Over the years, I’ve come to love a myriad of ethnic cuisines (Mexican, Cuban, Lebanese/Middle Eastern, Jamaican, Thai, Italian… love it all). That brings me to Chinese food… I’ve been a HUGE fan from the time I was a little girl! One of my favorite meals was Chinese take out haha.  For Real. What a weirdo… 😉 I broadened my culinary taste buds and found an authentic restaurant in town that served incredible Hunan style food. It was love.

Anyways, we’ve had our closest friends (The Muenstermann’s) in town since Friday so we’ve been busy eating, laughing, catching up and all that good stuff! I new I needed to cook something for ya’ll and I wanted it to be light (b/c of all the eating we’ve been doing), so when I came across this easy Cooking Light version of Kung Pao Chicken, I KNEW I had to make it!    

It did NOT dissappoint. It tasted super fresh with all the garlic, ginger, and veggies!  And the best part was the spicy kick from the crushed red pepper (Oooo man do we love some SPICE!)… top it all off with some crunchy peanuts and call it a day.

Honestly, this dish came together super fast! A little chopping and prep work and the meal was on the table in about 30 minutes.

Winner winner chicken dinner!

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Spicy Kung Pao Chicken

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 10-15 minutes

Cook Time: 15-20 minutes

Total Time: 25-35 minutes

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1 1/2 tablespoons light olive oil, divided
1.5 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed into bite sized pieces
1 tablespoon corn starch, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 onion, peeled and thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, grated
3/4 teaspoon fresh minced ginger
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
1 red bell pepper, cored and thinly sliced
1 - 1.5 cups snow peas

Directions:

Heat the sesame oil and 1 tablespoon of the light olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

Toss the chicken with salt and 2 teaspoons of the corn starch. When skillet is fully heated (should sizzle when you drop the chicken in), add the chicken and stir fry for about 4-6 minutes (until chicken is cooked and beginning to brown). Remove from pan using a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add remaining teaspoon of light olive oil to the pan. When it is heated, add the onions and stir fry for 3-4 minutes, until beginning to soften and brown. Add garlic & ginger and sauté for 30-45 seconds, stirring constantly.

Add chicken back into the pan and stir to combine. In a large measuring cup, whisk together water, soy sauce, brown sugar, crushed red pepper, and remaining teaspoon of cornstarch. Add mixture to pan and bring to a boil.

Lastly, add the bell pepper and snow peas and cook for 2-3 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender (Sauce should thicken a bit).

Serve over steamed rice with a sprinkle of chopped peanuts (and crushed red pepper if you like MORE spice).

Adapted from: Cooking Light