though.

      I think if you get used to using one brand, then you get an idea of how your dishes turn out with that particular one – which I think might be important coz you always want to balance out those flavors – salty, sweet, spicy, etc.

  5. This looks fantastic! I love every single ingredient in that marinade recipe and it sounds like it would work great double duty as a sauce for the noodles. I’m saving this 🙂

    • It really is fantastic to have – I just toss it in a jar and use as needed. I have to admit that I want kung pao chicken all the time, now! I’m like my daughter when she was little and got a new dress, she’d want to wear it everyday, or if we got a new movie, she’d want to watch it over and over = that’s how I feel about this sauce!

    • I always ask the folks (and used to ask my kids, too) if something is good enough for a repeat and the answer was a resounding yes! They were very enthusiastic about this one. 🙂

  6. Pingback: Kung Pao Chicken with Noodles – All About Writing and more

  7. Wonderful recipe Mollie. I love Chinese food but am boycotting Chinese restaurants and anything made in China so in order to get my Chinese food fix I will make my own. Adding this one to my recipe file.

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