My Air Fryer Kung Pao chicken is a stir-fried chicken with a scrumptiously perfect amalgamation of sweet, salty, and spicy flavors.
Recipes are SO Easy to Make in the Air Fryer!
This crispy chicken air-fried chicken with silky Chinese sauce and crunchy peanuts will surely be your new go-to recipe when you need to make something delicious quickly. That’s because with an air fryer this recipe comes out in under 30 minutes and you can pair it up with a bowl of steamed rice to make it a proper meal.
If you’re craving Chinese, but are caught up at work or don’t have time to order a take-out, you can prepare this healthy, yet flavorful kung pao chicken recipe at home. It takes less than 30 minutes, and the spiciness from the dry red chilies, the sweetness from the bell peppers, and the delicious crunch from the roasted peanuts give it a real restaurant-like taste.
Why We Love Air Fryer Kung Pao Chicken?
We all love recipes that are quick and easy to make, require minimal effort, and turn out amazing! This air fryer kung pao chicken is one such recipe. It is a healthy alternative to the kung pao chicken we get at restaurants as there’s less oil and more flavor. Plus, you can add or omit vegetables according to your liking!
The best thing about this recipe is the stir fry. The freshly chopped ginger and garlic, when sauteed, give out an appetizing aroma. The dry red chili gives it a tangy and smoky taste, while the green and red bell peppers even out the spice with their bittersweet flavor. The peanuts give the dish a slightly saltish taste, and the crunch is what makes people love air fryer kung pao chicken!
Plus, you can serve it with steamed or garlic rice, to bring out the flavor. How’s that for a perfect combo?
So, whether you’re preparing dinner for friends or family, or just want to have a fulfilling meal after a hectic day at work, this recipe is the perfect quick fix for a fancy Szechuan-inspired meal!
Ingredients You’ll Need for this Recipe
For the Chicken
- 2 chicken breasts: You can use meat from any part but breasts are leaner with more protein.
- Cornstarch 3 tbsp and 1 egg white: To coat and tenderize the chicken, making it crunchy when cooked.
- Rice vinegar 1 tbsp: It adds a mellow and sweet flavor.
For the Sauce
- Chinese cooking wine 2 tbsp: The cooking wine enhances the flavor of the sauce.
- Balsamic vinegar 2 tbsp: It adds a spicy kick to the sauce.
- Soy sauce 3 tbsp: For a sweet, salty, and umami flavor.
For the Stir Fry
- Chopped ginger and garlic 1 tbsp: Adds a delectable taste to the dish as a whole.
- Dry red chilies 4 to 5: To even out the sweet sauce flavor with their tanginess.
- Red and green peppers 1 each: For a grassy bittersweet flavor.
- Roasted peanuts ½ cup: To add the perfect crunch.
Frequently Asked Questions For My Air Fryer Kung Pao Chicken Recipe
For every dish, people have some queries, and I’m here to answer them!
Q. What to serve with this chicken?
The best combo is with steamed rice (white or brown), but you can also go with garlic rice, egg-fried rice, Singaporean noodles, sweet and sour tofu, or even garden salad. I personally love serving with jasmine rice! If I want to feel a little healthy, then I’ll use riced cauliflower!
Q. What other vegetables can we add to the stir fry?
I used dry red chilies, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, and green onions. However, you can add other vegetables of your choice like zucchini, carrots, peas, broccoli, and mushrooms.
Q. How long should we marinate the chicken before air frying it?
Once you have coated the chicken with soy sauce, rice vinegar, cornstarch, egg white, and salt, you can leave it for 5 to 30 minutes depending on how much time you have on hand.
Q. What can we use as a garnish for this recipe?
Roasted peanuts and the green part of spring onions make for the perfect garnish for kung pao chicken. If you want to make things interesting, you can add honey roasted peanuts to balance the sweet and spice!
Tips and Tricks for Air Fryer Kung Pao Chicken
Here are some tried and tested tips and tricks to make the perfect air fryer kung pao chicken.
1. To adjust the spiciness of your kung pao chicken, you can add more or fewer dry red chilies to the stir fry.
2. If you don’t have roasted peanuts, you can use regular peanuts and toast them in a skillet until they turn a bit brown and give out an aroma.
3. If you want your chicken to turn out flavourful, soft from the inside, and crispy on the outside, always use cornstarch vinegar, soy sauce, and egg white as a marinade.
4. When you add the air-fried chicken to the sauce, make sure the sauce has a thick consistency so that it evenly coats every piece of chicken.
You can follow along the cooking process with the visual aid below! It shows you how the recipe will look along your journey of making the recipe!
This crispy chicken air-fried chicken with silky Chinese sauce and crunchy peanuts will surely be your new go-to recipe when you need to make something delicious quickly.
- 2 chicken breasts cut into cubes
- 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
- 1 egg white
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 3 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons dark soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon black pepper powder
- 2 tablespoon cooking wine (Chinese cooking wine)
- ½ cup water
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
- 1 teaspoon chopped ginger
- 4-5 dry red chilies cut into ½ inch pieces
- 1 green bell pepper cut into cubes
- 1 red bell pepper cut into cubes
- Green onions cut into ½ inch pieces
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon corn-starch
- 2 tablespoons water
- ½ cup roasted unsalted peanuts
- In a large bowl mix all the ingredients under the chicken section and marinate it for 3-4 minutes. (If time permits)
- Whisk all the ingredients under sauce and keep aside while your chicken is marinating.
- Preheat the air fryer for 5 minutes at 180-degree C (350-degree F). Brush the basket with a little oil and put the marinated chicken in it (8-10 per batch). Brush a little oil on top. Cook for 3 minutes on one side then turn and cook for another 3 minutes or until golden brown. Repeat with other chicken pieces.
- Next heat oil in a pan, add chopped ginger and garlic, fry until garlic becomes fragrant.
- Add dried red chilies and cubed red and green bell peppers. Stir fry it for a few seconds.
- Give the prepared sauce a mix, then pour it into the pan and bring it to a boil.
- In a small bowl mix together cornstarch and water and add it to the sauce.
- Add green onions, grounded black pepper, and air-fried chicken in the pan and mix all the ingredients in the sauce until the chicken is evenly coated and the sauce thickens.
- Stir in peanuts, toss well, and cook for 2 minutes.
- Serve hot with rice and enjoy.
- Marinating chicken in cornstarch, vinegar, egg white, and soy sauce not only makes chicken extremely flavorful but also provides a protective coating that holds the moisture inside the chicken. This makes it tender from the inside and crispy from the outside.
- You can add or omit vegetables in stir fry according to your liking.
- Ensure that the sauce thickens and coats each and every piece of chicken properly before serving.