Kung Pao Sauce Recipe – Veg Vegan Meat

Kung Pao Sauce is an authentic Szechuan style stir-fry sauce filled with sweet, spicy, and complex flavors. It is usually made with fresh aromatics, basic sauces, Szechuan peppercorns, and sesame oil. The recipe I have shared here shows how to make Kung Pao Sauce with easy step-by-step instructions for you to try and enjoy at home.

I have also shared a detailed video of this recipe to show the cooking process as simple and clear. This homemade Kung Pao Sauce is one of the flavor-filled stir-fry sauces and is used to make Kung Pao Chicken, Kung Pao Shrimp, Kung Pao Tofu, and similar other Chinese dishes.

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What is Kung Pao Sauce?

Kung Pao Sauce is a sweet, spicy, and authentic stir fry sauce from Sichuan Cuisine. It is made with fresh aromatics, sauces, and Szechuan peppercorns. This sauce usually tastes sweet, spicy and has a unique tongue-tingling effect from the Szechuan peppercorns.

Not to mention the rusting and earthy taste flavor notes from the sesame oil that elevates the flavor profile of the sauce. Fresh aromatics like ginger, garlic, dry red chilies, and onions give an incredible flavor to your sauce that you don’t get in bottled ready to make sauces.

You can also make this Kung Pao Sauce ahead to make a finger-licking chicken, shrimp, or veggie stir-fry dish. And you can make your own Asian or Chinese restaurant-style take-out dishes in your kitchen with minimal effort like a pro.

Ingredients

The ingredients you will need to make this Kung Pao Sauce are basic Asian sauces and aromatics. You can easily find them in most Asian or Chinese grocery stores around. So let’s see what they are below.

Kung Pao Sauce Ingredients on a table
  • Aromatics – Ginger, garlic, and dry red chilli gives nice aroma and flavor to this dish
  • Light Soy Sauce – Light soy sauce gives the rich flavor to the dish
  • Dark Soy Sauce – Delivers rich color to the sauce and dishes
  • Shaoxing Wine – It is nothing but cooking wine used in most Chinese recipes
  • Vinegar – Even though the traditional recipe calls for black vinegar, you can also feel free to use rice or regular cooking vinegar
  • Sichuan Peppercorns – Gives the unique numbing and tingling taste
  • Sesame Oil – For a tradional earthy and rustic flavor
  • Broth – I have used vegetable broth here to make it as a vegetarian friendly. But feel free to use chicken broth if thats handy to you
  • Cornstarch Slurry – To thicken the sauce
  • Brown Sugar – Elevates the over all taste of the sauce. And also balance out the spicy and complex flavors of the sauce

How to make Kung Pao Sauce?

The recipe I have shared here is an authentic Kung Pao Sauce from scratch that is widely used in Szechuan Cuisine and most Chinese recipes. The process to make this sauce is simple and it can be prepared ahead to make most Chinese-style dishes.

Kung Pao Sauce in a bowl

Following are the high-level instructions to make this recipe but for detailed step-by-step instructions with photo and video, please check out the recipe card below.

  • Saute the aromatics – In a pan with medium heat, pour sesame oil and add garlic, ginger, dry red chili and saute until it turns aromatic
  • Saute the Onions – Add white onion or white part of scallion and saute until it turns soft
  • Add Szechuan Peppers – Add the crushed Sichuan peppercorns and saute until it turns aromatic
  • Add Sauces Pour light soy, dark soy and hot sauce, Shaoxing wine, rice vinegar, veg or chicken broth, white pepper powder, and brown sugar. Give a good mix to incorporate everything well. Allow the sauce mixture to boil for 3 to 5 minutes
  • Thicken the Sauce – Add the cornstarch slurry and mix well until the sauce thickens. And now the hot and spicy Kung Pao Sauce is ready for you to use in your recipes
  • Ready to Use – This Kung Pao Sauce is used in making Kung Pao Chicken, Kung Pao Shrimps, Kung Pao Tofu or similar other Chinese stir fry dishes.

Tips

  • For fresh aroma and flavor – Aromatics like minced garlic, ginger, and dry red chili gives the fresh aroma and flavor to the sauce
  • Sesame Oil – Stir-frying the aromatics in sesame oil gives authentic and earthy notes to your sauce
  • Sauces – Adding the light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, Shaoxing wine gives a rich taste, flavor, and color to your dish
  • Sichuan Peppercorns Delivers a unique numbing and tingling effect with slight spice notes. It is also one of the basic ingredients in the Sichuan cuisine. But if it is not handy feel free to use white pepper powder for similar results
  • Vinegar – Even though the classic Chinese recipes call for black vinegar, you can also feel free to use rice vinegar, or apple cider vinegar that’s handy to you

Storage Suggestions

You can store this sauce for up to 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator in a closed container. Feel free to use the required amount of sauce in your chicken, shrimp, tofu, or veggies to make delicious dishes.

Serving Suggestions

This sauce is traditionally used to make Kung Pao Chicken, Kung Pao Shrimp, or to stir fry veggies. You can also use it as a dipping sauce for your favorite starters, appetizers, or snacks.

