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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