One of my favorite dishes to eat at Panda Express has always been the Kung Pao Chicken, but sadly their version is not quite Keto-friendly. This recipe is such a close copy-cat that it is deeply satisfying. One of my favorite Chinese dishes is now Keto Kung Pao Chicken.
The marinade for the Chicken Thighs sounds a little bit unconventional, since it includes Baking Soda for starters, and that is combined with Rice Vinegar. Most of us should be able to recall what happens when we add Baking Soda and Vinegar together, and we get that foaming volcano from Elementary School Science Fairs. So, while we won’t exactly be seeing a crazy lava flow, there will be some bubbling going on in the marinade. I am told that this combination helps tenderize the chicken. (The chicken does turn out really tender, so maybe it does work after all!)
From there, rather than serving this dish on a bed of Riced Cauliflower, or some other noodle or rice attempt, I like the way that Panda Express prepares their Kung Pao, with a bulk of sliced Zucchini spears in it as a good filler. The combination of vegetables ends up making this dish a good source of your veggies, but you could also feel free to increase the ratios of chicken to vegetables if you want to fatten the dish up, or even cut down on some of the carbohydrates. I personally like to source the majority of my daily carbs from fresh vegetables, as I believe that keto-friendly vegetables should still remain a regular part of your meals.
When shopping for your ingredients please keep in mind that not all brands are created equally, and some have totally different ingredients or additives in them. Be sure to read the labels before you buy them to make sure that things like your Vinegars are not sweetened and things like that.
KETO KUNG PAO CHICKEN RECIPE
Ease of Preparation: Moderate
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cooking Time: 30 Minutes
Total Time: 45 Minutes
- 6 Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
- 2-3 Red & Green Bell Peppers (Diced)
- 2-3 Zucchini (Chopped)
- 2 Celery Stalks (Chopped)
- 1 Bunch of Green Onion Tops (Sliced)
- 2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
- 2 Tablespoons White Vinegar -or- Rice Vinegar (Divided)
- 5 Tablespoons Liquid Aminos -or- Coconut Aminos (Divided)
- 1 Tablespoon Garlic Chili Sauce
- 1/2 Cup Kettle & Fire Chicken Bone Broth
- 1 Tablespoon Lakanto Monkfruit Sweetener
- 1 Tablespoon Ginger (Minced)
- 4 Garlic Cloves (Minced)
- 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
- 4 Tablespoons Avocado Oil (Divided)
- Sliced Almonds
- 1/2 Teaspoon Xanthan Gum (Optional)
- Start by cutting up your Boneless & Skinless Chicken Thighs into chunks that are about 1″ square, or as close to that as you can get them. Place the chicken in a Medium Mixing Bowl.
- Sprinkle the Chicken meat with Baking Soda and toss by hand to get an even coating.
- Drizzle the Chicken with about 1 Tablespoon of the Liquid Aminos -or- Coconut Aminos.
- Pour in 1 Tablespoon of the Vinegar. (Yes, this will cause the Baking Soda to foam up)
- Toss the chicken again by hand to insure an even coating, and set aside while preparing the other ingredients to marinate. (At least 10 minutes)
- In a Small Mixing Bowl combine 4 Tablespoons of the Aminos, 1 Tablespoon of the Vinegar, the Garlic Chili Sauce, Monkfruit Sweetener and the Chicken Bone Broth.
- Whisk to get the sauce evenly mixed and to dissolve the Monkfruit sweetener.
- Set aside for cooking later
- In a Large Wok over Medium-High Heat warm up 2 Tablespoons of the Avocado Oil.
- Add all of the Chicken Thighs, and toss to get the chicken evenly coated with the hot oil.
- Brown the Chicken for approximately 10 minutes to get the outsides fully seared.
- Once fully browned remove the Chicken from the wok and set aside to add back in towards the end.
- Add 2 more Tablespoons of Avocado Oil to the Wok.
- Add the Garlic, Ginger and Black Pepper and saute for about 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.
- Add in the Bell Peppers, Zucchini, and Celery and toss in the oil to coat evenly.
- Cook for approximately 5-8 minutes, or until the vegetables start to become soft in texture.
- Add in all of the Sauce, and simmer for about 5 more minutes. If you would like your sauce thicker you can optionally sprinkle in about half a teaspoon of Xanthan Gum, which will give it a thicker texture (similar to how Corn Starch thickens up sauces).
- Add the previously browned Chicken Thighs back into the wok and stir constantly while cooking for about 5 more minutes.
- In the last couple minutes of cooking add the Sliced Green Onions and the Sliced Almonds. You could choose to leave these out, but I feel that they complete the dish.
Special Note: You could opt to serve this over something like Riced Cauliflower, but I prefer not to. The flavor of this dish is spot-on by itself, and I personally do not think that the flavor of Riced Cauliflower would add much to the flavor. If you choose to do so, you will want to reduce the amount of the Keto Kung Pao Chicken that you serve. Also, if you would a little bit more asian style flavor, towards the end you could also toss in a Tablespoon or two of some Toasted Sesame Oil to enhance the flavor (which would also increase your Fat ratios for your Macros too).