Kung Pao Chicken Burgers via @Iowa Girl Eats

Ben and I were victims of a take-out thief this weekend! As I mentioned, we like to eat out or order in on Friday or Saturday nights, and this weekend was no different. After devouring leftovers for dinner on Friday evening, we were both looking forward to a yummy treat on Saturday night – take out from our favorite Asian place in town!

I called in the order – Veggie Fried Rice for her, Kung Pao Chicken for him, and 2 sushi rolls to split. Ben was out the door 5 minutes later, leaving just enough time to stop at Kum and Go for Sobe Life Waters before arriving at the restaurant to catch the hostess reading out our order and the total, then handing a big bag of food over…to another customer.

Ah, it’s cool. He said to himself. Obviously she has the wrong person, but this woman will correct her. 

The woman shifted from side to side, looked around, then dug into her purse for more money to add to the $10 bill she already had in her hand. YEP! She said to the hostess. That’s mine! Then quickly paid and left.

At this point Ben’s praying this woman has miraculously ordered the exact same thing we had and is not some lunatic who thieves other people’s take-out which, apparently, sound better than what they ordered. Nevertheless, he walked up to the front then repeated, Veggie Fried Rice, Kung Pao Chicken, and 2 sushi rolls, please, which caused the hostess to immediately spring into action.

I KNEW that wasn’t her order! I KNEW it! She fumed, as she raced out the front door of the restaurant, coming back a few minutes later empty handed. The take-out thief had disappeared into the night!

The hostess was more than apologetic, and got a second round of our meal ready in just 4 minutes. FOUR MINUTES! Ben finally got home and retold the entire story to me while unpacking and opening the to-go containers – only to find his Kung Pao Chicken had been remade as Cashew Chicken.

Bless. That. Man.

Babe, these Kung Pao Chicken Burgers are for you!

Kung Pao Chicken Burgers via @Iowa Girl Eats

Moist chicken burgers are laced and topped with a signature spicy, slightly-sweet Kung Pao sauce. These burgers will crush any craving for Kung Pao Chicken – and you don’t need to order out to get ’em in your hot little hand. Plus they’re just so much fun! I love when I can put a little spin on one of our favorite dishes.

Kung Pao Chicken Burgers via @Iowa Girl Eats

Start out by making the Kung Pao Sauce. This sauce will not only flavor the burgers, but will also be reduced and thickened to serve as a luscious, spicy sauce to spoon on top! First add 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce into a bowl.

FYI – this sauce will be FAR too salty if you use regular soy sauce, so make sure it’s low-sodium!


Next add 1/4 cup mirin, or sweet, Japanese cooking wine, which can be found right in the Asian food aisle at the grocery store. You could also sub any sweet white wine in its place.


In goes 4 teaspoons chili garlic sauce for a bit of heat. Now, I am a spice WUSS (as in, I request a “0” on the spice scale when ordering dishes at Asian restaurants) and I didn’t think this was too hot. If you are serving this to kids, though, I’d cut the amount in half.


Finish up with 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger, 2 teaspoons brown sugar, and 1 teaspoon sesame oil. Stir everything together, then set it aside.


Burger time! Start with 1lb ground chicken breast. I wanted to be sure to add ground chicken to Chicken Week, because it’s so versatile. You can use it in soups, stews, stir frys, and yes, burgers!


To the chicken add 2 chopped green onions, and 2 minced garlic cloves. 


Next add 1 egg white, and 1/4 cup chopped peanuts. The peanuts are optional (in case you have a peanut allergy or something) but Ben’s Kung Pao Chicken always comes with peanuts, which he (and I!) love .


Finally, add 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs, and 2 Tablespoons of the prepared Kung Pao Sauce. 


Mix everything together, then form into 4 burger patties.


Cook the burgers over medium-high heat for 4-5 minute a side, or until cooked through.


Meanwhile, combine 1 teaspoon cornstarch with 1/4 cup water, then whisk into the remaining Kung Pao Sauce. Transfer to a small saucepan then let the sauce reduce over medium heat until thick and bubbly. It should be ready before the burgers are even finished cooking.


Place the burgers onto a lightly toasted bun (I like Thin Buns) then top with a spoonful of thickened sauce, and a sprinkling of fresh spinach, then devour!

Kung Pao Chicken Burgers via @Iowa Girl Eats

Kung Pao Chicken Burgers


Kung Pao Chicken Burgers are laced and topped with a spicy and slightly-sweet Kung Pao sauce. A fun and unique way to enjoy the popular Chinese dish! 


Serves 4

  • 1lb ground chicken
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup chopped peanuts
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 garlic cloves, microplaned or minced
  • 4 buns
  • For the sauce:
    • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce (do not recommend regular)
    • 1/4 cup mirin (or any sweet white wine)
    • 4 teaspoons chili garlic sauce
    • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
    • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
    • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, microplaned or minced
    • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
    • 1/4 cup water


  1. In a small bowl, combine all sauce ingredients except for the cornstarch and water then set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine chicken, green onions, bread crumbs, peanuts, egg white, garlic, and 2 Tablespoons prepared sauce then mix with hands until just combined and form into 4 patties. Cook in a nonstick-sprayed skillet over medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes a side, or until done.
  3. Meanwhile, stir cornstarch and water together in a small bowl then whisk into remaining sauce. Transfer to a small saucepan then reduce over medium heat until thick and bubbly.
  4. Place cooked burgers on toasted buns then top with reduced sauce and desired burger toppings.

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.

Kung Pao Chicken Burgers via @Iowa Girl Eats

Hope you enjoy these yummy, spicy/sweet, finger lickin’ burgers!

Kung Pao Chicken Burgers via @Iowa Girl Eats