Kung Pao Shrimp (and how to make shrimp extra plump)
This dish is an easy Chinese stir-fry that features extra plump and crunchy shrimp with the help of a secret ingredient.
Do you ever have problems when cooking your shrimp? They shrink in size, sometimes get dry if you cook them too long, etc. Well I learned a simple technique to keep the shrimp plump, juicy and crunchy. I’m so excited to share it.
The shrimp don’t shrink at all. Instead they actually expand and stays plump and juicy during the cooking process.
The secret? Baking soda. You soak the shrimp in some baking soda for about 20-30 minutes. And when you cook your shrimp, you’ll see the results. Kung Pao Shrimp tastes so much better with plump shrimp.
- 8 oz medium or large shrimp deveined and shelled (cut in half if using large shrimp)
- 1 heaping tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp vegetable oil
- 3 tbsp roasted peanuts
- 6 chili peppers
- 1/2 tsp Sichuan peppercorns
- 1 clove of garlic minced
- 1 scallion finely chopped
For the sauce
- 3 tbsp light soy sauce
- 2 tbsp shaoxing cooking wine
- 2 tsp granulated white sugar
- 1 tsp black vinegar
- 4 tbsp water
- 1 tsp cornstarch
Add shrimp to a medium-sized bowl and submerge in cold water. Add 1 heaping tsp baking soda into water and dissolve. Massage shrimp gently to mix baking soda in. Let shrimp soak for 20-30 minutes before removing water and rinsing shrimp (make sure to rinse so that your shrimp don't taste bitter from lingering baking soda).
Add oil to the wok and turn stove heat to medium-high. Add in garlic and cook until aroma comes out. Add in shrimp and stir-fry until shrimp are just cooked. Stir in chili peppers and peppercorns. Add in peanuts and cook for about another minute.
Mix sauce ingredients in a small bowl, making sure cornstarch is dissolved. Heat sauce in a small saucepan until it thickens. Then add sauce into wok and cook for a few minutes until shrimp is completed coated in sauce. Garnish with scallions. Serve warm with rice.
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have. All images and content are © Kirbie's Cravings.
Kung Pao Shrimp
Amount Per Serving (0.5 of recipe)
Calories 368 Calories from Fat 143
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 4.5g28%
Polyunsaturated Fat 3.6g
Monounsaturated Fat 6.6g
Vitamin A 250IU5%
Vitamin C 268.1mg325%
Net Carbs 25g50%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.