I used to love Chinese food. Ok. Not ALL Chinese food. But most Chinese food. You see, I was fortunate enough to live in an area with a diverse population and loads of mom and pop restaurants with authentic cuisine. None of this Americanized crud.
Anyhoo – I loved Moo Shoo Pork, Orange Chicken, Hot and Sour Soup, and Kung Pao Chicken. Those were my four go-tos depending on my mood. Sigh… I miss those days of eating with reckless abandon. And by reckless abandon I mean not knowing or caring what was in my food because I was young and stupid.
But then I did know better.
And then I found out I had celiac.
Goodbye Chinese Food. Goodbye Kung Pao Chicken.
12 years passed. Yes, 12 years. I had not had ANY Chinese food in 12 years. Honestly, I knew I couldn’t make it like those awesome little restaurants did. I didn’t even want to try. Until one day…
I NEEDED KUNG PAO CHICKEN!
And so I made it. And it was freaking delicious!
But wait – was it only delicious because I hadn’t had it in 12 years and forgot what it was supposed to taste like? I mean, this easy gluten free Kung Pao Chicken in a wok could easily NOT be kung pao chicken. What if it was an imposter?
Yikes. You can’t have imposter Kung Pao Chicken. That’s like, totally not cool.
There was only one thing I could do. Make it for a few Kung Pao Chicken lovers. The kind that can have gluten.
So I did.
Here are their faces after trying it…
These are their real faces…
What really happened is that they ate my gluten free Kung Pao Chicken so fast I didn’t have time to take a picture. I guess it’s safe to say that this recipe is a winner.
I’ve made it a solid 15 times since that initial exploration into the world of gluten free Kung Pao Chicken. It gets better every time. Why? Because the recipe is so flexible and versatile and EASY! Throw whatever veggies you want in there and don’t sweat it! You can be pretty haphazard with measurements in general. And if you like more sauce… just double the ingredients!
One of the secrets to my easy gluten free Kung Pao Chicken is my wok. Seriously. The wok brings this recipe home. Stay with my a second while I introduce you to my wok-of-love. 😉 But first…
Why You DO NOT Want To Use A Non-Stick Wok
Non-stick cookware is made using a carcinogenic chemical called perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which starts emitting toxic fumes that you inhale every time you cook with a non-stick pot or pan. At high temperatures, the coating of non-stick cookware will also break down into a chemical warfare agent known as PFIB, and a chemical analog of the WWII nerve gas phosgene. In addition, it only takes 5 minutes for non-stick cookware to emit at least six toxic gases.
There are also many health issues linked to non-stick cookware but since this is a recipe post, I am not going to go down the rabbit hole of non-stick cookware dangers. I just wanted you to know that they exist which is why I refuse to use a non-stick wok.
The Healthiest Wok On The Market
As mentioned above, Teflon-coated nonstick cookware can add dangerous chemicals to your foods as you cook. But even newer, ceramic-coated metal cookware, which is often advertised as being “green,” contains synthetic bonding materials and chemicals like PFOA.
Remove the coating and most metal cookware poses similar risks. Aluminum, copper, stainless steel and cast-iron cookware can leach heavy metals and toxic chemicals into foods at high temperatures.
I use the Xtrema Wok by Ceramcor.
This wok is hands down the healthiest wok on the market! Not only that but you will cook up some of the tastiest dishes (like my Kung Pao Chicken).
Xtrema cookware is different. Made from 100% ceramic, Xtrema is all-natural, non-toxic, inorganic and nonreactive. From the glaze to the core, it contains no PFOA, PTFE, glues, polymers, coatings or dyes. Most importantly, Xtrema cookware will never leach chemicals, metal, cadmium, lead, or change the taste of your food.
To guarantee the safety and purity of their cookware, Ceramcor tests it inside and out. Month after month, they verify that Xtrema meets California Prop 65 standards and passes an FDA-regulated, 24-hour heavy metal extraction test. To learn more about product testing, visit the product testing page.
Although Xtrema is made in China, the company’s factory is dedicated to their cookware and is under close supervision.
Xtrema cookware is carefully designed and engineered to be safe to use at low and medium high temperatures, and safely free of toxic elements. It’s also dishwasher- and microwave-safe, with the versatility to be used on the stovetop, in any type of oven, in the fridge, and right on the dinner table.
I am slowly transitioning my cookware to products from Ceramcor. The Wok was my first Xtrema cookware item and I feel in love! My word is the food tasty! I now have 5 pieces of Xtrema cookware and they all perform far beyond my wildest expectations. Plus they are so easy to clean. That’s a biggie for me because I cook a lot.
So now that that’s settled… let’s get on with the recipe!
Easy Gluten Free Kung Pao Chicken In A Wok
- 1 lb of boneless, skinless chicken cut into chunks. Use what you like…light meat, dark meat. Doesn’t matter although the sauce sticks better to chicken breasts.
- 3 tablespoons white wine, divided – cheap is good
- 3 tablespoons Tamari, divided. If you are a gluten eater you can certainly use soy sauce.
- 6 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
- 3 tablespoons arrowroot powder (I prefer this one) or cornstarch
- Hot chile paste – this is where you can crank the heat up or down. Standard “medium” spice would be a good 1 ounce of chile paste. This is the chili paste I prefer.
- 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
- 3 teaspoons honey
- 1 tablespoon of chopped garlic
- 6 green onions sliced into little circles. You can chop them however you want actually. I just wanted to write little circles.
- 1 (8) ounce can of water chestnuts or bamboo shoots.
- 4 ounces chopped peanuts or cashews (optional if you are nut free)
- 1-2 cups chopped veggies. Choose from whatever you like. I have used eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, celery, green beans, peas, bok choy, red bell peppers, and even baby corn.
In a small bowl, dissolve the arrowroot powder or cornstarch in 3 tablespoons room temperature water. Set aside.
- In a small bowl combine 1 tablespoon of the white wine, 1 tablespoon tamari, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, and 1 tablespoon of the
- Place the chicken pieces in a glass bowl or dish and pour the marinade over it. Make sure everything is coated and then cover the bowl and place it in the fridge for 30-45 minutes.
In a small bowl combine 2 tablespoons of the white wine, 2 tablespoons tamari, 2 tablespoons sesame oil, 2 tablespoons of the arrowroot/water mixture, chili paste, vinegar, and honey. Set aside.
Bringing It All Together
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a wok over high heat. If using the Xtrema wok, heat the oil on medium heat.
- Sear the chicken, remove from the wok to a bowl, and set aside.
- Turn the heat to low, add another tablespoon of oil, then throw in the green onion and garlic. Cook for two minutes.
- Add the vegetables to the wok and turn the heat up to high (medium) again. Stir fry the veggies for about 5 minutes. You want them to release some juices and soften up but not get too soft. Think al-dente. If needed, you can add a little more oil.
- Add the chicken back into the wok and stir fry for another minute.
- Give the sauce a good stir since it has likely separated.
- Pour your sauce into your wok.
- Stir fry everything together until the sauce thickens. It should thicken very quickly.
- Add the nuts if you are using them and give everything a final little stir fry.
Serve with a side of steamed rice, fried rice, or cauliflower rice.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 cups Serving Size: 1/2 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 335Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 25gCholesterol: 119mgSodium: 475mgCarbohydrates: 45gFiber: 10gSugar: 16gProtein: 51g