- Mushrooms! Everybody tells me this dish should have mushrooms. Me no like mushrooms though.
- Go Vegan/No Chicken! Tofu instead of chicken does work, simply cut the initial cooking time down from ten minutes and put the tofu in first with the olive oil, ginger, and 1/2 tablespoon of chili paste.
- Garlic! I've tried this, and I really enjoy the taste, but I've been told "real" kung pao does not include garlic. Dice up 1-2 cloves, toss in at the start, if you're worried about burning the garlic, put in at the same time as the green veggies.
- Shrimp! Take 4oz of frozen cooked deveined cocktail shrimp, and throw them in at the start (cutting the chicken portion down to 4oz). This works well, and I've tried this method with success.
- Beef/Pork! In theory there's no reason you couldn't do this if you don't like chicken or for a change of pace.
- More authentic Kung Pao! No snow peas, No Jalapenos, add water chestnuts, use real chili peppers instead of chili paste, bamboo shoots? No pineapple. Add carrots.
- Low Sodium Use only 2 Tablespoons of Low Sodium Soy sauce, unsalted peanuts, and add 3 tablespoons of rice wine vineagar. Check the sodium in the chili paste, and consider using dried red cayenne/chili peppers whole.
- Less Saucy Cut the olive oil a bit, less sesame seed oil, less soy sauce, prepare the same (I prefer a saucy kung pao).
- Apples For a less acidic dish, try replacing the pineapple with diced apples. I have NEVER TRIED THIS, but I do plan on trying it sometime, I love me some apples.
- Preparing for more than one person? You're going to need a bigger pan than I use. Add more chicken, make more rice, I dunno, I don't have a woman to cook for so I can't experiment with making a bigger dish.