Kung Pao Shrimp With Chilies and Cashews

Kung Pao shrimp

Lauri Patterson / Getty Images

  • Total: 25 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 5 mins
  • Servings: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
223 Calories
7g Fat
10g Carbs
30g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 223
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 9%
Saturated Fat 1g 7%
Cholesterol 227mg 76%
Sodium 987mg 43%
Total Carbohydrate 10g 4%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Protein 30g
Calcium 108mg 8%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Kung Pao Shrimp is a classic dish from the Sichuan Province located in the southwest region of China. Traditionally this dish is made with chicken but using shrimp adds a delicious seafood flavor. This dish has also become a staple of Western Chinese cuisine.

Kung Pao is named after Ding Baozhen a Chinese governor of the Sichuan Province in the 1800s. Baozhen lived during the late Qing Dynasty. The name Kung Pao actually comes from Baozhen's nickname Gongbao which translated to "Crown Prince's Tutor". Baozhen is remembered for his work on the Dujiangyan Irrigation Project. A statue to honor him has been erected in Dujiangyan City.

The traditional version of this recipe is very spicy and might not be suitable for those with a more bland palet. There are regional variations of this recipe throughout China. Provinces outside of Sichuan often have less spicy recipes. Although the western version of Kung Pao includes more orange flavors and a much tamer spice flavor, this recipe will keep to the traditional Chinese recipe. Although this recipe will not include the traditional Sichuan peppercorns which can cause one's mouth to go numb. Traditionally Kung Pao is known for being an incredibly spicy dish. 


  • 1 pound shrimp
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar (or, rice vinegar)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups oil (or, as needed)
  • 6 to 8 small red chilies (or, 2 teaspoons chili paste)
  • 1 teaspoon ginger (minced)
  • 1/2 cup cashews

Steps to Make It

  1. Shell and devein the shrimp. Cut in half lengthwise.

  2. Lightly beat the egg white. Marinate the shrimp in the salt, egg white and cornstarch for 15 minutes.

  3. In a small bowl, combine the chicken broth, vinegar, soy sauce, and sugar. Set aside.

  4. Heat the oil. When the oil is hot, add the shrimp.

  5. Cook briefly until the shrimp turns pink. Remove from the wok.

  6. Remove all but 2 tablespoons oil from the wok. Add the chili peppers or chili paste.

  7. Stir-fry for a minute, then add the minced ginger and stir-fry until it is aromatic (about 15 seconds). Stir in the cashews.

  8. Stir-fry for about 1 minute, taking care not to burn.

  9. Make a space in the middle of the wok. Add the sauce.

  10. Heat briefly, then mix in with the cashews. Add the shrimp back into the pan.

  11. Cook for 1 more minute and serve hot.