Kung Pao Chicken Recipe – and Our Menu for the Week! – Frugal Novice

Kung Pao Chicken Recipe – and Our Menu for the Week!

Menu Plan Monday

You know how last weekend I was all exhausted after painting the house? Well, I didn’t learn my lesson. This weekend I had a garage sale with some friends, and here I am all exhausted again! It was a great sale, though – we had a ton of traffic and I got rid of all my big items. I used my money to buy things for sprucing up our back patio that we love. It’s covered and perfect for playing, so I thought it would be nice to make it a little more homey.We haven’t put everything together yet, but you better believe I’ll make a post about it when we do! We picked up an outdoor loveseat and coffee table from the collection below at Target (on sale! woohoo), and bought an outdoor fan to help beat the Texas heat a little. I also bought a citronella candle to stave off the mosquitos that seem to love J so much, but I’m wondering if there are any other better solutions (besides bug spray). Any kid-friendly suggestions?

Here’s the collection we bought our furniture from, photo courtesy of Target.com:

On to the menu plan for the week. Remember last week how I wrote about Food on the Table? Well, I used their site again this week and found two more great recipes to try! I’m pretty excited about both of them, actually, and will share them here with you.

Monday: Kung Pao Chicken. We’ve tried variations of this before, but none have lived up to the Pei Wei standard… this one sounds like it’ll be the one to do it! I knew I had to try this recipe when I saw it used Panko crumbs for the breading. We love using that to get nice crispy chicken! Here’s the recipe for you to try! Edited to add: We just finished eating this for dinner – it was GREAT (pretty spicy, which we loved – you can adjust this by the amount of red pepper flakes you add)! I’d highly recommend this recipe. We’ll make a few changes the next time we make it just to suit our tastes. We’ll use a little less ginger, and we’ll double the amount of sauce. We had this with Central Market’s short grain brown rice – it is very similar to what Pei Wei uses.


  • 1 quart vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1/2 pound chicken tenders, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup Panko crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 3 tablespoons chopped green onion
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 6 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 6 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/3 cup dry roasted peanuts


  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a deep pot or deep-fryer to 375 degrees F.
  2. Toss chicken with beaten egg in a bowl until coated. Place then panko crumbs in a shallow dish, then drop the egg-coated chicken pieces into the panko one at a time and roll to coat; set aside.
  3. Fry the chicken pieces in the hot oil until golden brown on all sides (about 4-5 minutes). Remove the chicken to drain on a paper towel, and keep warm.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a wok over high heat. Stir in garlic, ginger, green onion, and red pepper flakes. Cook and stir until the garlic and ginger begin to turn golden brown.
  5. Then pour in the soy sauce, rice vinegar, and brown sugar. Bring to a boil. Dissolve cornstarch in water, then stir into the boiling sauce to thicken. Cook and stir until the sauce clears (about 45 seconds).
  6. Toss the fried chicken with the sauce and peanuts in the wok to serve.

Doesn’t that sound great? We’re adding snow peas and carrots to ours because, well, that’s what they do at Pei Wei. :) You could also try baking the chicken, which we will probably do in the future – I wanted to try the recipe as it’s presented first, though.

Tuesday: Chicken Scampi – another Food on the Table recipe! I’ve never had this before… I’ve always seen Shrimp Scampi (and we know how I feel about seafood!) so I thought it’d be fun to try this. It sounds really good! Here’s the recipe if you want to give it a try for yourself.


  • 1 pound chicken tenders
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound spaghetti pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 1 each of green, red, and yellow bell peppers, all cut into 1/2 inch strips
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups alfredo-style pasta sauce (I’m making my own with this recipe)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley


  1. Place chicken and flour in a large resealable plastic bag; seal bag and shake to coat. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Shake excess flour off of chicken and saute in oil for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and cooked through. Remove from skillet and place in a medium bowl; set aside.
  3. Cook your pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving 2/3 cup cooking water, and return pasta to pot. Set aside pasta and cooking water.
  4. Wipe skillet with paper towel. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in skillet over medium heat. Add the bell pepper strips, onion, and garlic and saute for 3 minutes. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook 3 minutes more or until vegetables are tender.
  5. Stir in alfredo sauce, cover, and heat for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and add to reserved pasta in pot, then add reserved cooking water and chicken.
  6. Toss to mix, place into serving bowls and sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley.

Wednesday: Leftovers night – we’ll eat a combination of whatever leftovers we have from Monday & Tuesday.

Thursday: Wanchai Ferry Beef & Broccoli. MyBlogSpark set me up with an opportunity to review the newest in the line of frozen Asian entrees – it’s supposed to arrive, packed in dry ice, on Thursday. I’ll be writing a post about it later!

Friday: Remember the BBQ Chicken Pizza I gave you the recipe for last week? Well, Brian loved it SO much that he requested it again this week! I’m going to make a pepperoni pizza too just so we have plenty of leftovers for Saturday.

Saturday: Pizza leftovers!

Don’t forget, I have two giveaways going on right now! One is for a $25 gift card to the grocery store of your choosing (provided by Food on the Table), and the other is for a personalized Pillow Pal from makaboo.com!

Have an absolutely wonderful week, everyone!


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  • Sherry June 7, 2010 at 9:31 am

    We love doing pizza for Friday nights! That chicken scampi recipe sounds delish! :D

    Have a great week!
    .-= Sherry´s last blog ..Menu Plan Monday June 7-13 (reviews, recipe links) =-.

  • ronaberrymorin@yahoo.com June 7, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    You have one yummy meal plan!

  • Debbie June 8, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    I home you will come join me for the inaugural edition of What’s On the Menu Wednesday. Mister Linky will be up Tuesday evening for you to link up.

  • FoodontheTable June 8, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    I’m so happy you liked the Kung Pao Chicken! Let me know what you think about the Chicken Scampi!