For a spicier kick to the pungent Kung Pao glaze, leave the seeds in the chiles. Chinese black vinegar has a deep, almost smoky taste. Look for it in Asian markets, or substitute balsamic vinegar for a sweeter flavor to this shrimp dish.
1 tablespoon Shaoxing (Chinese rice wine), dry sherry, or sake
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound peeled and deveined medium shrimp
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon Chinese black vinegar or balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
3/4 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon dark sesame oil
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 1/3 cups thinly sliced green bell pepper strips (about 1 large)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
3 to 4 small dried hot red chiles, broken in half and seeded
1/4 cup chopped unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts
3 cups hot cooked short-grain rice
How to Make It
To prepare shrimp, combine first 4 ingredients; cover and chill 10 minutes.
To prepare sauce, combine sugar and next 5 ingredients (through sesame oil).
Heat a 14-inch wok over high heat. Add canola oil to wok, swirling to coat. Add bell pepper, garlic, ginger, and chiles to wok; stir-fry 1 minute or just until chiles begin to lightly brown (do not burn). Add shrimp mixture to wok; stir-fry 2 minutes or until shrimp are done. Stir sauce; add sauce to wok. Stir-fry 30 seconds or until sauce thickens. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts. Serve over rice.
4 1/2 stars. CL shows 2 different Kung Pao Shrimp recipes and this one is by far our favorite. I typically substitute red pepper flakes for the dried red chilies and it works fine. A very satisfying meal that is every bit as good as take out. Easy too.
Very good, this recipe may have spoiled me for Chinese restaurants. I only used about 3/4 lbs of shrimp, because there were only two of us. I also added celery and carrots. I didn't have peanuts, so I used cashews. I didn't seed my two dried peppers and it wasn't too hot. If I was going to use 1 1/2 lbs of shrimp I would double the sauce.
The best Kung Pao recipe I have tried so far. I love that it does not use and of the pastes and sauces (chili, black bean etc) that create a sense of "sameness" in many dishes. I will be using this for chicken as well on a regular basis. Only changes I made: added some diced zucchini in with the green pepper (I need to eat more veggies) & added the peanuts and some finely chopped green onion to the wok in the last 30 seconds of stir fry and also before adding sauce. Really clean and very much like my favorite Hunan place here in San Francisco.