Kung Pao Chicken with a New Mexican Twist


Kung Pao Chicken with a New Mexican Twist

Spicy Chicken with a Southwestern Kick

In the vibrant world of New Mexican cuisine, we have taken the beloved Chinese dish, Kung Pao Chicken, and infused it with the bold flavors of the Southwest. This fusion recipe combines the heat of red chilies, the smokiness of chipotle peppers, and the richness of traditional Kung Pao Chicken to create a truly unique and delicious dish.

Jan Dec

20 minutes

15 minutes

35 minutes

4 servings


Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Low-carb, High-protein, Paleo-friendly


Vegan, Vegetarian, Nut-free, Egg-free, Soy-free


While the original Kung Pao Chicken is known for its Sichuan peppercorns and soy-based sauce, our New Mexican adaptation incorporates the flavors of the Southwest. We substitute Sichuan peppercorns with chipotle peppers for a smoky kick, and add red chilies for an extra level of heat. The sauce is enhanced with the addition of cumin and cilantro, giving it a distinct New Mexican flair. We alse have the original recipe for Kung Pao Chicken, so you can check it out.


  • Calories: 320 kcal / 1340 KJ
  • Fat: 18g (Saturated Fat: 3g)
  • Carbohydrates: 12g (Sugar: 6g)
  • Protein: 28g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Salt: 1.5g


  1. 1.
    Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat.
  2. 2.
    Add the chicken pieces and cook until browned and cooked through, about 5-6 minutes. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside.
  3. 3.
    In the same skillet, add the diced bell peppers, onion, garlic, red chilies, and chipotle peppers. Sauté for 3-4 minutes until the vegetables are slightly softened.
  4. 4.
    In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey, ground cumin, and salt. Pour the sauce into the skillet with the vegetables.
  5. 5.
    Return the cooked chicken to the skillet and toss to coat it with the sauce. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until everything is heated through.
  6. 6.
    Remove from heat and garnish with roasted peanuts and fresh cilantro.
  7. 7.
    Serve hot with steamed rice or tortillas.

Treat your ingredients with care...

  • Chicken — Make sure to cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces to ensure even cooking.
  • Chipotle peppers — Adjust the amount of chipotle peppers according to your desired level of spiciness.
  • Cilantro — If you're not a fan of cilantro, you can substitute it with fresh parsley for a milder flavor.
  • Peanuts — For an extra crunch, you can lightly toast the peanuts before adding them to the dish.
  • Rice vinegar — If you don't have rice vinegar, you can substitute it with apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar.

Tips & Tricks

  • For a smokier flavor, you can grill the chicken before adding it to the skillet.
  • If you prefer a thicker sauce, you can mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water and add it to the skillet during the last minute of cooking.
  • Feel free to add your favorite vegetables such as zucchini or corn to make it even more colorful and nutritious.
  • If you want to make it spicier, you can add a few drops of hot sauce or sprinkle some crushed red pepper flakes.
  • Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Serving advice

Serve the Kung Pao Chicken with a side of steamed rice or warm tortillas. Garnish with additional cilantro and peanuts for added flavor and texture.

Presentation advice

Arrange the Kung Pao Chicken on a platter and sprinkle some chopped cilantro and peanuts on top for an attractive presentation. Serve with a lime wedge on the side for a burst of citrusy freshness.