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Kung Pao Shrimp - A Sichuan Classic

The technique here is much the same as for other Kung Pao dishes except particular care must be taken not to overcook the shrimp.  They are removed from the wok before being completely cooked and allowed to finish poaching while bring to the table.

1 pound   

 raw shrimp, peeled (26/30 count)

2 tablespoon   

peanut oil


unsalted, roasted peanuts

3- 4 whole   

dried red chilies (adjust for heat)

1 tablespoon   

minced garlic

1 tablespoon   

minced ginger

1 tablespoon   

ground Sichuan peppercorns

3 whole   

scallions, cut on bias in " pieces

1 whole   

red bell pepper, thinly sliced

2 ribs   

celery, sliced on bias







soy sauce


Chinese rice cooking wine (Shaoxing) or dry sherry


2 tablespoons   

soy sauce

3 tablespoons   

Chinese rice cooking wine (Shaoxing) or dry sherry

1 tablespoon Oyster sauce

1 tablespoon

Chinese black vinegar (see notes)

1 teaspoon   


1 cup   

chicken broth

Combine the soy sauce and the rice wine and combine with the shrimp.  Toss to coat well.  Allow the shrimp to marinate in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

While awaiting the shrimp prepare the vegetables and set aside.  Mix the sauce and set aside.  Using the cornstarch and water, make a slurry and set aside.

Place the wok over high heat and allow it to get quite hot.  Place oil in the wok and swirl to coat the sides.  Remove the shrimp from the marinade and stir fry, working in batches so as not to cool down the wok.  You want to stir fry the shrimp without overcooking, about a minute or so, or until it is just pink.  Remove from wok and set aside.  Repeat until all the shrimp is cooked.

If necessary add a little additional oil.  Add the chilies and cook until they begin to darken, about a minute or so.  

Add the garlic, ginger and Szechwan pepper and stir fry for about 30 seconds or until quite aromatic.  Add the scallions, bell pepper, peanuts and celery and continue to stir fry until veggies are crisp-tender, about 1-2 minutes or so.

Add the sauce and allow it to come to a boil. Add the cornstarch slurry slowly until the sauce is thickened to your taste.

Add the shrimp and cook until just heated through.  Serve immediately over white rice.


  1. Black Chinese vinegar is readily in Asian markets and some large American grocery stores.  If unavailable a simple mix of red wine vinegar and Balsamic vinegar is a reasonable substitute.



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