Meat-Free Friday: Kung Pao Shrimp


This shrimp may have changed the way I feel about Chinese food. Seriously. I’ve talked before about how I’m not a huge fan of Chinese, but this is actually a dish that I can get excited about. I can tell I’ll be making it often.

I’ve always liked the flavors of kung pao when we get it out, but I hate the celery in it. I feel like more often than not it takes over the entire dish. This recipe has no celery. And it doesn’t seem like it’s missing anything at all. The sauce is very “authentic” tasting – sweet but not too sweet, a little bit spicy without being a “spicy” dish, glaze-like but not sticky or heavy. And the whole recipe contains very little oil. It was also filling, and I wasn’t hungry again later. Its pretty much everything that Chinese food should be.

I served the shrimp on top of brown rice and blanched snow peas, which was perfect. My only complaint is that there wasn’t’ enough sauce. That was my fault. I would have made more, but I didn’t’ realize that I was so low on soy sauce, so I made just enough sauce to use up the rest of it. Next time I’ll double or triple it so that there’s plenty of sauce to soak into the rice.

Kung Pao Shrimp

  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 6 tsp water
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • pinch Hungarian paprika
  • 1 tsp agave
  • 1 egg white
  • 3 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 Tbs water
  • 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tsp white wine
  • pinch salt
  • 1 Tbs grapeseed oil
  • 2 garlic scapes, chopped
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1 chili pepper, minced
  • 3 Tbs peanuts, chopped
  • brown rice and blanched snow peas, for serving

Combine first 7 ingredients (through agave) in a small bowl. Mix well. Pour into a small pan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and let reduce by about 1/4. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine egg white, cornstarch, and 1 Tbs water. Sprinkle shrimp with salt and wine, then add to the cornstarch mixture. Toss to coat.

Heat oil in a large frying pan or wok over high heat. Add scapes, green onion, and chilis. Cook 1 minute. Add shrimp (shake gently to remove excess batter) and peanuts. Cook about 4 minutes, or until shrimp is cooked through. Stir in sauce.

Serve with brown rice and snow peas.

Serves 2.


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  1. King pao shrimp is definitely a fav in my house. Actually I like kung pao anything. Though, shrimp being on the top, followed by chicken. Delish!!!

  2. this looks wonderful

  3. This looks really good. Thanks!

  4. Are you using the agave as a sweetener only? Can I substitute simple syrup or something similar?

  5. Rana: yes, I just used i to sweeten. You can sub plain sugar if you want. agave does tend to be a little sweeter than sugar though, so you might need to add more if you go that route. I’d taste as you go along.

  6. This really does look delicious. What type of camera are you using for photos?

  7. I want to grab a pair of chopsticks and just dig right into those shrimps! ;)

  8. I’m not a fan of Chinese food either, but your shrimp convinced me to give them a try. problem is, my mom just used the last batch of shrimps…grr…now I’ll have to wait till I hit the supermarket before I can try these! *sob*

  9. This looks delicious! I’ve never had Kunp Pao at a restaurant but made it with chicken at home and loved it. Next time I’ll be trying it with shrimp!

  10. Despite being allergic to shellfish, I have to say that looks really, really good. How is it meat free though?

  11. foodcreate says:

    Looks sooooo Tasty !

    Thanks for sharing your recipe:)

    post your comments Join!

    Have a Great Day :)

  12. ah! I am on such a shrimp kick right now and this looks VERY tasty. Homemade takeout is the best. Have a good one

  13. so delicious! I like that it serves 2; no one else here eats shrimp so double for me!

  14. Oh wow…this looks absolutely amazing! That gorgeous photo has me drooling and checking my cupboards for the ingredients :D

  15. thanks, everyone!

    Mary: I use a canon rebel xs

    John: I started Meat-Free Friday during Lent (during which Catholics abstain from “meat” but not fish/shellfish). I decided to continue the feature beyond Lent, and the name stuck. I do agree that it can be a little confusing, and I’ve been thinking about changing it. This recipe would be great with chicken or tofu if you don’t do shellfish And if you’re looking for vegetarian recipes, I do have a vegetarian category for recipes without meat or fish.

  16. I’m not a big fan of spicy food but I’m sure I can adjust the heat. This looks awesome!

  17. that looks sooooo good, I was just staring at the pictures… so glad it inspired a slight love for Chinese :)

  18. Kung Pao shrimps looks really delicious…..

    Angie’s Recipes

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