Kung pao shrimp

Ok, I’ll be honest. I have no idea if this really qualifies as “kung pao” anything. I just really like that phrase. Bring me to a PF Chang’s or any Chinese restaurant and you’d be pretty safe making a bet I’ll order something with those words in front of it. It’s fun to say, it’s spicy and it’s one of the few Chinese dishes that doesn’t have at least one rando ingredient that makes you question what you’re chewing.

I get stumped on lunch a lot. When there’s no leftovers, I’m sick of canned tuna or salmon and I’ve just eaten eggs for breakfast, this is what goes down thanks to that trusty bag of frozen shrimp that I keep for emergencies. Seriously, it’s like my “when all other protein sources fail” go to. They’re already peeled and defrost in minutes under some water. Can’t beat that.

I’m always super skeptical about the turnaround time for Chinese food. “Ok, 10 minute” when you’re placing a takeout order or food that comes to your table before you can even blink just seems weird. Like there’s something sketch going down in the kitchen and you’re eating something that must’ve been half cooked to begin with and sitting around for who knows how long.

I take all the skepticism back though after this. From raw ingredients to that spicy sauce coated deliciouness above took all of 5 minutes.

It’s spicy, sweet and salty and I guarantee you’ll be licking the sauce off your fingers. Because let’s be honest, the chop sticks are great in theory but that’s about it when it comes to actually getting the food in your mouth.

5.0 from 1 reviews

Kung pao shrimp
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Sweet, spicy and salty kung pao shrimp made in minutes.
Author:
Recipe type: shrimp
Serves: 2
Ingredients
Shrimp
  • 1 lb. large shrimp, peeled & deveined
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 hot red pepper, diced
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1½ teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon szechuan sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon red curry paste
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl whisk together all the sauce ingredients and set aside.
  2. Bring a large saute pan to med-high heat.
  3. Add olive oil and saute hot red pepper for 30 seconds.
  4. Add shrimp and cook for 1-2 minutes until just turning pink.
  5. Add scallions (reserve some for garnish), ginger and garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.
  6. Add sauce and toss to coat all of the shrimp. Cook for 30 seconds until thickened.
  7. Add peanuts and cook another 30 seconds.
  8. Quickly transfer to a plate and serve.

 

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Comments

  1. 1

    I love the flavor of Kung Pao, nice and spicy! Your dish looks super delish!! Have you had PF Changs spicy chicken? Thats my favorite!! Dam Girl, you got me wanting to make Chinese food for dinner tonight. So much for planning!! :) Have a great weekend!!

  2. 2

    Yum, this looks amazing. I love spicy Asian inspired dishes!

  3. 3

    Beautiful photos! I feel the same way about shrimp – it’s a great last resort protein that always ends up delicious.

  4. 4

    I haven’t had Chinese in a long time. I might have to rectify that soon! YUM!

  5. 5

    That looks so delicious!

  6. 6

    That looks crazy good, and I don’t eat meat. How do you manage to do that?! I keed, I keed. But seriously, I’m all about re-creating a restaurant favorite at home where I can control the portion, calories and fat. Especially with Chinese food: the sodium! I made some spicy tofu lettuce wraps the other night (kinda resembled the vegetarian wraps from PF Changs). Anyway, they were the bees knees. I’m just sayin’.

  7. 7

    I don’t even like shrimp but gosh darn it if this isn’t a beautiful meal. And 5 minutes? I might have to start liking shrimp.

  8. 8

    This will be on my dinner table soon!

  9. 9

    I’ve been married to a Chinese guy for 8 years. I still have no idea what kung pao anything is. I think it may be “if we name it this, white people will eat it.”

  10. 11

    Mmmmm… I love shrimp, but I extra-love things that are ready in 5 minutes.

  11. 12

    Yes! This is a lunch I can actually pull off making on my lunch break: can’t wait to try!!

  12. 13

    Absolutely adore these flavors, Gina. My hubs loves shrimp too, he’ll flip for this!

  13. 14

    Looks like one of my shrimp stir-fry go to’s! On a different topic, I’m so curious about your Cross Fit adventures – do you go every day? Are you seeing progress? I loved all your Half training posts last year, are you planning for any races this fall?

    • 15
      Running to the Kitchen says:

      Hi Shannon! I go about 5 times a week when work travel allows. I am definitely seeing progress and will probably do a crossfit post pretty soon about my first 2 months so stay tuned :) I haven’t signed up for any races this fall, I’m running at most 2-3 miles at a time and I’m just not really feeling the whole racing thing right now. I might do a local 5K or something spur of the moment but that’s about it. I’m enjoying crossfit and the 400/800s we do within the WODs much more than racing for now. We’ll see though..I tend to go through phases with running, it’s just a lull right now :)

  14. 16

    Here in South FLA, PF Changs is our best “Chinese” food restaurant. What would I do with out PF Changs?
    I love the ingredients you put together for the sauce!

  15. 17

    asian food is fast and that’s the way i like it and am accustomed to :) it’s mostly the sauces that make the dish so i think that’s why it’s so fast. this looks really good! i prefer to make chinese food at home (i’m slightly bias) cause it’s so watered down chinese food at pf changs or whatever. this shrimp though, looks phenom. i can see myself making this a lot! the sauce you made sounds finger licking good!

  16. 18

    My husband loves Kung Pao anything and I just so happen to have a bag of frozen shrimp in the freezer.

  17. 19

    Yum! This looks like it’s full of flavor. We’ll have to whip this one up soon!

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