Instant Pot Kung Pao Chicken
Instant Pot Kung Pao Chicken
- 1/4 cup sesame oil (any kind)
- 1 medium white or yellow onion, sliced longways into 1” strands
- 1 bunch scallions, sliced, with crunchy light green bottom separates from the softer green tops
- 1 green bell pepper, coarsely diced
- 1 red bell pepper, coarsely diced
- 2 tablespoons (6 cloves) crushed garlic
- 2-3 pounds chicken breasts, cut into 1″ cubed bite-sized pieces
- 1 cup chicken broth (I used 1 tsp Chicken Better Than Bouillon + 1 cup of water)
- 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce (use low-sodium because regular can make it too salty!)
- 2 tablespoons Chinese black vinegar (easily available at any international/Asian market or online. But you can sub Worcestershire sauce or balsamic vinegar if you wish)
- 2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine (also easily available at any international/Asian market or online. However, cooking sherry can also be used)
- 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
- 1/4 cup oyster sauce
- 2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter (optional for a bit of a peanut kick to the sauce)
- 1/2 – 1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce (optional for lovely spice, add more or less to taste)
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (totally optional if you want it very spicy and you can add more or less to taste)
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch + 3 tablespoons water, mixed together to form a slurry
- 1/2 cup roasted, salted or dry peanuts, as well as some for garnish
This is going to make a LOT of sauce, which is wonderful because it’s so good! Feel free to definitely use any leftovers over rice, noodles or vegetables. You can also absolutely refrigerate it for up to a few days in the fridge.
Want other vegetables in there such as carrots, mushrooms, water chestnuts or baby corns (or feel like swapping them out for other veggies listed that you don’t love)? Add them in at Step 1 while sautéing the veggies!
If you want zucchini, add it in Step 5 so it maintains it’s form and becomes slightly softened.
- Add the sesame oil to the Instant Pot, hit “Sauté” and “Adjust” so it’s on the “More” or “High” setting. Allow it to heat for three minutes and then add in the onion, peppers and soft green portion of the scallions. Sauté for 3 minutes and then add in the garlic and sauté for 1 more minute.
- Next, add in the chicken and sauté for another 3 minutes, stirring constantly, until pinkish-white in color (it shouldn’t be fully cooked by now).
- Add in the broth and deglaze the bottom of the bottom of the pot so anything that may have stuck onto it comes up. Follow up by adding in the soy sauce, black vinegar and Shaoxing wine. Give everything a good stir.
- Secure the lid, move the valve to sealing position, hit “Keep Warm/Cancel” and then hit “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” High Pressure for 7 minutes. Quick release when done.
- When the lid is off, it won’t look gorgeous yet, but it’s about to! Hit “Keep Warm/Cancel” and then hit “Sauté” and “Adjust” so it’s on the “More” or “High” setting again. As it comes to a bubble, add in the oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, peanut butter (if using) and chili garlic sauce (if using). Stir well. When bubbling stir in the cornstarch slurry, allow to bubble for 1 minute and then turn the pot off by hitting “Keep Warm/Cancel”. Once the bubbles die down, the sauce will have become the perfect consistency – gravy-like and clinging to the tender chicken.
- Lastly, stir in the peanuts and whiter, crunchier portion of the scallions. Transfer to a serving dish and top with more peanuts and scallions if you desire.
- Serve over white rice, brown rice or noodles!