Who needs Chinese takeout (and extra sugar and carbs!) when you can make it at home? This is my keto & low carb take on one of my favorite Chinese dishes!
CHINESE FOOD. I’m a sucker for Chinese food. Especially Panda Express! When I was younger, there was this really amazing Chinese restaurant where they served the best Kung Pao Chicken.
It was spicy, a little sweet and sour and just full of flavor! Of course, back then I used to eat it on top of a mountain of rice. Or two. Luckily, I learned to stop eating it with rice and just ate it alone.
My Keto and Low Carb take on Kung Pao Chicken is pretty close to the Panda Express carb version that I love. With Panda Express, they use Cornstarch and Sugar to provide the dish with thickness and flavor. We can’t have those on Keto so I had to find a way around it.
This version uses Xanthan Gum instead (I use this!) and I substitute the sugar with Lakanto (Save 20% off with my promo code: KETOFYME). Using these two substitutions cuts the carb count considerably.
You will need to work with Xanthan Gum quickly, but once you get used to how it works, you can add it to other dishes such as soups, gravy, etc.
For this dish, I highly recommend using a Wok (I use this!). My wok isn’t seasoned completely but it works just fine. I can’t guarantee you’ll have the same results without a wok, but you can try with whatever pan you have!
You’ll need to work quickly with high heat throughout the whole process. That’s why I prefer using a wok because of it’s high heat retention. It’s quick recipe to make but there is some prep time.
Now, before we get to the recipe, I do want to add that this is a more westernized version of Kung Pao Chicken. I needed to decrease the carb count, so I omitted hoisin sauce and oyster sauce.
Those two ingredients alone add about 20-25g of carbs + sugar to the dish. As much as I wanted to include them, I really wanted to keep this as Keto Friendly as possible. I did include balsamic vinegar since I don’t have Black Vinegar on hand.
I hope you enjoy this recipe!
Who needs Chinese takeout (and extra sugar and carbs!) when you can make it at home?
This is my keto & low carb take on one of my favorite Chinese dishes!
- 1000g Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs, cut up to 1/2 inch cubes.
- 3 tbsp Soy Sauce or Coconut Aminos
- 1 tbsp Refined Coconut Oil (I use this!)
- 2 tbsp Sherry Wine (optional – adds 3g carbs)
Sauce (if you want extra sauce, feel free to double this)
- 2 tbsp Regular Soy Sauce (or Coconut Aminos)
- 1 tbsp Dark Soy Sauce (I use this!)
- 3 tbsp Lakanto (link)
- 400g Red Bell Pepper, 1″ cubes
- 400g Zucchini, diced 1/2″
- 3 tbsp Refined Coconut Oil (I use this!)
- 10g Fresh Minced Ginger
- 15g Fresh Minced Garlic
- 80g Dry Roasted Peanuts
- 5g Sliced Green Onions
- 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
- 1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar (or Chinese Black Vinegar)
- 1 tbsp Chili Garlic Sauce (I use this!)
- 3/4 tbsp Sesame Oil (I use this!)
- 12–15 pieces Dried Chinese Red Peppers
- 1/4 tsp Xanthan Gum (I use this!)
- Shrimp Cauliflower Rice
- Cauliflower Rice
- Mixed Veggies
- Shiritaki Noodles
Marinate the Meat:
- Take chicken thighs and cut to 1/2 inch cubes. Add the soy sauce, Refined Coconut Oil, and sherry wine (optional – 2 tbsp is 3g carbs). Marinade in the fridge for 30 minutes.
For the next steps, you’ll need to work quickly and with high heat throughout the whole process!
- With your Wok on high heat, add 1 tbsp of Refined Coconut Oil and fry the marinated meat. After 10 minutes, the meat will start releasing water. At this point, push the meats to the sides of the wok to add a well in the middle. *Sprinkle* Xanthan Gum slowly and work it in, stirring frequently. It will start to thicken in 2-4 minutes. If it doesn’t thicken, feel free to sprinkle an additional 1/8 tsp of Xanthan Gum. DO NOT OVER DO IT WITH XANTHAN GUM. A little goes a long way! Once you’ve thicken the sauce to your liking, mix the meat in to coat. Cook thoroughly and set it aside.
- Add 1 tbsp of Refined Coconut Oil and add the Zucchini and Red Bell Peppers. Cook until lightly browned. Do not over cook. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Add 1 tbsp of Refined Coconut Oil. Add Garlic, Ginger, Chili Garlic Sauce, Balsamic Vinegar, and Dried Chinese Red Peppers. Sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add Sauce mixture, Black Pepper, Peanuts, Green Onions, and Sesame Oil. Sauté for 2-3 minutes. Make sure to keep moving the food around the wok during this step to prevent burning.
- Add the Meat, Zucchini, and Red Bell Peppers and mix well. Sauté for 3-5 minutes.
- Turn off the Heat and Serve hot!
You can substitute Soy Sauce with Coconut Aminos, Omit Dark Soy Sauce, and switch Peanuts to Pine Nuts or Cashews. The flavor may change due to the substitutions. Adding Cashews may add more carbs to the dish.
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Stir Fry
- Cuisine: Chinese / Asian
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