This Slimming World friendly recipe for Kung Pao Chicken is perfect for when you are missing your weekend Chinese takeaway. It has just half a Syn per portion which is a LOT less than the version you can get at a takeaway.
This spicy, stir-fried chicken and vegetable dish is ready to eat in under 30 minutes and has a delicious salty, sweet, and sour flavour that you will love!
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Kung Pao Chicken
Kung Pao chicken is also known as Gong Bao or Kung Po, is a spicy, stir-fried Chinese dish made with cubes of chicken, peanuts, vegetables, and chili peppers.
The classic dish in Sichuan cuisine originated in the Sichuan Province of south-western China and includes Sichuan peppercorns.
Although the dish is found throughout China, there are regional variations that are typically less spicy than the Sichuan serving.
Kung Pao chicken is also a staple of Westernized Chinese cuisine.
This Kung Pao chicken recipe has been adapted from an official SW magazine. All of the Slimming World friendly recipes I share on The Purple Pumpkin Blog have been made by me and tried and tested by family.
If you enjoy spicy dishes this stir-fry is for you! The recipe uses a tablespoon of chopped chilies in vinegar (I used the Very Lazy brand of red chilies) and boy do they pack a punch! You can use less (or more!) depending on your spice tolerance.
The traditional Chinese recipe calls peanuts – which are not included in this SW recipe – but you won’t miss them, I promise! It can also be made with Sichuan peppers, which are also omitted from the recipe I am sharing with you in this post.
I have cooked Kung Po Chicken the traditional way, as well as the lower fat way, and both recipes are equally delicious.
So I can safely say that you don’t have to miss out on tons of flavour when you are on Slimming World!
This recipe for Kung Pao Chicken serves 4 and has ½ Syn per serving when Food Optimising.
Ingredients Used In This Recipe
The full ingredients list and instructions are found in the printable recipe card at the end of this post, but here is a brief outline so you know what to expect from the recipe.
I highly recommend always reading a recipe all the way through before starting.
There are some more specialised ingredients in this stir-fry which you should be able to find at a large supermarket, or if you have one nearby an Asian grocery store. If all else fails then I’ve got Amazon links to the products for your convenience.
- Dark Soy Sauce or
- Tamari – which is a gluten-free, Japanese soy sauce
- Shaoxing Rice Wine – or dry sherry if you have that in your drinks cabinet
- Red Chilies in White Wine Vinegar
- Sliced Water Chestnuts – alternatively cut the whole ones through the middle if you can’t find them sliced
- Bamboo Shoots
If you cook a lot of Chinese dishes (we do!) it’s good to have a stock cupboard of Chinese cooking basics so you always have them to hand.
If you don’t have a wok, you can use a large frying pan to cook your stir-fry. But honestly, invest in a wok. We bought ours in London’s Chinatown nearly 10 years ago and it is still going strong!
About Slimming World
Slimming World’s Food Optimising plan is a healthy, flexible approach, based on everyday foods, to help people lose weight without ever going hungry. It’s a practical, family-friendly plan that fits easily into everyday life and doesn’t require complex weighing and measuring or obsessive calorie counting. – Slimming World
Disclosure: I am not affiliated with Slimming World in any way other than being a member and following their Food Optimising plan.
If you are reading this blog post or printing this recipe (which you’ll find at the end of this post) the chances are you already follow SW and know all the ins-and-outs of how it works. Please check with your consultant, in your member pack, or online at Slimming World’s website for full details about the plan.
I am not a doctor or dietician, or providing medical advice and hold no responsibility for the complete accuracy of calorie counts and nutritional information. And where applicable, Syns in Slimming World friendly recipes. I advise you to check your own resources if you are using recipes to lose weight. All weight-loss programs should be followed on advice from a doctor.
Slimming World Food Diary Printable
If you follow Slimming World, you will know that one of the crucial things to your success is keeping a Slimming World Food Diary.
Tracking what you eat at each meal, along with your Healthy Extras, and Syns means you can monitor when things go well – and when they don’t – so can figure out how to improve next time.
I’ve got a free printable Slimming World Food Diary & Meal Planner here which now includes a diary for Extra Easy SP.
Extra Easy Kung Pao Chicken Recipe Tips
- When making this spicy chicken stir-fry prepare all of the ingredients in advance.
- You can use skinless, boneless chicken breasts or thighs – or a mixture of both. I used just the chicken breast.
- Stir-frying is a quick cooking process and you want everything ready to go as you begin to cook in the wok.
- The original recipe used 1 large garlic clove, I used several cloves of garlic as we are garlic fiends! Use less garlic if you prefer.
- The chicken is marinated for a few minutes – while you are chopping up the vegetables.
- The sauce which is added towards the end of the cooking process uses 1 tablespoon of red chilies in vinegar. They certainly add a lot of heat, so adjust to your personal chili tolerance!
- Get your wok smoking hot before cooking. This is the key to fast stir-frying.
- A mixture of FryLight (or a low-calorie cooking spray) and water is your friend when stir-frying the low-fat way. Have a boiled kettle handy to splash in as needed.
- You can serve this chicken dish with rice or egg noodles.
- To cook perfect rice use a ratio of 2 parts water to 1 part rice. Boil for 7 minutes with the lid on, then turn off the heat and leave to steam for 7 minutes. Perfect rice every time! If you cook a lot of rice, consider investing in a rice cooker.
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More Slimming World Friendly Recipes
Stuck on what to make for dinner when following Slimming World? Try one of these recipes:
I’ve got more delicious Slimming World Chicken Recipes for you to enjoy – right-click and open these other recipes in a new tab so that you can read them after this one.
Know someone who is following Slimming World and would love to try this recipe? Why not forward it onto them by email or WhatsApp?
- 800g skinless, boneless chicken breast and/or thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
- FryLight or low-calorie cooking spray
- 2-3 large garlic cloves, chopped
- 5cm/2" piece fresh root ginger, peeled and finely grated
- 8 spring onions, cut into 2cm/1" pieces
- 2 red bell peppers, deseeded and cut into bite-size chunks
- 225g/8 oz can sliced water chestnuts, drained
- 225g/8 oz can bamboo shoots, drained
- Salt, to taste
- 300g dried basmati rice, to serve
For the Marinade
- 2 Tbsp dark soy sauce or tamari
- 2 tsp Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
- 1 level tsp cornflour
For the Sauce
- 1 Tbsp Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
- 1 Tbsp dark soy sauce or tamari
- 1 Tbsp chopped red chilies in white wine vinegar from a jar
- 4 Tbsp hot water
- 1 chicken OXO cube
- Combine the marinade ingredients into a large bowl and add the chicken. Stir to coat and set aside.
- In another bowl combine the sauce ingredients and set aside.
- Place a large, non-stick wok over high heat and when it is smoking, spray with FryLight and add the garlic, ginger and a splash of water. Stir fry for 2 minutes.
- Spray a little more FryLight if needed and add the chicken, spring onion, and peppers. Stir fry for 8-10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. If you find the ingredients sticking to the wok, add a splash of hot water.
- Meanwhile, cook the rice according to the package instructions.
- Add the sliced water chestnuts and bamboo shoots to the wok and stir-fry for 1 minute.
- Add the prepared sauce and cook for 2 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.
- Season with salt to taste and serve immediately over the cooked, drained rice.
This recipe for Kung Pao Chicken serves 4 and has ½ Syn per serving when Food Optimising on Slimming World.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 498Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 170mgSodium: 836mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 4gSugar: 4gProtein: 68g
This site uses an outside source (Nutritionix) to provide estimated nutrition. If you need exact calories and macros, please do your own calculations.