What Is Kung Po Pork? A Detailed Guide

Are you a fan of Chinese cuisine? Have you ever heard of Kung Po Pork?

This spicy and savory dish is a popular variant of Kung Po Chicken, and it’s sure to tantalize your taste buds. With its combination of sweet, salty, and spicy flavors, Kung Po Pork is a delicious and satisfying meal that’s perfect for any occasion.

Whether you’re looking to impress your dinner guests or simply want to try something new, this dish is definitely worth a try. In this article, we’ll explore the origins of Kung Po Pork, its ingredients, and how to make it at home.

So sit back, relax, and get ready to learn all about this mouth-watering Chinese delicacy!

What Is Kung Po Pork?

Kung Po Pork is a popular Chinese dish that originated in the Sichuan province of China. It is a stir-fry dish made with pork, vegetables, and a spicy sauce that is typically made with soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and chili peppers. The dish is often garnished with roasted peanuts, which add a crunchy texture and nutty flavor to the dish.

The name “Kung Po” refers to a stir-fried or deep-fried dish that is frequently served with peanuts and a spicy hot sauce. The dish is also known as Gong Bao or Kung Pao Pork, depending on the region of China where it is prepared.

The Origins Of Kung Po Pork

Kung Po Pork has a rich history that dates back to the Qing Dynasty in China. It is believed that the dish was named after Ding Baozhen, a governor of Sichuan province, whose private chef invented the dish. However, there are also claims that the dish was named after a famous Sichuan general named Ding Baozhen.

Regardless of its origins, Kung Po Pork became a popular dish in the Sichuan province and eventually spread throughout China. The dish is known for its spicy and savory flavors, which are achieved through the use of Sichuan peppercorns and dried chili peppers. The addition of peanuts to the dish provides a unique texture and flavor that sets it apart from other Chinese dishes.

Today, Kung Po Pork is enjoyed all over the world and has become a staple in Chinese restaurants. Its popularity can be attributed to its bold flavors and versatility in terms of ingredients. Whether you prefer pork or chicken, or want to add your own spin on the dish with different vegetables or nuts, Kung Po Pork is a dish that can be customized to suit any palate.

Ingredients In Kung Po Pork

To prepare Kung Po Pork, you will need the following ingredients:

– Pork: The main ingredient in Kung Po Pork is pork, which is typically cut into small pieces and stir-fried with the other ingredients. You can use pork loin, pork shoulder, or any other cut of pork that you prefer.

– Vegetables: Kung Po Pork is typically prepared with a variety of vegetables, including broccoli, carrots, yellow pepper, celery, and red bell pepper. These vegetables add color and flavor to the dish.

– Sauce: The sauce for Kung Po Pork is made with a combination of soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and chili peppers. This sauce gives the dish its signature spicy and tangy flavor.

– Peanuts: Roasted peanuts are a common garnish for Kung Po Pork. They add a crunchy texture and nutty flavor to the dish.

– Oil: Peanut oil is traditionally used to stir-fry the ingredients for Kung Po Pork. However, you can also use vegetable oil or any other light-tasting cooking oil.

– Spices: Garlic, fresh ginger, and dried red chilies are often used to add flavor and heat to Kung Po Pork.

– Rice: Kung Po Pork is typically served with jasmine rice, which is a fragrant and flavorful type of rice. However, you can also serve it with white or brown rice if you prefer.

How To Make Kung Po Pork At Home

Making Kung Po Pork at home is a great way to enjoy this delicious dish without having to go to a restaurant. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make Kung Po Pork at home:


– 1 pound of pork, cut into bite-sized pieces

– 3 tablespoons of low-sodium soy sauce

– 1 tablespoon of cornstarch

– 1 1/2 cups of uncooked jasmine rice

– 1 head of broccoli, florets and stems (prepare stems by squaring off the sides and then slicing)

– 1/2 cup of sliced carrots

– 1/2 cup of diced yellow pepper

– 1/2 cup of diced celery

– 1/2 cup of diced red bell pepper

– 1/2 pound of mushrooms, quartered

– 1/4 cup of peanut oil

– 1 cup of roasted, unsalted peanuts

– 4 dried red chiles


1. Marinate the pork: In a bowl, mix together the soy sauce and cornstarch. Add the pork pieces and coat them evenly with the mixture. Let it rest for 30 minutes.

