Craving some spicy stir-fried noodles? These Kung Pao Noodles are my take on the classic Chinese Kung Pao. They’re equal parts spicy, sweet, sour, and salty and will make your tastebuds dance with the zing of Sichuan peppercorns.
Ready in just 30 minutes, these Kung Pao Noodles with Veggies are a flavor bomb in their own right. So addictive and so delicious, you’ll be coming back for seconds (but most likely, thirds!).
This recipe combines the bold flavors of garlic, ginger, red chilis, and Sichuan peppercorns with a sour-sweet soy sauce, fresh veggies, and crunchy peanuts, to make up the stir-fried noodles of your dreams. Slurpable, noodly goodness, with a real flavor punch. Kung Pao!
Ready to make some Spicy Vegan Kung Pao Noodles with Veggies?
you’ll love this Kung Pao Noodles & Veggie RECIPE. IT’S:
- The answer to your noodle craving
- Spicy, sweet, sour, salty
- Packed with veggies
- A spin on a classic dish
- Perfect for weeknight dinner
- A 1-wok meal
- Super easy
- Ready in 30 mins
What is Kung Pao?
Kung Pao (AKA Gong Bao or Kung Po) comes from the Sichuan Province of China. If you aren’t familiar, Sichuan cuisine is known for its bold, punchy flavors and liberal use of garlic and hot chilis – though sweet and sour flavors often come through too! And of course, the Sichuan peppercorn is ubiquitous in Sichuanese food.
Traditionally, Kung Pao chicken is a spicy, stir-fried dish of chicken, peanuts, vegetables, chilis – and of course, Sichuan peppercorns. My guess is, you probably know it from your favorite Chinese restaurant.
Kung Pao is a quintessentially Sichuanese-style dish: a perfect example of how bold and spicy, sour and sweet, all interplay together.
These Kung Pao Noodles are no exception. While “Kung Pao Noodles” is not a traditional or authentic dish, this stir-fry recipe is pretty close to what you’d expect from Kung Pao chicken. My little noodle spin sticks as closely as possible to the traditional roots of this classic dish.
What is Kung Po sauce made of?
Kung pao sauce is equal parts savory, sweet, and sour.
To make this Kung Pao sauce, you will need:
- Light soy sauce
- Dark soy sauce
- Chinese (Chinkiang) black vinegar
- Chinese (Shaoxing) cooking wine
- Sesame oil
- Corn starch
What is the difference between light and dark soy sauce?
Light soy sauce is not the same as low-sodium soy sauce, so make no mistake! Light soy is salty, reddish-brown in color, thin in viscosity, and has a light flavor. It’s essential in many Asian cuisines.
Dark soy sauce is not the same as regular/all-purpose soy sauce. Contrary to light soy, dark soy sauce is almost black. It is reduced down, so it’s thicker, darker, sweeter, and less salty than light soy sauce. It’s aged longer and has a more full-bodied flavor. Dark soy is a pillar of Chinese cooking.
What is Chinese (Chinkiang) Black Vinegar?
Chinkiang is another pantry staple in Chinese cooking. Like balsamic vinegar, Chinkiang has a deep, complex flavor, but it’s not quite as sweet. It’s the perfect match for soy sauces, cutting through the saltiness with a little hit of acidity. Use it to brighten up stir-fries or dipping sauces.
What is Chinese (Shaoxing) cooking wine?
Shaoxing is cooking wine fermented from rice. It’s very fragrant, slightly sweet, a little spicy, a little nutty, and has a strong alcoholic taste. It’s hard to explain, but one thing’s for sure: it is delicious. Similar to how the French and Italians cook with wine, Shaoxing adds depth to whatever you’re cooking.
don’t have these ingredients?
*If you’re missing any of these ingredients, you can purchase them by clicking on the links above or the images below. Do this, so you can achieve authentic Kung Pao flavor! Each one is worth having in your pantry.
**You can use the substitutes listed in the recipe card at the bottom of this post (however the result won’t be as delicious!).
Ingredients for Vegetarian Gong Bao Noodles
In addition to the sauce ingredients listed above, you will also need the following ingredients:
- Garlic cloves
- Fresh ginger
- Dried Sichuan chilis
- Brown mushrooms
- Green onions
- Sichuan peppercorns
- Roasted peanuts
- Noodles (like spaghetti, chow mein, lo mein, ramen, or soba)
- Flavorless cooking oil (like sunflower or grapeseed oil)
What are Szechuan/Sichuan peppercorns?
The most important ingredient in any Kung Pao dish is the Sichuan peppercorns. Without these peppercorns, you won’t have Kung Pao Noodles… you’ll just have, well… noodles. So don’t skip them!
Sichuan peppercorns have an addictive, tingly, mouth-numbing quality. In a good way! It’s not spicy, hot heat; it’s tingly heat. They taste peppery, but also a little floral and lemony.
You can either buy pre-toasted and ground Sichuan peppercorns OR you can buy whole peppercorns to toast and grind yourself with a mortar and pestle or spice grinder. Using whole peppercorns will make your noodles more flavorful, but you may end up with a grittier texture.
You can easily find Sichuan peppercorns at the grocery store – and especially at Chinese or pan-Asian markets. You can also get them from Amazon.
Shop the ingredients on amazon:
How to Make Kung Pao Noodles with Veggies
Phew! Now that we’re schooled up on what Kung Pao is and the ingredients we need to make it, let’s talk about HOW to make these noodles!
Ready in 30 minutes or less, these Kung Pao Noodles with Veggies come together swiftly and easily in just a few steps.
Note: As with any stir-fry, the key is in the prep. You should always have everything prepped and ready to throw in the wok!
- First, make the sauce by mixing the sauce ingredients together in a bowl. Set the bowl aside.
- Prep the other ingredients. Chop, slice, and mince the veggies, as directed. Cook the noodles according to package, until they’re just about al dente.
- Next, heat your wok over high heat, add in the oil, then stir-fry the garlic, ginger, and chilis until they’re fragrant.
- Then, throw the veg into the wok. Stir-fry the veggies until they’re cooked through but still have a nice crunch.
- Pour in the sauce and throw in the Sichuan peppercorns and cooked noodles. Toss everything together, bring the sauce to a boil, then turn it down to a simmer. Once the sauce has thickened, remove the wok from the heat.
- Stir in the chopped peanuts and green onions. Serve immediately and enjoy!
Spicy Vegan Kung Pao Noodles
In just 30 minutes, you’ll have a wok full of spicy, Sichuan-inspired goodness ready to devour.
These Kung Pao Noodles have all the flavors you know and love from your favorite Chinese takeout – but with a noodly spin. Stir-fried veggies and noodles, paired with garlic, ginger, chilis, Sichuan peppercorns, sour-sweet soy sauce, and crunchy peanuts? I mean, you may as well mentally clear a spot for these noodles in your weeknight dinner rotation now…
Stock up your pantry with the staple Chinese ingredients we discussed, and you’ll unlock a whole new (flavor-packed) world of cooking. Plus, you’ll be able to make these Kung Pao Noodles with Veggies – and countless other Chinese stir-fries – in a flash. Enjoy!
If you tried this recipe for Spicy Kung Pao Noodles with Veggies or any other recipe on Maddy’s Avenue, let me know how you liked it! Please leave a comment and rating below. Plus, be sure to follow along on Instagram and Pinterest for more delicious recipes and adventures around the world!Print
Kung Pao Noodles & Veggie Stir-Fry
Ready in just 30 mins, these Kung Pao Noodles with Veggies are so addictive, you’ll be coming back for seconds (and maybe even thirds)! This recipe combines the bold flavors of garlic, ginger, red chilis, and Sichuan peppercorns with a sour-sweet soy sauce, fresh veggies, and crunchy peanuts, to make up the stir-fried noodles of your dreams.
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 15 mins
- Total Time: 30 mins
- Yield: 2–3 servings 1x
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Stir-Fry
- Cuisine: Chinese
- Diet: Vegan
- 2 tsp corn starch
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce*
- 1 tbsp dark soy sauce*
- 2 tbsp Chinese (Chinkiang) black vinegar*
- 1 tbsp Chinese (Shaoxing) cooking wine*
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp sugar + 1/3 cup hot water to dissolve the sugar
- 2 tbsp flavorless cooking oil (sunflower, grapeseed, etc.)
- 2–3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp fresh ginger, grated or minced
- 6–8 whole dried Sichuan red chilis, halved, seeds removed
- 1 large zucchini, sliced, halved (1.5 cups)
- 1/2 small head of broccoli, cut into bite-size pieces (1 cup)
- 8–10 brown mushrooms, halved (2 cups)
- 3 green onions, white parts cut into 1cm pieces – green parts cut into 3cm pieces
- 2 tsp Sichuan peppercorns, powder OR whole, then toasted and ground*
- 1/2 cup roasted peanuts, chopped
- 1/2 packet of noodles (250g or 9oz) like spaghetti, chow mein, lo mein, ramen, soba, linguine*
- MAKE THE SAUCE: In a bowl, whisk together the sauce ingredients and set aside.
- PREP THE INGREDIENTS: Chop, slice, and mince the veggies as directed above. Cook the noodles according to their package instructions. (Note: Make sure not to overcook the noodles because they will cook for another minute in the sauce later. Al dente is perfect.)
- STIR-FRY THE AROMATICS: Heat your wok over high heat. Add oil. Once the oil is hot, stir fry the garlic, ginger, and chili until fragrant – about 45 seconds.
- ADD IN THE VEGGIES: Add in the zucchini, broccoli, mushrooms, and white parts of the green onions. Continue stir-frying until the vegetables are cooked through, but the zucchini and broccoli still have a little crunch. This should only take 5 minutes. Add a little more oil if needed. (If your wok is too small or your stove/wok doesn’t get hot enough, this process may take longer, and you may need to do this in two batches, then recombine.)
- ADD THE SAUCE AND NOODLES: Make sure the wok is still super hot. Re-stir the sauce to recombine it, then add the sauce, Sichuan peppercorns, and pre-cooked noodles into the wok with the veggies. Toss everything together, bring the sauce to a boil, then turn it down to a simmer, allowing the sauce to thicken. Keep tossing all the while. Once thickened, turn off the stove and remove it from the heat. This should only take 1 or 2 minutes.
- GARNISH AND SERVE: Stir in the peanuts and dark parts of the green onions. Serve immediately!
*DARK SOY: Dark soy sauce is not the same as regular soy sauce. Contrary to light soy, dark soy sauce is almost black. It is reduced down, so it’s thicker, darker, sweeter, and less salty than light soy. It has a more full-bodied flavor.
*CHINKIANG: You can get Chinese (Chinkiang) black vinegar on Amazon. Click here! Using Chinkiang will yield the best, most delicious results. However, if you absolutely need to substitute it, you can use rice vinegar – or even balsamic vinegar (just be mindful of your sauce becoming too sweet).
*SHAOXING: You can get Chinese (Shaoxing) cooking wine on Amazon. Click here! I highly recommend using Shaoxing – this is the authentic way. However, if you need a substitute, you can use mirin (sweet Japanese rice wine). If you use mirin, use less sugar in the sauce, because mirin is quite sweet.
*DRIED SICHUAN CHILIS: Can’t handle the heat? Don’t omit the dried red chilis. Add them into the stir-fry as directed, but eat around them or remove them. You need their flavor, but you don’t need to set your mouth ablaze!
*SICHUAN PEPPERCORNS: The most important ingredient in any Kung Pao dish is the Sichuan peppercorns. Without these peppercorns, you won’t have Kung Pao Noodles… you’ll just have, well… noodles. So don’t skip them!
*NOODLES: Avoid using rice noodles in this recipe. Use a wheat-based noodle, like chow mein, ramen, or spaghetti. If you are gluten-free, you can use buckwheat noodles, like soba noodles.
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