Kung Pao Spaghetti, a Family Friendly Asian Inspired Dinner
Kung Pao Spaghetti is a frequently requested dinner around these parts. My kids, asian cuisine lovers like me, devour this creative culinary cross between spaghetti and chow mein. I first discovered this recipe from Damn Delicious (a fabulous recipe blog that you should most definitely bookmark) and learned that is a restaurant copycat from California Pizza Kitchen. I’ve made some adaptations based on what’s available to me at my local grocery stores, no matter how you create this, it’s quick to whip up at home and simple to customize to your family’s flavor palette.
To start, go ahead and get a pot of spaghetti noodles going.
While the spaghetti cooks, pull out a medium bowl and add some soy sauce, chicken broth, red chili paste (Sriracha), sugar, red wine vinegar, cornstarch, sesame oil, and ground ginger. Whisk it all together and set aside.
Get out a large skillet or wok and add some oil. Cook a couple of boneless skinless chicken breasts, a few minutes on each side, until completely cooked. Or, if you’re like me, you can cut up your chicken while it’s raw and cook it all in the pan together. My brain tells me this is faster. If it’s not, don’t tell me. I’d prefer to remain in a state of tender, already cut up, chicken denial. Once the chicken is thoroughly cooked, pull it all out of the pan and set it aside.
In the same pan, add some pressed garlic and let it cook just slightly until it’s fragrance hypnotizes you into a garlic loving trance.
Add the soy sauce slurry and let it come to a boil. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for about a minute until it’s thick and glossy. While it’s simmering cut up your chicken if you haven’t already done so.
Next you’ll add the (drained) spaghetti, chicken, some peanuts, and green onion all to the pan and combine well. I like to throw in a little sesame seed here too. Serve immediately. Try not to inhale the entire pot for yourself. Trust me, it will be tempting.
This serves my family of seven (with three small children who I count as 1.5 servings) without leftovers. If you have a smaller family, I’d advise you to still make the entire portion size as the leftovers are just as phenomenal as the first time around. In fact, this is one of my husbands most favorite leftovers to take to work for lunch. I’ve never been to CPK, but after enjoying this dish I’m eager to get my hands on additional recipes they serve. Especially if they’re as packed with flavor as this one is!
- 1 pound spaghetti
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3 boneless, skinless thin-sliced chicken breasts
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- 2/3 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 2 tablespoons red chili paste with garlic, or more, to taste
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- In a medium bowl, combine soy sauce, chicken broth, ground ginger, red chili paste, sugar, red wine vinegar, cornstarch and sesame oil with a whisk and set aside.
- Cook pasta according to package instructions and drain well.
- In a large skillet heat vegetable oil over medium heat. Slice chicken breast thinly and season with salt and pepper. Add to skillet and cook thoroughly; set aside.
- Add garlic to the skillet and cook until fragrant. Stir in soy sauce mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until thick
- Stir in pasta, chicken, peanuts and green onions.
- Serve immediately.