2. Cook the rice: Rinse the jasmine rice in cold water until the water runs clear. In a pot, bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Add the rice and stir. Reduce heat to low, cover the pot, and let it simmer for about 18 minutes or until the rice is cooked.

3. Prepare the vegetables: Cut the broccoli into small florets and slice the stems. Slice the carrots, dice the yellow pepper, celery, and red bell pepper. Quarter the mushrooms.

4. Fry the pork: Heat peanut oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add the marinated pork and fry until golden brown.

5. Create the sauce: In a small bowl, mix together soy sauce, water, vinegar, sugar, sherry, cornstarch, and sesame oil.

6. Sautee vegetables: Heat peanut oil in a wok over high heat. Add the vegetables and stir-fry for about 2 minutes or until they are slightly softened.

7. Combine ingredients: Add garlic, spices, and red chiles to the wok with vegetables. Add in fried pork and peanuts. Pour in sauce mixture and stir-fry until everything is coated evenly with sauce and it becomes thick.

8. Serve: Serve Kung Po Pork hot over rice.

Making Kung Po Pork at home is easy when you have all the ingredients ready. It’s a delicious dish that can be enjoyed with family and friends at any time!

Variations Of Kung Po Pork

Kung Po Pork is a versatile dish that can be customized to suit individual preferences. Here are some variations of Kung Po Pork that you can try:

1. Kung Po Pork with Vegetables: This variation of Kung Po Pork includes a variety of vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, celery, and bell peppers. The vegetables are stir-fried with the pork and coated in the spicy sauce. This adds a healthy twist to the dish and makes it more nutritious.

2. Kung Po Pork with Nuts: Instead of using peanuts, you can use other nuts such as cashews or almonds to add a different flavor and texture to the dish. This variation is perfect for those who are allergic to peanuts or simply want to try something new.

3. Kung Po Pork with Tofu: For a vegetarian version of this dish, you can replace the pork with tofu. The tofu is marinated in soy sauce and cornstarch before being stir-fried with vegetables and the spicy sauce. This variation is a great option for those who are looking for a meatless alternative.

4. Kung Po Pork with Pineapple: Adding pineapple to Kung Po Pork gives it a sweet and tangy flavor that complements the spicy sauce. Simply stir-fry diced pineapple with the pork and vegetables before adding the sauce.

Serving And Pairing Suggestions For Kung Po Pork

Kung Po Pork is a versatile dish that can be paired with a variety of sides and appetizers to create a complete meal. Here are some serving and pairing suggestions to elevate your Kung Po Pork experience:

1. Rice: Kung Po Pork is traditionally served with steamed white rice, which helps to balance out the spiciness of the dish. You can also try serving it with brown rice or fried rice for a different twist.

2. Noodles: If you want to mix things up, try serving Kung Po Pork with noodles instead of rice. Egg noodles, udon noodles, or soba noodles all work well.

3. Vegetables: Adding some extra veggies to your meal is always a good idea. Try stir-fried Asian mushrooms, Chinese broccoli, or Kung Pao Brussels sprouts to add some color and nutrition to your plate.

4. Appetizers: Create a sharing platter of appetizers to start your meal off right. Chinese steamed buns, crab rangoon, and prawn toast all work well with Kung Po Pork.

5. Drinks: To balance out the spiciness of the dish, pair it with a refreshing drink like iced tea or lemonade. If you want something stronger, try pairing it with a light beer or a crisp white wine.

Remember, Kung Po Pork is a spicy and flavorful dish that can be adjusted to your liking by adding more or less chili peppers or other spices. Experiment with different pairings and find your perfect combination!