Kung Pao Shrimp

This recipe is classic Chinese, and we honestly believe it’s better than take-out!

Shrimp and peanuts are a common pairing in Chinese cuisine, and they are spectacular in this dish. We’ll take you threw the steps for making this iconic dish in your very own home, and it comes together in about 30 minutes! And if you like this dish, you’d also enjoy or Shrimp Pad Thai and our General Tso’s Chicken!

A large Asian bowl filled with Shrimp Kung Pao with chop sticks sitting on top, next to a bowl of steamed white rice, all on a wicker mat.


Kung Pao Shrimp (or Chicken) originated in the Sichuan Provence of China. Learn more about its origins here.

As mentioned previously, this is not a difficult dish to mention.

EXPERT TIP: Many of the ingredients can be found in the Asian section of well-stocked supermarkets, or at your local Asian food market, or online. The Chinese black vinegar really makes this dish sing. If you can’t get your hands on it, 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.

A shot of a bottle of oyster sauce, a bottle of Hoisin sauce, and a bottle of Chinese black vinegar.

We love using our wok to quickly stir-fry the vegetables and shrimp.

If you don’t have a wok, no worries! This can easily be prepared in a nice large skillet.

EXPERT TIP: Be sure to have all of your ingredients prepped and ready to go because the dish comes together very quickly.

A wok containing garlic, ginger and peppers that are just beginning to simmer.


Now, it’s time to add the shrimp and the peppers.

All you need to do is to toss them in the hot wok and cook until the shrimp is nice and pink and curled and the pepper have begun to burst.

This is one of those comforting Chinese dishes that combines a little heat with a little sweetness.  Serve with nice sticky white rice and be ready to impress!

Shrimp and hot red peppers cooking to a nice pink color in a large black wok.

Ready to make one of the best Chinese dishes in town? Go for it!

And when you do, be sure to take a photo of it, post if on Instagram, and tag @howtofeedaloon and hashtag #howtofeedaloon!

A large Asian bowl filled with Shrimp Kung Pao with chop sticks sitting on top, next to a bowl of steamed white rice, all on a wicker mat.

Kung Pao Shrimp

This Kung Pao Shrimp is a little spicy, a little sweet, and a 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.
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Course: Chinese
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: Asian Cuisine, Shrimp
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 23 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 263kcal



  • ¾ cup chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 2 tsp Chinese black vinegar
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • tsp corn starch


  • 1 lb extra-large shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 1 tbsp Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger finely chopped
  • ½ cup dry-roasted peanuts
  • 6 hot red peppers arbol peppers work well
  • 1 red bell pepper stemmed, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3 scallions sliced into thin pieces


  • Whisk all the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.
  • Toss shrimp with rice wine and soy sauce in a medium-sized bowl and let marinate for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon of the oil, garlic, and the ginger...stir and set aside.
  • In another small bowl, combine peanuts and hot peppers, set aside.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a wok, or a large skillet, until hot, just smoking.
  • Add shrimp, and cook, stirring frequently, until barely opaque...about 40 seconds.
  • Add peanut mixture and cook until shrimp are completely opaque and slightly darker, about another 40 seconds. Transfer mixture to a clean bowl.
  • Heat remaining 1 tablespoon of oil over high heat, until just smoking.
  • Add bell pepper, and cook until just softened, about 1 minute.
  • 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.
  • Stir the garlic into the bell pepper.
  • Add the shrimp mixture back into the pan and incorporate it.
  • 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.
  • Stir in scallions and serve at once!


Calories: 263kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 497mg | Potassium: 267mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1021IU | Vitamin C: 40mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe? Take a Picture!Mention @HowToFeedALoon or tag #HowToFeedALoon!


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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