30 Minute Meal – I love how stir fry cooks super quickly!
Sweet Heat – The easy stir fry sauce is slightly sweet that balances the spice.
Customizable – This is a great recipe to swap in other veggies or even proteins.
Ingredients For Kung Pao Shrimp
Large Shrimp – Peeled and deveined, but you can leave the tails on.
Bell Peppers – One red and one green.
Fresh Minced Ginger
Red Pepper Flakes – You can adjust the amount to fit your spice preference.
Dry Roasted Peanuts – If there is an allergy, you can omit or swap in cashews.
For the Sauce: Soy sauce, granulated sugar, rice wine vinegar (or white wine vinegar), sesame oil, water, and cornstarch
Sliced Green Onions and Sesame Seeds – for garnish
How To Make Kung Pao Shrimp
Be sure to check the recipe card below for full ingredients & instructions.
This Kung Pao Shrimp recipe is ready, start to finish, in under 30 minutes and all made in one skillet or wok.
Mix Sauce – Start by mixing up the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
Cook Shrimp – First, cook the shrimp by heating the canola oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the thawed shrimp and cook, stirring frequently, until the shrimp is just turning pink. It will continue to cook when combined later so don’t overcook them here. Place the shrimp on a plate and set aside.
Cook Veggies – In the same pan, add the onions (you can add a little more oil, if needed) and cook until they start to soften. Then add the bell peppers, ginger, and garlic and cook until they begin to soften as well.
Add Sauce – Add the sauce to the veggies and cook for 1-2 minutes until the sauce begins to thicken. Add the cooked shrimp and peanuts and cook for 1-2 minutes more, stirring occasionally.
Serve – Serve the kung pao shrimp over cooked rice. Sprinkle it with sesame seeds and sliced green onions.
How do you know when shrimp are cooked?
Shrimp are cooked when they are pink and opaque. They also will start to curl into a ‘C’ shape.
Can I use frozen shrimp?
Yes, you can use frozen shrimp but they need to be thawed before using in the recipe. The great thing is frozen shrimp thaw very quickly if you run under cold water.
Other Proteins – Instead of shrimp, you can swap in cubed chicken thighs or breasts for kung pao chicken. Or try using thinly sliced flank steak to make kung pao beef.
Other Veggies – I love how customizable this recipe is! It’s perfect to use up other veggies in your fridge. Some other favorites are bok choy, broccoli, and zucchini.
Spice Level – To make this recipe more or less spicy, feel free to adjust the red pepper flakes. If members of your family have different spice tolerances, you can also serve the recipe with extra pepper flakes on the side.
Storing and Reheating
Storage – Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
Reheating – Leftovers can be reheated in a skillet on the stove over medium until warmed.
Don’t overcook the shrimp – The great thing about shrimp is how quickly it cooks! But be careful not to overcook them as then they get tough.
Prep the ingredients first – Stir fry recipes cook quickly, so it’s easiest to chop and prep all of the ingredients before starting.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together minced garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, sesame oil, water, and cornstarch. Set aside.
Heat canola oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and cook 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, until the shrimp just turns pink. It will continue to cook when making the sauce. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
Add onions to the skillet with more oil if needed. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until they begin to soften. Add the bell peppers, ginger and garlic and cook another 4-5 minutes or until the vegetable begin to soften.
Pour sauce into the skillet and cook for 1-2 minutes or until the sauce begins to thicken. Add the shrimp, red pepper flakes and peanuts to the skillet and cook for 1-2 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
Serve over rice topped with sesame seeds and sliced green onions (optional).
Storage – Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for up to 4 days.Reheating – Leftovers can be reheated in a skillet on the stove over medium until warmed.
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Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.