Kung Pao Shrimp

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Kung Pao shrimp is a take-out favorite but it’s even better made at home!

Tender juicy shrimp and bell peppers in a sauce with a little sweet heat. Top this dish with green onions and chopped peanuts for the perfect meal!

Kung Pao Shrimp over the top view in a frying pan

What is Kung Pao Shrimp?

Kung Pao shrimp is a sweet and spicy combination of fresh, crisp, sautéed veggies with shrimp.

The sauce for this recipe combines a bit of broth with bold flavors from soy sauce, hoisin and sesame oil. A sprinkle of chili flakes add some heat (add a little or a lot).

One of the most popular entrees on a Chinese food restaurant menu, you can also make Kung Pao chicken or beef.

ingredients to make kung pao shrimp on a wooden board


Medium-sized, peeled & deveined shrimp in this recipe, but any size will work great!

Bell peppers, and diced onion are sauteed with the shrimp until soft. Feel free to add mushrooms, baby corn, snap peas or diced zucchini!

This sauce is the star of this dish! Soy sauce, brown sugar, chicken stock, hoisin, and sesame oil are whisked together to create this sweet & savory sauce.

Peanuts set this dish apart from other take out favorites. Substitute with cashews if you don’t have peanuts.

vegetables for kung pao shrimp in a frying pan with sauce being poured over top

How To Make Kung Pao Shrimp

Just a few simple steps and a special dinner will be on the table!

  1. Toss shrimp with cornstarch & soy sauce (this tenderizes and adds a nice crust).
  2. Cook onions, then bell peppers and garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes.
  3. Simmer. Add the sauce to the skillet and the shrimp and cook until thickened.

Serve over rice or noodles.


  • Like most stir fry recipes, this comes together quickly so prep your ingredients beforehand.
  • Start with fresh, thawed peeled and de-veined shrimp and be sure not to overcook them.
  • For extra flavor on the dry roasted peanuts, saute them in a dry pan for a few minutes to make them extra crunchy!

Kung Pao Shrimp close up in a white bowl

Take Out Favorites

Did you love this Kung Pao Shrimp? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!


Kung Pao Shrimp over the top view in a frying pan
5 from 5 votes
Review Recipe

Kung Pao Shrimp

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4
Author Holly Nilsson
Course Dinner, Entree, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine American, Asian
Kung Pao Shrimp is full of flavor. Serve over rice or noodles for a dish that's better than takeout!


  • ¾ pound shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
Stir Fry
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper cut into chunks
  • 1 green bell pepper cut into chunks
  • 1 tablespoon garlic grated
  • 1 tablespoon ginger grated
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes more if desired
  • 3 green onions thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup dry roasted peanuts
  • cup low sodium chicken stock
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dry sherry
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch

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  • Combine shrimp, soy sauce, and cornstarch in a small bowl. Let marinate 10 minutes (while prepping the other vegetables). Combine sauce ingredients and set aside.
  • Heat vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add shrimp and stir-fry 2-3 minutes or just until it turns pink (it will continue to cook in the sauce). Remove from the pan and set aside.
  • Add more oil to the pan if needed and add onions. Cook 2-3 minutes or until they start to soften.
  • Add in the red and green bell pepper, garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes. Cook for about 5 minutes or just until the vegetables start to soften.
  • Add the sauce and cook until it begins to thicken. Stir in the shrimp and simmer 1 minute more or just until cooked through.
  • Stir in green onions and peanuts and serve over rice.

Recipe Notes

Leftovers can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. 
Reheat in the microwave or in a pan until heated through. 

Nutrition Information

Calories: 288, Carbohydrates: 17g, Protein: 23g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 215mg, Sodium: 1931mg, Potassium: 376mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 1205IU, Vitamin C: 70mg, Calcium: 153mg, Iron: 3mg
Keyword how to make kung pao shrimp, kung pao shrimp, kung pao shrimp recipe
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Kung Pao Shrimp close up in a white bowl with writing
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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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