I craved Asian cuisine today, so I made Kung Pao Chicken and brown rice in the Instant Pot. I didn’t have hot peppers, hoisin sauce, or chili purée. Without the typical red chili peppers, my dish was milder than take-out. As for the condiments, I found recipes online and made my own.
We were pleased with the results. I focused on ingredients I had (fresh ginger root and fresh cilantro) and followed a Betty Crocker (Cookbook) recipe for low fat Kung Pao Chicken. I used frozen chicken thighs and modified it for the Instant Pot or any brand multi cooker.
RECIPE—Instant Pot Kung Pao Chicken for Two
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1 tsp. cornstarch dissolved in 1 Tbsp cold water
- 1/4 cup dry roasted peanuts
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. Grated ginger root
- 1/2 cup chicken broth (from cooking the chicken)
- 1/2 tsp. sugar
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp Chile purée
- 2 Tbsp hoisin sauce
- Pressure cook chicken thighs in 1/2 cup water ten minutes. Allow pressure to drop on its own.
- Mix a slurry of all other ingredients except broth, onions, celery, and peanuts. Set aside.
- Remove chicken from pot and cut into 1” cubes. Reserve broth.
- Using sauté mode, sauté onions, peanuts, and celery in 1/2 cup of reserved broth for five minutes.
- Add chicken and stir.
- Add the slurry and turn off Instant Pot. Stir until sauce thickens.
- Serve immediately over 1/2 cup cooked brown rice.
- (optional) Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro.