Easy Kung Pao Shrimp with Cashews

Spice up your dinner with this quick and tasty Kung Pao Shrimp recipe! This classic Chinese-American dish is a perfect blend of spicy, sweet, and savory flavors that will have you craving for more. Kung pao shrimp combined with the crunch of cashew nuts and fragrant bell peppers is an easy takeout recipe ready within 10 minutes.

Are you in the mood for a flavorful and easy-to-make shrimp dish that will tantalize your taste buds? Look no further than this delicious Kung Pao Shrimp recipe! This classic Chinese-American shrimp stir fry dish features bold flavors and a mouthwatering sauce.

My English husband introduced me to eating spicy food! Yes, that’s correct – my British husband introduced me to everything spicy! This may seem odd because I am Asian and, generally speaking, a lot of Asian dishes are filled with spices.

But that is not the case with Filipino cuisine – while there’s a region in our archipelago that enjoys hot and spicy dishes – that is not true with the rest of the country. Our cuisine can only be described as a melting pot of the East and West so while a few of the dishes may be spicy the rest are mostly savory and umami! However, I am grateful that my hubby imparted to me his love for spicy dishes and now I love anything with a hot kick and this spicy kung pao shrimp is no exception!

What is Kung Pao Shrimp?

Kung Pao Shrimp is a popular Chinese-American dish that originated in the Sichuan province of China. It’s a stir-fry dish that features succulent shrimp cooked with vegetables, peanuts or cashews, and a flavorful sauce made with soy sauce, rice vinegar, and chili peppers.

The name “Kung Pao” refers to a court official named Ding Baozhen, who was given the title “Gong Bao” (meaning “palace guardian”) during the Qing Dynasty. The dish was supposedly created by one of his servants and named after him.

Why You’ll Love This Kung Pao Shrimp Recipe

You’ll love this tasty Kung Pao Shrimp recipe because it delivers an addictive blend of spicy, sweet, and savory flavors from the chili-infused sauce, perfectly balanced with crunchy cashews and succulent shrimp. It’s also a quick and easy stir-fry dish that can be prepared in under 30 minutes, making it ideal for busy weeknights. You can customize the heat level to your preference by adjusting the amount of chili paste or red pepper flakes. The combination of tender shrimp, crisp bell peppers, fiery dried chilies, and roasted cashews creates an irresistible mix of textures and flavors that will leave your taste buds happy.

Ingredients for Kung Pao Shrimp

  • 1 lb shrimp, deveined, peeled with tail on (453 g)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon rice wine (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch cubes (4.2 oz | 120 g)
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1 cup cashew nuts (4.5 oz | 128 g)

Kung Pao Sauce:

  • ¼ cup soy sauce (2.02 fluid oz | 60 ml)
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper

Instructions for Kung Pao Shrimp

Prepare the Shrimp: Wash and drain the shrimp, then remove any excess water with kitchen paper. Place the shrimp in a medium bowl and season with salt, pepper, and rice wine.

Heat a medium skillet on medium-high heat with oil. Sear the shrimp on each side for 2 minutes. Add the bell pepper, garlic, ginger, chili flakes, and cashew nuts to the skillet. Cook for another 2 minutes until the bell pepper is fragrant.

In a separate bowl, combine all the sauce ingredients (soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, honey, cornstarch, and cracked black pepper) and stir well. Pour the sauce into the skillet and bring it to a simmer. Cook until the sauce thickens slightly. If you prefer more sauce, add a bit of water.

Remove the Kung Pao Shrimp from heat, garnish with green onions and sesame seeds (optional), and serve hot with steamed rice.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Kung Pao Shrimp

Can I use frozen shrimp for this recipe?
Yes, you can use frozen shrimp for this recipe. Just make sure to thaw the shrimp completely before cooking and pat them dry with paper towels to remove any excess moisture.

Can I substitute the cashew nuts with something else?
Absolutely! You can substitute the cashew nuts with peanuts, almonds, or even chopped water chestnuts for a different texture and flavor.

Is Kung Pao Shrimp spicy?
Yes, Kung Pao Shrimp is typically a spicy dish due to the addition of chili flakes or dried chili peppers. However, you can adjust the level of spiciness by increasing or decreasing the amount of chili flakes used in the recipe.

Can I make this dish ahead of time?
While Kung Pao Shrimp is best served fresh, you can prepare the sauce and chop the vegetables ahead of time. When ready to serve, simply cook the shrimp and vegetables, and then add the pre-made sauce.

What should I serve with Kung Pao Shrimp?
Kung Pao Shrimp is traditionally served with steamed rice, which helps balance out the bold flavors of the dish. You can also serve it with noodles or a side of stir-fried vegetables.

Kung Pao Shrimp is a delightful and flavorful dish that’s sure to become a new favorite in your household. With its perfect balance of spicy, sweet, and savory flavors, this recipe is a must-try for anyone who loves shrimp and Chinese-inspired cuisine.

So, if you’re looking for a quick and easy recipe for shrimp and cashew nuts then this tasty Kung Pao dish is it! Gather your ingredients, follow the easy instructions, and get ready to impress your family and friends with this mouthwatering Kung Pao Shrimp dish!

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Kung Pao Shrimp

Spice up your dinner with this quick and tasty Kung Pao Shrimp recipe! This classic Chinese-American dish is a perfect blend of spicy, sweet, and savory flavors that will have you craving for more. Kung Pao shrimp combined with the crunch of cashew nuts and fragrant bell peppers is an easy takeout recipe ready within 10 minutes.
5 from 11 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine Asian, Chinese
Servings 6
Calories 223 kcal

Ingredients
 

  • 1 lb shrimps deveined, peeled with tail on (453 g)
  • salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon rice wine, optional
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, cut in cubes 1 inch (4.2 oz | 120 g)
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated (or minced) ginger
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes, or to taste
  • 1 cup cashew nuts 4.5 oz | 128 g

Kung Pao Sauce

  • ¼ cup soy sauce 2.02 fluid oz | 60 ml
  • 2 tablespoons honey, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper, adjust to taste

Instructions
 

  • Wash and drain shrimp. Make sure to remove the excess water with kitchen towels. Place in a medium bowl and season lightly with salt and pepper plus the rice wine, if using.

Kung Pao Sauce:

  • Prepare the sauce. Add all sauce ingredients in a bowl and stir. You can also adjust the flavor of the sauce to your taste, if you like. It should have a balance of sweet and salty. I usually just taste it and adjust it to my liking. Set aside when done.
  • Heat a medium skillet on medium high heat with oil. Sear shrimp on one side for 2 minutes.
  • Add bell pepper, garlic, ginger, chili flakes, and cashew nuts. Cook by stir-frying for another 2 minutes until bell pepper is fragrant.
  • Add the sauce to the skillet and bring to a simmer until the sauce thickens. Add a bit of water if you want more sauce.
  • Remove, garnish with green onions and sesame. Serve with steamed rice. Enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 223kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 21gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0.02gCholesterol: 122mgSodium: 1027mgPotassium: 422mgFiber: 1gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 176IUVitamin C: 16mgCalcium: 67mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Asian shrimp recipe, Asian shrimp recipes, cashew nut shrimp, cashew shrimp
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Last updated on April 25th, 2024 at 06:51 pm

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