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How to Make Kung Pao Shrimp 宮保蝦

This Sichuan favorite can be prepped and cooked in 20 minutes.

Published Aug. 16, 2022.

Mention Chinese takeout and one of the first dishes that come to mind is likely Kung Pao Chicken.

Have you had its cousin: Kung Pao Shrimp?

Everything you love about Kung Pao Chicken—the tingly and savory sauce, the crunchy elements—is present in our version of Kung Pao Shrimp.

Because shrimp cooks so quickly, this is a dish that comes together super quickly. Experienced cooks can prep and cook this dish in 20 minutes. We're serious.

Learn step-by-step instructions in the latest episode of Hunger Pangs, or in the recipe below.

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Kung Pao Shrimp 宮保蝦

  • 1 pound extra-large shrimp (21 to 25 count), peeled and deveined
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine or dry sherry
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press or minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • ½ inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 3 tablespoons peanut oil or vegetable oil
  • ½ cup roasted unsalted peanuts
  • 6 small whole dried red chiles (each about 1 3/4 to 2 inches long), 3 chiles roughly crumbled, or 1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
  • ¾ cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese black vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 3 medium scallions, sliced thin


You can substitute unseasoned rice vinegar for the Chinkiang (or Zhenjiang) black vinegar (available in stores that stock Chinese ingredients), but we prefer the latter for its fruity, salty complexity. If you prefer roasted unsalted cashews to peanuts, substitute an equal amount. Do not eat the whole chiles in the finished dish.


  1. Toss shrimp with sherry and soy sauce in medium bowl; marinate until shrimp have absorbed flavors, about 10 minutes. Mix garlic, ginger, and 1 tablespoon oil in small bowl; set aside. Combine peanuts and chiles in small bowl; set aside. Mix chicken broth, vinegar, sesame oil, oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, and cornstarch in small bowl or measuring cup; set aside.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch skillet over high heat until just beginning to smoke. Add shrimp and cook, stirring about once every 10 seconds, until barely opaque, 30 to 40 seconds; add peanuts and chiles, stir into shrimp, and continue cooking until shrimp are almost completely opaque and peanuts have darkened slightly, 30 to 40 seconds longer. Transfer shrimp, peanuts, and chiles to bowl; set aside.
  3. Return skillet to burner and reheat briefly, 15 to 30 seconds. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil, swirl to coat pan, and add red bell pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, about 45 seconds. Clear center of pan, add garlic-ginger mixture, mash into pan with spoon or spatula, and cook until fragrant, 10 to 15 seconds; stir into peppers until combined.
  4. Stir broth mixture to recombine, then add to skillet along with reserved shrimp, peanuts, and chiles; cook, stirring and scraping up browned bits on bottom of pan, until sauce has thickened to syrupy consistency, about 45 seconds. Stir in scallions; transfer to serving plate and serve immediately.
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