Olive Lane Culinary - Archives

I still can’t believe that it has been fourteen years since I had the privilege of traveling to China for work for a few months. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t allowed to do much of the work that I was sent there to do; I spent the majority of time time sight seeing and eating. I still dream of some of the dishes I had there. Most mornings started with scallion pancakes, fresh hot soy milk, and the occasional shrimp won ton soup. Lunch and dinner were a variety of dishes from fried potato sticks (these were to die for), steamed and fried buns, cashew chicken, Peking Duck, and of course my favorite; Kung Pao Chicken with a bowl of egg drop soup. This was obviously pre celiac diagnosis; but it was there that I started to question my GI health a bit more.

Over the years I have had many Kung Pao dishes but only one has ever really compared to the one I had in China. The awesome staff at Full Moon in Monterey, CA made my second favorite. When I was diagnosed with celiac disease they were kind enough to keep a bottle of gluten-free tamari at the restaurant and would prepare all my meals with that. They were amazing and I miss them dearly. Obviously I no longer live in Monterey, so that means I have to make my favorite Chinese takeout dishes at home. Although, this recipe isn’t the original one I fell in love with, it is gluten-free, loaded with veggies, full of flavor.

What’s your favorite take-out dish? Have you ever tried to make it at home?

Kung Pao Chicken

Marinade for Chicken

  • 1 Tablespoon Gluten Free Tamari
  • 2 teaspoons Dry Sherry or Chinese Rice Wine
  • 2 teaspoons Corn Starch (Or Arrowroot powder)
  • 1 Pound Chicken Breast (boneless/skinless), cut in to 1 – inch cubes


  • 1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Gluten Free Tamari
  • 1 teaspoon Gluten Free Hoisin Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Sesame Oil
  • 2 teaspoons Sugar (white or brown)
  • 1 teaspoon Corn Starch (or Arrowroot Powder)
  • 1 Tablespoon Red Pepper Flakes or Sichuan Pepper (ground)*


  • 2 Tablespoons Garlic Infused Grapeseed Oil
  • 10 Thai Chili Peppers*
  • 1 Cup diced Zucchini
  • 1 Cup Diced Carrots
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger (fresh)
  • 1/3 Cup Un-salted Peanuts

Method Of Preparation

  1. In a medium bowl, add first three ingredients; mix well and add chicken. Let sit for 20 minutes.
  2. In another bowl; combine sauce ingredients: balsamic vinegar, tamari, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, sugar, corn or arrowroot starch, red pepper flakes/sichuan pepper. Mix until sugar has dissolved. Set aside
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat; add oil and add chilies, zucchini, and carrots; cook for 30 seconds – 1 minute until chili peppers begin to blister. Add marinated chicken and cook for 5-7 minutes until no longer pink.
  4. Add ginger, stir until evenly distributed. Add sauce mixture to pan; stir to evenly coat chicken and vegetables; cook until sauce thickens. Add peanuts, stir until evenly mixed. Cook for 1 minute and remove from heat.
  5. Serve over white or brown rice, zucchini noodles (zoodles), or quinoa.

*Adjust to your spice level