Kung Pao Shrimp Recipe

This Kung Pao Shrimp Recipe combines succulent shrimp with a savory and slightly spicy sauce, peanuts, and vegetables, to create a delicious seafood dish. It’s easier to make than you think, and tastes amazing. In this recipe, you’ll learn how to make Kung Pao Shrimp that’s bursting with flavor and great textures.

Kung Pao Shrimp stir fry

Kung Pao Shrimp sauce is made with soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and chili paste or dried chili peppers, giving the dish its signature spicy and tangy flavor. I sometimes also add a small amount of garlic, ginger, and sesame oil for extra levels of flavor.

The shrimp in Kung Pao Shrimp is flash-fried until they are tender and juicy, The peanuts add a crunchy texture and a nutty flavor that complements the spiciness of the sauce. Serving Kung Pao Shrimp with steamed rice helps to balance out the heat of the dish.

Ingredients for kung pao shrimp

  • Shrimp
  • Soy sauce
  • Cornstarch
  • Sugar
  • Vinegar
  • Chili paste or dried red chili peppers
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Peanut oil
  • Peanuts
  • Bell peppers (red, green, or both)
  • Onion
  • Zucchini
  • Green onions (scallions)
  • Sesame oil
Authentic Kung Pao Shrimp

What to serve with kung pao shrimp

Here are some options to consider:

Steamed Rice: This is the most common side dish served with Kung Pao Shrimp. The rice helps to balance out the spiciness of the dish and provides a neutral base to absorb the flavorful sauce.

Noodles: Another great option is to serve the Kung Pao Shrimp with noodles, such as chow mein, lo mein, udon, soba, or rice noodles. The noodles will soak up the sauce and add a comforting texture to the meal.

Stir-Fried Vegetables: A side of stir-fried vegetables, such as broccoli, bok choy, or snow peas, can provide a fresh and healthy complement to the spicy shrimp dish.

Egg Rolls or Spring Rolls: If you’re looking for a more substantial side dish, egg rolls or spring rolls can provide a crispy contrast to the saucy shrimp.

Steamed Vegetables: For a lighter option, serve Kung Pao Shrimp with steamed vegetables, such as carrots, green beans, or asparagus. The simplicity of the vegetables will allow the flavors of the shrimp to shine.

Kung Pao Shrimp with vegetables

Occasions to serve kung pao shrimp

Here are some occasions when serving Kung Pao shrimp works well:

Weeknight Dinner: Kung Pao Shrimp is quick and easy to make, making it a great choice for a weeknight dinner. It has fun and refreshingly different, so it’s perfect for feeding the whole family.

Dinner Party: If you’re hosting a dinner party, Kung Pao Shrimp can be a delicious and impressive main course. It’s a great way to showcase your cooking skills and introduce your guests to a new flavor.

Potluck: If you’re attending a potluck or bringing a dish to a party, Kung Pao Shrimp can be a unique and flavorful option that’s sure to stand out.

Chinese New Year: Kung Pao Shrimp is a popular Chinese dish that’s often served during Chinese New Year. It’s a great way to celebrate the holiday and introduce your guests to Chinese cuisine.

Spicy Kung Pao Shrimp

How to store kung pao shrimp

If you have leftover Kung Pao Shrimp that you would like to store for later consumption, it’s important to store it properly to maintain its quality and safety. Here are some tips on how to store Kung Pao Shrimp:

Cool Down: Before storing the Kung Pao Shrimp, let it cool down to room temperature. This will prevent moisture from building up in the container, which can cause bacterial growth and spoilage.

Refrigerate: Once the Kung Pao Shrimp has cooled down, transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator. It should be consumed within 2-3 days.

Freeze: If you’re not planning to consume the Kung Pao Shrimp within 2-3 days, you can freeze it for later use. To freeze, transfer the cooled-down Kung Pao Shrimp to a freezer-safe container and store it in the freezer. It can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Avoid Reheating: Reheating shrimp can sometimes cause it to become tough and rubbery, so it’s best to avoid reheating. Instead, enjoy the Kung Pao Shrimp cold or at room temperature as a salad or in a sandwich.

Kung Pao Shrimp recipe

How to reheat kung pao shrimp

If you prefer your Kung Pao Shrimp heated as I do, follow these tips to avoid overcooking the shrimp, making it tough and rubbery. Here are some ways to reheat Kung Pao Shrimp:

Microwave: Place the Kung Pao Shrimp in a microwave-safe dish and cover it with a damp paper towel. Microwave on high for 30-second intervals until heated through, stirring occasionally.

Stovetop: Heat a small amount of oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the Kung Pao Shrimp and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes until heated through.

Oven: Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the Kung Pao Shrimp in an oven-safe dish and cover it with foil. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until heated through.

Keep in mind that reheating can sometimes alter the texture and taste of the dish, so it’s best to consume Kung Pao Shrimp when it’s freshly made if possible.

Kung Pao Shrimp sauce

Kung Pao Shrimp FAQs

Is Kung Pao Shrimp spicy?

Yes, Kung Pao Shrimp is known for being a spicy dish due to the use of chili peppers or red pepper flakes in the sauce.

Can I use chicken instead of shrimp for Kung Pao?

Yes, you can definitely substitute shrimp with chicken in Kung Pao Shrimp recipe.

Can I make Kung Pao Shrimp without peanuts?

Yes, if you have a peanut allergy or prefer not to use peanuts, you can substitute them with cashews or almonds or omit them altogether.

How do I know when the shrimp is cooked?

Shrimp is cooked when it turns pink and opaque in color. Be careful not to overcook the shrimp, as it can become rubbery and tough.

Can I make Kung Pao Shrimp ahead of time?

Kung Pao Shrimp is best served immediately after cooking, but you can prepare the ingredients ahead of time and store them separately in the fridge. Once you’re ready to cook, simply stir-fry the ingredients together and serve.

Kung Pao Shrimp Recipe

This Kung Pao Shrimp Recipe combines succulent shrimp with a savory and slightly spicy sauce, peanuts, and vegetables to create a delicious seafood dish.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 1 lb. large shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper chopped
  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts
  • 4 green onions sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil


  • In a bowl, toss the shrimp with cornstarch until coated.
  • Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes or until cooked through. Remove the shrimp from the pan and set aside.
  • In the same pan, add the bell peppers, peanuts, green onions, garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes. Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes or until the vegetables are tender-crisp.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and sesame oil. Pour the sauce over the vegetables and stir to coat.
  • Add the cooked shrimp back to the pan and toss to coat in the sauce.

The tender shrimp, crunchy peanuts, and spicy sauce in this Kung Pao Shrimp recipe create a bold and flavorful seafood meal. Whether you’re cooking for yourself or entertaining guests, skip the takeout and make this Kung Pao Shrimp from scratch. So next time you’re in the mood for something spicy and satisfying, give Kung Pao Shrimp a try!

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