Kung Pao Chickpeas

Kung Pao Chickpeas

Chickpea Kung Pao

Meatless Mondays …….you may think this was a recent movement ,but it originated during WW I, urging families to reduce the amount of what they considered key staples to aid the war. Food Will Win The War and Meatless Mondays were born. There’s was a resurgence again in WWII.

It was revived once again in 2003, to address the prevalence of preventable illnesses from the consumption of meat.

KungPao Chickpeas

Well……..don’t get me wrong, I believe in all things in moderation….sorta. But, I do enjoy meatless meals for no other reason than they taste good.

Something I have recently discovered, is chickpeas. I love them. So, when I found a recipe that used them in Chinese cooking……which I also love……..Meatless…..whatever day it was!

In most Chinese cooking, meat is marinaded, which I also did with the chickpeas. The sauce was the most important thing. I must admit, in all the Chinese food I have enjoyed, I’ve never had Kung Pao anything.

Chickpeas Kung Pao

We have been missing out. Kung pao is a soy based sauce , with sesame oil,honey….. for sweetness,rice wine vinegar, and dried peppers…… for heat. You can adjust the heat by the amount of peppers, and you all know we like the heat at our house. I kept the heat low key, but feel free to spice it up to your hearts content.

Chickpea KP

This recipe was almost too simple for all of the big taste it delivered. The spicy sauce made a glossy glaze of the chickpeas. Put that tasty, beautifully caramelized chickpea sauce mixture over rice and let it soak in. Top with green onions, cashews, and cilantro and take a trip to the Orient. Ok, so it is not the traditional Chinese version, but for us not so traditional folks, its perfect.

Please feel free to make this with chicken when you are feeling meat full. But try the Kung Pao Chickpeas version and be pleasantly surprised on a meatless Monday.

Chickpea Kung Pao Collage

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Kung Pao Chickpeas

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes Plus 1 hour marinate
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Cook
  • Cuisine: Asian


  • Marinade
  • ◦ 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • ◦ 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • ◦ 1 lime, juiced and zested
  • ◦ 1 tablespoon honey
  • ◦ 1 tablespoon organic coconut oil, melted
  • ◦ 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • Chickpeas
  • ◦ 2 tablespoons organic coconut oil
  • ◦ 1 (14.5 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • ◦ 1 cup Kung pao stir fry sauce ( see recipe below) or use bottled
  • ◦ 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ◦ 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
  • ◦ 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • Garnish
  • ◦ 1 small bunch green onions, thinly sliced
  • ◦ cilantro
  • ◦ Cashews
  • Brown rice, for serving.


  1. In a bowl, combine all the ingredients for the marinade. Add the chickpeas to the marinade, and stir well to coat.
  2. Allow chickpeas to marinate for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  3. In a large skillet or wok over medium heat, add the coconut oil, the marinated chickpeas and the remaining ingredients for the chickpeas.
  4. Sauté for about 8 to 10 minutes, until the chickpeas begin to caramelize and brown slightly.
  5. Remove from the heat, and allow the chickpeas to cool slightly.
  6. Serve the warm chickpeas over brown rice, and garnish with cilantro, cashews and green onions.

Keywords: chickpeas, rice, kung pao sauce, stir fry, dinner, lunch

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Chickpea Kung Pao

Kung Pao Sauce

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cup 1x
  • Category: Sauce
  • Method: Cook
  • Cuisine: Asian


  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 dried red peppers, seeds removed, cut into ¼ inch length
  • 2 Tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 2 Tablespoon wine (I used Merlot)
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil


  1. Mash garlic and dried hot peppers together.
  2. Mix together soy sauce, water, honey, wine, rice wine vinegar, cornstarch and sesame oil in a bowl .Place the cornstarch in first it will mix easier and you will not have lumps.
  3. In a small saucepan melt coconut oil over medium heat.Cook pepper-garlic paste in the wok and until fragrant. Careful not to let the garlic get brown it will be bitter.
  4. Add the wet mixture to the garlic and cook until it thickens.
  5. Refrigerate the sauce up to 4 days.


Adjust the peppers to add more spice.


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