Recipe: Spice Temple’s Kung Pao Chicken

Neil Perry’s stalwart Spice Temple is back. After a few weeks of having Rockpool transform the basement venue, the popular Sydney restaurant has fired up the wok for diners to explore the wonders (and heat) of regional Chinese. And that, of course, means 10-dish Golden Banquets, lunchtime Yum Cha, and also signature dishes like Executive Chef Andy Evans’ glorious kung pao chicken. The latter is so good that you’ll want to master it yourself; lucky for you we’ve got the recipe for here.

Note that this recipe serves 4.


  • 400g chicken thigh, cut into 2cm chunks
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour, for dusting
  • 1/2 cup peanut oil
  • 10 dried long red chillies
  • 10 heaven-facing chillies (can substitute with dried small red chillies)
  • 1.5cm piece ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 small garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 5 spring onions, cut into 5cm lengths (white and green parts separated)
  • 1 tablespoons Sichuan peppercorns
  • 1/2 cup toasted peanuts
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine
  • 2 teaspoons caster sugar
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chilli oil (optional)
  • steamed rice to serve


  1. Dust the chicken pieces with the flour.
  2. Heat 100ml oil in a wok over a medium to high heat (or it tends to sweat and boil rather than fry).
  3. Shallow-fry the chicken until golden and cooked through, about 4 minutes.
  4. Drain chicken on paper towel.
  5. Discard oil and wipe out the wok.
  6. Place wok back on a medium to low heat and add remaining oil.
  7. Gently fry all the chillies until fragrant, the remove from wok and set aside.
  8. Add ginger and garlic to wok and stir-fry until fragrant.
  9. Add white sections of spring onions, Sichuan peppercorns, half the peanuts, all the reserved chicken and chillies and continue to stir-fry for a minute.
  10. Deglaze with Shaoxing, then add sugar, stock and soy, simmer for a minute or two until a sauce forms.
  11. Add spring onion greens and stir to coat everything well with the sauce.
  12. Serve garnished with remaining peanuts, chilli oil and steamed rice.

Spice Temple is located at 10 Bligh St, Sydney. More information at

Chris Singh

Chris Singh is an Editor-At-Large at the AU review, loves writing about travel and hospitality, and is partial to a perfectly textured octopus. You can reach him on Instagram: @chrisdsingh.