You could also find similar sauce recipes below and more at condiment recipes.

Recipes with Kung Pao Sauce

More Chinese recipes:

Kung Pao Sauce Recipe video

I have also shared a detailed video of this Kung Pao Sauce Recipe below that I hope will help you to make an authentic stir fry sauce easily at home. You could also find this recipe in a story format.

📖 Recipe

Yield: 2 cups

Kung Pao Sauce

Kung Pao Sauce in a bowl

Kung Pao Sauce is an authentic Szechuan style stir-fry sauce filled with sweet, spicy, and complex flavors. It is usually made with fresh aromatics, basic sauces, Szechuan peppercorns, and sesame oil. This homemade Kung Pao Sauce is one of the flavor-filled stir-fry sauces and is used to make Kung Pao Chicken, Kung Pao Shrimp, Kung Pao Tofu and similar other Chinese dishes.

Prep Time
5 minutes

Cook Time
15 minutes

Total Time
20 minutes

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup Sesame Oil

  • 2 tbsp Garlic, minced

  • 2 tbsp Ginger, minced

  • 8 Dry Red Chilli

  • 1 tsp Sichuan Peppercorn, crushed

  • 2 tbsp White Onion or scallion, chopped

  • 3 tbsp Light Soy Sauce

  • 3 tbsp Dark Soy Sauce

  • 3 tbsp Shaoxing Wine

  • 1 tbsp Chili Sauce or Sriracha Sauce

  • 1 tbsp Brown Sugar

  • 1 tbsp Rice Vinegar or Black Vinegar

  • 1 cup Vegetable Broth or Chicken Broth

  • 1 tsp White Pepper Powder

  • 1 tbsp Cornstarch, diluted in 3 tbsp Water

Instructions

To make Kung Pao Sauce

  1. In a pan with medium heat, pour sesame oil and add garlic, ginger, dry red chili and saute until it turns aromatic Sauteing the aromatics in sesame oil
  2. Add white onion or the white part of the scallion and saute until it turns soft Sautéing the onions
  3. Add the crushed Sichuan peppercorns and saute until it turns aromatic Adding the Szechuan peppercorns to aromatics
  4. Pour light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, hot sauce, rice vinegar, veg or chicken broth, white pepper powder, and brown sugar. Give a good mix to incorporate everything well Adding the sauces to the stir fried mixture
  5. Allow the sauce mixture to boil for 3 to 5 minutes Sauce is boiling in a pan
  6. Add the cornstarch slurry and mix well until the sauce thickens. And now the hot and spicy Kung Pao Sauce is ready for you to use in your recipes Showing thickened Kung Pao Sauce on a spoon

To serve

  1. This Kung Pao Sauce is used to make Kung Pao Chicken, Kung Pao Shrimp, or similar other Chinese stir fry dishes Serving the authentic Kung Pao Sauce

Notes

  1. For fresh aroma and flavor – Aromatics like minced garlic, ginger, and dry red chili gives the fresh aroma and flavor to the sauce
  2. Sesame Oil – Stir-frying the aromatics in sesame oil gives authentic and earthy notes to your sauce
  3. Sauces – Adding the light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, Shaoxing wine gives a rich taste, flavor, and color to your dish
  4. Sichuan Peppercorns – It is one of the basic ingredients added in the Sichuan cuisine that delivers a unique numbing and tingling effect with slight spice notes. But if it is not handy feel free to use white pepper powder for similar results
  5. Vinegar – Even though the classic Chinese recipes call for black vinegar, feel free to use rice vinegar, or apple cider vinegar that’s handy to you

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

4 tbsp

Amount Per Serving:

Calories: 672Total Fat: 41gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 101mgSodium: 2959mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 3gSugar: 8gProtein: 38g

Disclaimer: Nutrition information comes from third-party apps and calculators. The information is purely an estimate and provided for information purposes only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Have you tried this recipe?

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FAQ

What is Kung Pao Sauce?

It is a sweet, spicy, and authentic stir fry sauce from Sichuan Cuisine. The ingredients you will need are fresh aromatics, sauces, and Szechuan peppercorns. This sauce is traditionally used to make Kung Pao Chicken, Kung Pao Shrimp, or to stir fry veggies. You can also use it as a dipping sauce for your favorite starters, appetizers, or snacks.

What does Kung Pao Sauce taste like?

This sauce usually tastes sweet, spicy and has a unique tongue-tingling effect from the Szechuan peppercorns. Not to mention the rusting and earthy taste flavor notes from the sesame oil that elevates the flavor profile of the sauce.

Is Kung Pao Sauce vegan?

Not all Kung Pao Sauce is vegan as it sometimes contain chicken broth and non-vegan-friendly sauces. So I would recommend checking on the label for vegan-friendly ingredients. And if you are trying to prepare it at home then I would suggest using vegan-friendly sauces and vegetable broth to make this sauce.

I hope you enjoyed the recipe that I have shared here and I would love to hear from you on how it turned out for you. Please let me know.

If you have any other questions, feel free to post them in the comment section below and I will try to get back to you as soon as possible.

Happy Cooking!

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