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5 from 9 votes

Homemade Kung Pao Sauce

Introducing an extra fragrant Kung Pao Sauce that let you cook genuine Sichuan food in your own kitchen!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Main
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: pantry
Servings: 8 to 12
Author: Maggie Zhu


  • 3 tablespoons peanut oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 2 tablespoons white sesame seeds
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese chili flakes (or Korean chili flakes) (*Footnote 1)
  • 1 teaspoon ground Sichuan peppercorns
  • 8 cloves garlic , minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced ginger



  • Combine Chinkiang vinegar, light soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
  • Add peanut oil, chili pepper flakes, and sesame seeds in a sauce pan. Cook over medium low heat until it reaches a gentle sizzle. Turn to medium low heat. Cook and stir until the chili powder turns dark brown (without turning black). If the oil start to bubble fiercely, remove the pan from the heat.
  • Add ground Sichuan peppercorns, garlic and ginger. Cook and stir for another 30 seconds to release fragrance.
  • Stir the vinegar-based sauce with a spoon to dissolve cornstarch completely. Carefully add to the saucepan. Cook and stir until the sauce thickens just enough to coat a spoon (the sauce will thicken once cooled down). Transfer to a bowl immediately.
  • Once the sauce is cooled down completely, transfer to an airtight jar. Store in the fridge for 1 to 2 weeks. Store the sauce in the freezer for longer period of time.


  1. Chinese and Korean chili flakes are quite mild and are suitable for using in this sauce. If you’re not sure about the heat level of your chili flakes, start with 1 teaspoon chili flakes so your sauce won’t turn out too spicy. Alternatively you can use 1 teaspoon cayenne powder.