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5 from 1 vote

Kung Pao Shrimp (宫爆虾球)

Learn how to make juicy and tender shrimp with the most scrumptious sauce.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Main
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: takeout
Servings: 2 to 3
Author: Maggie Zhu



  • 1 pound shrimp , peeled and deveined
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine (or vegetable oil)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt

Stir fry

  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 6 green onion , chopped
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup homemade Kung Pao Sauce (*footnote 1)
  • 1 bell pepper , diced (or you can use 1/2 green pepper and 1/2 red pepper)
  • 1/3 cup roasted cashews (or peanuts)


  • Combine shrimp, Shaoxing wine, salt and cornstarch in a small bowl. Mix well with a pair of chopsticks or with your hand. Let it marinate for 10 minutes.
  • Heat oil in a large skillet or wok until hot. Add marinated shrimp and spread them into a single layer. Cook for 30 seconds without touching. Then stir and cook until the surface turns opaque. If you are using extra large shrimp (like I did in the photos above), it might take quite some time to cook the shrimps through. In this case, add 1 to 2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine (or chicken stock) and cover the pan immediately. Let cook for 20 to 30 seconds to steam the shrimp. Uncover the pan and continue cooking.
  • Add green onions and bell pepper. Stir a few times to combine.
  • Add homemade Kung Pao sauce. Stir until all the ingredients are evenly covered with the sauce.
  • Add cashews. Give it a final stir and immediately transfer everything to a big plate.
  • Serve hot over steamed rice.


1. If you do not have the sauce pre-made, here’s what you can do:
2 tablespoons Chinkiang vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 and 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 teaspoon whole Sichuan peppercorns
4 to 5 dried chili pepper
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced ginger
Mix Chinkiang vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, cornstarch and salt in a small bowl.
Add oil and Sichuan peppercorns in a big pan, cook until hot. When the peppercorns turn dark brown, scoop out and discard. Add dried red chili pepper. Stir until the peppers turn dark brown. Add minced garlic and ginger. Stir a few times. Then proceed to the step 3 in the recipe to cook the shrimp. For step 4, add the mixed vinegar based sauce instead, and proceed to the rest of the recipe.