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Chicken and noodles in a wok with dried red chilies, spring onion, and peanuts

Kung Pao Chicken Linguini

This Kung Pao Chicken Linguini is a quick and easy stir-fry that’s made with tender pieces of chicken, aromatics, and linguini, and everything is tossed in a wickedly delicious spicy, sweet, and slightly tangy sauce! It’s perfect for easy dinners on busy weeknights and can easily be customized with your favorite protein like shrimp, pork, beef, or tofu and/or veggies!

Scale

Ingredients

For the Sauce:

For the Chicken Marinade:

For Garnish:

Instructions

Prep:

  1. Marinate the chicken: Dice the chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces. Then combine all the ingredients for the chicken marinade in large bowl and mix thoroughly with a spoon to combine.
  2. Make the sauce: Combine all the ingredients for the sauce in a measuring cup or small bowl and whisk until fully combined.
  3. Prepare the fresh and dry ingredients: Chop the garlic, fresh red chilies, ginger, and the spring onion, and cut the dried red chilies in halves and thirds (depending on their length). Set everything aside until ready to use.
  4. Cook the linguini: Cook the linguini al–dente according to package directions in a large pot of salted water. Then drain and set aside once cooked. (I like to run water over my pasta to prevent them from sticking and cooking further.)

For the Kung Pao Chicken Linguini:

  1. Cook the chicken: Heat 1 TBLS peanut oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the chicken pieces and spread evenly in the wok. Cook for 1 minute without touching them. Then continuously stir-fry for another minute or until the chicken is brown on all sides. Use a slotted spoon to scoop the chicken into a strainer and allow excess oil to drip into the wok. Transfer the chicken to a clean bowl and set aside. Discard the any remaining juices and oil in the wok and wipe it out with paper towels. Set the wok back on the stove.
  2. Heat remaining peanut oil, sesame oil, and chili oil (if using) in the wok over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the spring onion whites, garlic, and ginger. Stir-fry for a 1-2 minutes or until fragrant.
  3. Add the dried red chilies, peanuts, and fresh red chilies to the wok. Stir-fry for another 1 minute.
  4. Add the chicken pieces and toss to combine with all the ingredients in the wok.
  5. Give the sauce in the measuring cup a quick stir with a spoon. Then add the linguini and pour the sauce over the noodles.
  6. Continuously stir-fry and toss to combine the sauce with the noodles and everything in the wok for 4-5 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened and the noodles are well coated with it. (Note: If the sauce thickens too much, feel free to add a tablespoon or water as needed to thin it out a little and continue tossing.) Then remove the wok from the heat.
  7. To Serve: Divide the Kung Pao Chicken Linguini in four plates or transfer to a serving dish. Garnish with the spring onion greens and serve.

Notes

  1. Make it vegetarian (or vegan): Instead of chicken, you can make this with a firm tofu block diced up into cubes. However, instead of marinating the tofu, I recommend pan-frying the cubes in salt and pepper until brown on all sides. Then just add it to the stir-fry when you would add the chicken back into the wok. While I find it unnecessary to coat the tofu cubes with cornstarch since they usually crisp up perfectly without it, you are most welcome to do so if you would like extra crispy tofu cubes. Also, you can add additional soy sauce to the sauce for the stir-fry if you feel it’s needed.
  2. Add veggies: I kept it simple and only used aromatics in this noodle stir-fry since traditional Kung Pao Chicken doesn’t have any veggies in it. But feel free to add any of your favorite stir-fry friendly veggies like bell peppers, snap peas, mushrooms, onion, carrots, etc.
  3. Make it gluten-free: Use Tamari or gluten-free soy sauce in place of the low sodium soy sauce. In addition, you should also use a gluten-free sweet dark soy sauce such as Chang’s Sweet Soy Kecap Manis Sauce, and either balsamic or white vinegar in place of the Chinkiang Vinegar. Last but not least, be sure to use gluten-free pasta (or noodles).
  4. Swap the protein: Feel free to swap the chicken for beef, pork, or shrimp. My personal favorite is the shrimp version (after this chicken one of course)!
  5. Swap the noodles/pasta: Fettuccine, bucatini, spaghetti, udon, egg noodles, Hokkien noodles are all great options this stir-fry. 

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