I’m a huge fan of stir-fry and have been making good use of the wok my Dad got for me a few years back. If you don’t have one but cook Asian dishes, it really is a must-have. Not the electric kind either…get one with a flat bottom so that you can maximize every BTU that comes out of your residential stove. I love that Cooking Light has truly embraced Asian Fusion and this recipe is a keeper.  It is not authentic Kung Pao, but it is a slightly healthier Western version that will give you all the flavor of take-out at half the calories and half the cost.

Source:  Adapted by Cooking Light, December 2010

Servings:  4


1 tablespoons dark sesame oil 1/2 cup chopped onion

1 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces

3/8 cup water

1 1/2 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce 1 teaspoons cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon bottled minced ginger

1/2 to 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper

1/2 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper (about 1 large pepper) 1/2 cup snow peas, trimmed

1 tablespoons chopped unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts


Heat sesame oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until softened.

Add garlic; sauté 30 seconds, stirring constantly.

Add chicken; sauté 3 minutes or until chicken begins to brown.

Combine 3/8 cup water and the next 5 ingredients (through crushed red pepper), stirring with a whisk until sugar dissolves.

Add water mixture to pan; bring to a boil. Add bell pepper and snow peas to pan; cook for 2 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender and sauce thickens.

Sprinkle with nuts.

© Barbara Deitch 2020