Skip to Content

Kung Pao Shrimp

An easy kung pao shrimp recipe made in minutes at home that rivals takeout. Serve it over some white rice with your favorite steamed vegetable.

An easy kung pao shrimp recipe made in minutes at home that rivals takeout. Serve it over some white rice with your favorite steamed vegetable.

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 random ingredient that makes you question what you’re chewing.

Kung pao shrimp recipe

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.

They’re great for recipes like this Greek shrimp skillet or this sweet and spicy mango shrimp.

Can’t beat that.

Quick and easy spicy kung pao shrimp made at home in minutes.

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 deliciousness above took all of 5 minutes. The same applies to this general tso shrimp recipe so I guess I should really apologize to the Chinese takeout joints I doubted.

Easy kung pao shrimp is the perfect simple dinner when you're craving takeout food.

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.

Got 10 more minutes? Make this 20-minute shrimp lo mein and enjoy the takeout taste at home for a fraction of the cost.

More shrimp recipes to try like this Kung Pao shrimp dish:
Coconut Red Curry Shrimp
Broccoli Shrimp Fried Rice
Shrimp Avocado Mango Lime Salad

And don’t miss out on these spicy udon noodles for another Chinese takeout make at home kind of meal. If you’re a big time noodle fan like me, you’ll love them!

Easy kung pao shrimp

Kung Pao Shrimp

Yield: 2 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

An easy kung pao shrimp recipe made in minutes at home that rivals takeout. Serve it over some white rice with your favorite steamed vegetable.


For the 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

For the Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon szechuan sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon red curry paste


  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.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 408Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 479mgSodium: 2447mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 2gSugar: 6gProtein: 53g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.


Please leave a comment below or pin it to your Pinterest account!

The Newlywed Chefs

Sunday 16th of September 2012

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


Saturday 15th of September 2012

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

Julie @ Table for Two

Friday 14th of September 2012

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!

Kari@Loaves and Dishes

Friday 14th of September 2012

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!


Friday 14th of September 2012

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?

Running to the Kitchen

Sunday 16th of September 2012

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 :)

Skip to Recipe