Kung Pao Shrimp

Kung Pao Shrimp
Kung Pao Shrimp

Both the Loon and I love Chinese food so much.  As kids, we weren’t exposed to really good Chinese cuisine very much, me growing up in Texas and he in South Dakota.  (That’s changed, at least in Texas…where you can now find amazing Asian cuisine).   But when we moved to New York City in the late 80s, we found a whole new world of Chinese cuisine (read The Loon Log: Fried Rice and Free Wine).

I just love shrimp and I love peanuts, so naturally, Kung Pao Shrimp would be a dish I ordered a lot.  As I studied recipes over the years, I learned that it’s not a hard dish to make.  There are a few items that I think really help this dish sing…I love Chinese black vinegar, but that can be hard to find unless you have a nice Asian food market near by.  If not, you can mix balsamic vinegar with red wine vinegar for a similar taste.  If you can’t find Chinese rice wine, just use a nice dry Sherry.  This is one of those comforting Chinese dishes that combines a little heat with a little sweetness.   Serve with nice sticky white rice.   Just so good!


Kung Pao Shrimp
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This Kung Pao Shrimp is a little spicy, a little sweet, and whole lot of yummy. Shrimp, peanuts, garlic, ginger and peppers make this dish come to life. Serve over rice. So amazingly good! You can cook this in a wok, or a large skillet.
Author:
Recipe type: Chinese
Cuisine: Chinese
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • FOR THE SAUCE:
  • ¾ cup of chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon of oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of hoisin sauce
  • 2 teaspoons of Chinese black vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons of sesame oil
  • 1½ teaspoons of corn starch
  • FOR THE SHRIMP:
  • 1 lb extra-large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine (or dry sherry)
  • 2 teaspoons of soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons of fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • ½ cup dry-roasted peanuts
  • 6 - 8 hot red peppers (arbol peppers work well)
  • 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 3 scallions, sliced into thin pieces
Instructions
  1. FOR THE SAUCE:
  2. Whisk all the ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. FOR THE SHRIMP:
  4. Toss shrimp with rice wine and soy sauce in medium-sized bowl and let marinate for 10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon of the oil, the garlic and the ginger...stir and set aside.
  6. In another small bowl, combine peanuts and hot peppers, set aside.
  7. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a wok, or a large skillet, until hot, just smoking.
  8. Add shrimp, and cook, stirring frequently, until barely opaque...about 40 seconds.
  9. Add peanut mixture and cook until shrimp are completely opaque and slightly darker, about another 40 seconds. Transfer mixture to a clean bowl.
  10. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon of oil over high heat, until just smoking.
  11. Add bell pepper, and cook until just softened, about 1 minute.
  12. Push bell pepper to the side of the pan and add the garlic to the center of the pan. Mash the garlic some with the back of a wooden spoon, and cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds.
  13. Stir the garlic into the bell pepper.
  14. Add the shrimp mixture back into the pan and incorporate.
  15. Give the remaining sauce a stir with a whisk, to recombine, and then pour into the pan and cook, scraping up any browned bits, until slightly syrupy, about 1 minute longer.
  16. Stir in scallions and serve at once!

 

1 Comment

  • Chris, I know you are mostly into home cooking, but I have a question. Have you ever noticed that when you order Chinese cuisine that contains nuts, the nuts sometimes have an aftertaste of mildew or taste slightly rancid.

    I’ve noticed this and have always wondered about it. Am I imagining things or is there a reason for this? Maybe the nuts are being kept in too damp a place?

    It never happens to me at home. I’ve also noticed it in dishes made with cashews, another popular nut.

    BTW, your recipes are great. Unfortunately, they are often too complicated for me to shop for and make properly, so I often take shortcuts. Therefore, if I have guests, I do not tell them the recipes are yours because I figure they taste so different, and better, when you make them. My renditions are good, but not like what yours would be.

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