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Kung Pao Shrimp: How to Bring the Orient Home

Wondering how to get that exotic taste of foreign food at home? When you can’t travel, you can create a travel experience at home with some simple recipes. Kung Pao Shrimp tastes delicious and is easy to make. What is Kung Pao Shrimp? Kung Pao Shrimp is a spicy Chinese dish containing vegetables, shrimp, and nuts.

Additionally, you can pair it with quick sesame noodles, and you have great Chinese food right in your own home. Further, begin the meal with an appetizer of egg foo young. Then complete the meal with a fresh fruit salad. Above all, serve the meal with a bottle of plum wine or sake. We recently tried green tea wine at Bunker Hill Winery, which we thought would make a great accompaniment to an Asian meal. On the other hand shake up a lychee martini. Add some Oriental music to set the mood. Voila! Instant staycation.

Make the Egg Foo Young Chicken Recipe before the Kung Pao Shrimp

egg foo young as an appetizer before kung pavo shrimp
Egg Foo Young without the sauce

Ingredients for egg foo young recipe

  • 5 eggs
  • 1/2 cup shredded cooked chicken or pork
  • 1 stick of celery, finely chopped
  • 6 baby bella mushrooms, finely chopped (traditionally Chinese mushrooms would be used, but we find the baby Bella mushrooms easier to find. They are also simple to use and have a good flavor.)
  • 8 oz. fresh bean sprouts
  • 1 finely chopped onion
  • 1 tbsp sherry
  • 10 oz. stock
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch dissolved in a few tablespoons of stock, set aside
  • 2 tsp. ketchup
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • sesame oil
  • Thai chili sauce (optional)

Directions for egg foo young chicken

  1. Beat the eggs, and then mix in the next 6 ingredients.
  2. Heat a frying pan. Once it is hot, add a few tablespoons of cooking oil. After that, add ladles of egg mixture in batches to the pan, and brown on each side. When egg is cooked remove to a plate while the rest continue cooking.
  3. Meanwhile, Mix the rest of the ingredients, excluding the chili sauce, in a small pan. Then bring slowly to a boil. Continue stirring until sauce thickens.
  4. We are heavily influenced by the flavors of Thai cooking, so we like to add a bit of Thai chili sauce into the egg foo young sauce for an extra kick.
  5. Pour sauce over egg foo young to serve.

We chose egg foo young for this meal, but there are many other Asian appetizers such as egg rolls or potstickers.

Kung Pao Shrimp Recipe

shows Kung Pao Shrimp with cashews and vegetables in a wok

This recipe was influenced by The Complete Chinese Cookbook by Jillian Stewart. However, I modified the recipe to my own tastes.

Ingredients for Kung Pao Shrimp Recipe

  • 1 tsp. grated ginger
  • 1 1/2 tbsps. cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. palm sugar
  • 1 lb. uncooked shrimp
  • 4 tbsps peanut oil
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 zucchini diced
  • 1-2 jarred hot pepper sliced
  • 2 oz. cashew nuts

Sauce

  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tsps. crushed garlic
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 2 tsps. hot siracha sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp rice wine

Directions for Kung Pao Shrimp Recipe

shows shrimp tossed with dry ingredients in preparation for cooking Kung Pao Shrimp
Shrimp mixed with dry ingredients prior to cooking
  1. First, mix the ginger, garlic, 1 1/2 tbsp. cornstarch, baking soda, sugar, and salt and pepper to taste. I prefer to use cayenne pepper to add an extra kick instead of black pepper.
  2. Meanwhile, peel and de-vein shrimp. Cut in half if the shrimp are large. Toss with dry ingredients and let sit for 20 minutes.
  3. After that, heat the oil in a wok over high heat. When hot add the shrimp. Then cook stirring for about 30 seconds or until just pink. Remove from wok.
  4. Once the shrimp are removed, add the onion and red bell pepper to the wok, and cook for one minute. Next add the spinach and cook about 30 second until wilted.
  5. Last, mix the sauce ingredients and add to the wok stirring constantly until the sauce is thickened. Return the shrimp to the wok with the cashews and heat through.

The whole process should take about 20 minutes including prep. If you want to cheat, you can use powdered ginger and garlic. Also, it helps if you prepare the sauce ingredients before you start cooking. Then just give it a quick stir before adding it to the wok.

Sesame Noodles Recipe

Shows sesame noodles with peas as an accompaniment for Kung Pao Shrimp

Ingredients for sesame noodles recipe

  • 8 oz. Chinese noodles or vermicelli
  • 2 chopped green onions chopped
  • 1 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 3 tbsps. hoisin sauce
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas

Directions for sesame noodles recipe

  1. To begin, cook noodles in boiling salted water along with frozen peas until done. Drain, rinse, and then return to the pot.
  2. After that, stir in sesame oil, soy sauce, and hoisin sauce.
  3. Finally, toss in the green onions.

We used sesame noodles for this meal, but you can use any lo Mein recipe or substitute fried rice. Lastly, complete your meal with a fancy drink. Here is a quick recipe for a Lychee Martini. You can find canned lychees at most Asian markets or you can click on the link below.

Lychee Martini Recipe

Lychee martini ingredients include canned lychees and your favorite brand of vodka. First chill a martini glass. Then pour 2 oz. of chilled vodka and 1 1/2 -2oz. of liquid from canned lychees into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. After that, shake and strain the mixture into your martini glass and put 2 lychees on a cocktail stick for a garnish.

Tip: We keep our vodka in the freezer so it stays chilled. If you don’t have martini glasses check out these sponsored links:

Melon Salad

melon salad as a dessert after kung pavo shrimp
Melon salad

Ingredients for Melon Salad

  • 1/2 cantaloupe thinly sliced with rind removed
  • 8 canned lychees
  • 6 sliced strawberries
  • lychee syrup from the can
  • honey

This cantaloupe salad is easy to make and has a nice presentation. Arrange the cantaloupe slices in a circular pattern on a cake plate. Then pile the lychees in the center. After that scatter the strawberry slices on top of the cantaloupe salad. Stir a little honey into the remaining lychee syrup and drizzle over the melon salad. Once this melon fruit salad is served, you can add additional syrup.

Now set the table or if you want to be real fancy set a low table and sit on cushions or pillows on the floor. Of course, don’t forget the chop sticks. To add to the experience add some authentic music. We used Chinese Bamboo Flute Music which we borrowed from the local library. Now you are ready to eat!

Not sure where to buy some of these ingredients? Here are some sponsored links:

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6 thoughts on “Kung Pao Shrimp: How to Bring the Orient Home

  1. Both Egg Foo Young and Kung Lao Shrimp sound tasty. And easy to make too. Good thing that the Thai chili sauce is optional for this spice wimp! But the Lychee martini would help take the heat off!

  2. What a mouthwatering meal you’ve put together! Although it looks like a lot of work, I’m certain it’s totally worth the effort – the result looks just great. And there is always the yummy drink to pamper yourself 😉

  3. This looks awesome, I would like to have Kung Pao Shrimp with Lychee Martini and Melon salad. What a terrific combination. But would like to try out the recipe.

  4. I agree with you: when you can not travel, you can create a travel experience at home. Shrimps are one of my favorite ingredients. Your Kung Lao Shrimp looks especially tasty – I will make it for sure!

  5. Kung Pao Shrimp looks amazing and I would love to try the recipe but with veggies mostly. I do not eat meat. It definitely looks tasty and this gave me an idea for dinner tonight.

  6. Definitely going to have to try making this soon! I love shrimp and make it all the time with my family! Might try to substitute the noodles for rice instead since I like rice a bit more, but either way looks super yummy!

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