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Kung Pao Shrimp: How to Bring the Orient Home

When you can’t travel, you can create a travel experience at home. Kung Pao Shrimp tastes delicious and is easy to make. Additionally, pair it with quick sesame noodles, and you have great Chinese food right in your own home. Further, serve the meal with a bottle of plum wine or sake. Then play some Oriental music to set the mood. Voila! Instant staycation.

Start with the Kung Pao Shrimp

shows Kung Pao Shrimp with cashews and vegetables in a wok

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

Ingredients for Kung Pao Shrimp

  • 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

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 tbsps. 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 devein 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

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

Ingredients

  • 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

  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.

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

To begin you will need 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.

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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