Chinese Main Course Recipes Seafood

Kung Pao Shrimp

Shrimp is used instead of chicken in this popular Szechuan dish made with stir fried vegetables and cashews in a garlic and ginger hot sauce. | Share

Updated 12/18/2023

While often made with chicken, you’re sure to find the shrimp version in your favourite Szechuan restaurant.  For those times when delivery or the trek downtown is out of the question, try this recipe and you’ll have your guests thinking you picked up Chinese take-out. 

szechuan restaurant

Tips for making Kung Pao Shrimp

This dish cooks up quickly so have all of your ingredients ready to go before heating up the oil. Use the suggested vegetables or add your own mix. Your dish is on the mark when the stir fried elements are done to a delicate crunch.

This recipe is moderatley spicy. You can adjust it to your preferred heat level by reducing or increasing the chili paste. I usually prefer chili paste since it does a good job at evenly distributing the spice. However, you can use one finely chopped Thai chili pepper for roughly the same spice level.

Also remember that shrimp cooks quickly. Toss it in the pan only long enough for it to cook but remain moist and tender. You can get more tips on how to buy, store and cook shrimp from Yummly.

kung pao shrimp

Kung Pao Shrimp

Kevin Lamoureux
A take-out favourite, the Szechuan Kung Pao is more commonly a chicken dish but this westernized shrimp version is sure to satisfy your taste buds.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 4
Calories 281 kcal


Stir Fry

  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • 2 ribs celery diced
  • ½ cup cashews, whole
  • ¼ cup peanut oil
  • ¾ lb large shrimp (340g prawns), raw, peeled and deveined
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled, minced
  • 1 green onion, chopped for garnish

Szechuan Sauce

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp chili paste (sabal oelek or sriracha sauce) or to taste
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp corn starch


  • In a bowl or large measuring cup, stir together all of the sauce ingredients until the starch and sugar have dissolved. Set aside.
  • Heat the oil in a wok or large pan and stir fry the bell peppers and celery are tender(about 3-5 minutes).
  • Add the cashews and continue stir frying for an extra minute, then transfer the peppers, celery and cashews to a dish with a lid to keep warm.
  • If needed, add a little more oil to the wok and fry the shrimp for about 2 minutes per side. They are cooked when they become opaque and their internal temperature reaches 145 ℉. Transfer the cooked shrimp to the dish with the other ingredients.
  • Add the garlic and ginger to the pan and heat for about 30 seconds.
  • Add the sauce mixture to the pan and cook on medium high, stirring frequently until sauce has thickened.
  • Return all other ingredients to the pan to heat and coat with the sauce.
  • Garnish with the green onions and serve immediately.


Adjust the amount of chili paste according to your preferred degree of spiciness. As it is here, the heat level is considered medium. Chopped Thai chili peppers may be substituted for the chili paste.
Per serving
Calories: 281kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Iron: 1mg
Keyword Chinese, shrimp, stirfry

Did you make this recipe?
Add your comment and rating below
Share your photos on Instagram

More Asian cuisine

8 replies on “Kung Pao Shrimp”

We have always had a taste of the recipes at Kevin’s. However, this is one recipe we never tasted at Kevin’s. But having tried numerous of Kevin’s recipes at the invitation to his home. I knew this one would be a success. And, what a success it was (thank you again Kevin).
I actually added a few extra veg and made a ‘Pad Thai’ by using noodles.
Was great.

I really like your suggestion to add noodles and more veg Mike. Thank you so much for your 5-star rating.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.