Acne Safe Kung Pao Chicken - Beach Beauty Bar and Acne Clinic
acne safe kung pao chicken

Acne Safe Kung Pao Chicken

Who doesn’t love Chinese food?

I especially enjoy spending the night in with some take-out watching movies. Netflix and chill, anyone?

Since Covid hit, our stay-at-home orders have made it harder to have a “fun night out on the town” – but I got to thinking about that and thought: Why not bring the town to us?

Did someone say date night? What makes an at-home date night extra fun is making our take-out faves at home together!

Take chicken to a new level of awesome

Kung pao chicken anyone? Why make grilled chicken or roasted chicken when you can put some pow (pun intended) on that bird?

This meal has always been one of my favorite things to order at a Chinese restaurant.  I’ve made it several times and I fall in love with it over and over again every time.

Kung pao chicken is one of the healthier dishes you can order from a restaurant, but it’s even healthier when made from scratch. One of the best aspects of cooking from home is being able to see and control what ingredients go in our food. I’ll often adapt this recipe and add extra vegetables to the stir-fry, like zucchini, squash and sugar snap peas.

Farro Vs. White rice

Traditionally, Kung Pao Chicken is served over rice however we decided to change things up a bit and make ours with an ancient grain substitute known as farro. Farro is a grain (one that’s not gluten-free) and an ancient grain at that, having been domesticated over 10,000 years ago.

While farro has an almost identical shape to rice, uniquely oblong in stature, it’s a dark shade of brown, similar to brown rice, and its flavor is similar to quinoa but it’s just as soft and tender as rice. Farro is a great substitute for white rice because it’s a healthy alternative that’s high in calcium, magnesium, fiber, and iron.

This spicy, savory, sweet dish hits all the taste bud flavor spots! By substituting cashews for peanuts and coconut aminos for soy sauce, we were able to transform the traditional recipe into a healthy acne-safe meal choice for our clients.

Fair warning though – You might never order take out Chinese again after you eat this!

Acne Safe Kung Pao Chicken Recipe

For the Chicken

2 pounds chicken (3) breasts, boneless, skinless, cut into 3/4 inch cubes

salt, to taste

pepper, to taste

1/4 C coconut aminos

2 tbsp corn starch

3 tbsp sesame oil

For the Kung Pao Sauce

1/4 C coconut aminos

1/3 C rice vinegar

2 tbsp sugar

For the Veggies

1/2 to 1 tbsp red pepper flakes, (use only if you like your Kung Pao spicy) or about 10 dried red chili peppers cut in half to release the heat

3 tbsp sesame oil, divided

1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips or diced

1 orange bell pepper, cut into thin strips or diced

6 cloves garlic, minced

½ cup scallions, green onions

1-2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced (I like a lot of ginger, so I use two tbsp)

½ cup cashews

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 cup cooked farro


  1. Make the Kung Pao sauce — mix 1/4 C coconut aminos, sugar and vinegar in a bowl (set aside).
  2. Cut chicken breasts into bite sized cubes *against the grain to make meat tender.
  3. Combine 1/4 C coconut aminos and 2 tbsp corn starch in a large bowl and whisk until the mixture is smooth.
  4. Toss chicken breast pieces in the coconut amino/cornstarch mixture and set aside.
  5. Heat 1 tablespoon sesame oil in a large pan or wok over medium-high heat.
  6. Add chicken to the hot oil in one single layer; cook on all sides until done, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  7. Remove chicken from pan/wok and return pan to heat.
  8. Add remaining sesame oil to the pan and heat over high heat.
  9. Stir fry the bell peppers and any additional veggies of choice; cook for 3 to 3 minutes, or until just tender.
  10. Stir in cashews; cook for 30 seconds.
  11. Add in minced garlic and ginger, scallions, green onions; cook for 30 seconds.
  12. Add chicken back into the pan and toss to combine.
  13. Pour Kung Pao sauce over the chicken and veggies; toss to coat all ingredients.
  14. Simmer and toss for another minute or two, or until sauce thickens.
  15. Remove from heat.
  16. Serve Kung Pao chicken over cooked farro or rice of your choice and enjoy!

The key to making this recipe acne-safe is eliminating peanuts and swapping in coconut aminos for soy sauce. The coconut aminos are a bit sweeter than soy sauce, but they are equally delicious!

Cheers to clear!



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