Quick and easy Kung Pao Shrimp comes together lightning fast with ingredients you likely already have on hand. If you love shrimp, stir fry, or Chinese takeout, this recipe is for you!
I posted a Healthy Kung Pao Chicken Recipe and a Paleo Sweet and Sour Shrimp recipe a few months ago, and you all loved them both! I figured I just had to revisit the topic by providing the Kung Pao shrimp counterpart!
If you’re a fan of all things Kung Pao, you’ll absolutely love how simple this recipe is! As one does on a healthy food recipe site, I took creative liberties to swap out some of the traditional ingredients in Kung Pao for ingredients that are cleaner (less-inflammatory).
You probably have everything you need on hand already!
So let’s do it!
What is Kung Pao Shrimp?:
In case you are new to Kung Pao, no sweat. I have info.
Kung Pao Shrimp originates from South-Western China and is a stir-fried dish of shrimp, vegetables, and chili peppers. It is sweet, spicy, sticky and a tad sour, with crispy pan-fried shrimp in a thick delicious sauce.
Traditional Kung Pao Shrimp calls for cornstarch for thickening the sauce, but I use tapioca flour as a replacement. If you’re fine with using cornstarch, feel free to make the substitution!
Wine or sherry is traditionally included in the Kung Pao sauce. I go with white wine (like sauvignon blanc), but you can replace it with chicken broth if you don’t cook with alcohol. I do find that a dry white wine gives the dish delicious rich flavor.
I also keep the recipe soy-free by using coconut aminos (you can also use liquid aminos or soy sauce) and pure maple syrup instead of brown sugar.
When all is said and done, this meal is grain-free, soy-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, and a take on Kung Pao Shrimp.
Bonus: it’s so easy to prepare, you can make it whenever you please! No marinating or fancy maneuvers necessary…just you, the ingredients, and a skillet!
BOOM! Kung Pao!
How to Make Kung Pao Shrimp:
Combine the ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl or measuring cup and set aside until ready to use.
In a large skillet, heat the avocado oil over medium-high heat.
Transfer the shrimp to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until pink and nearly cooked through. Add the bell pepper, chilies, and garlic and continue cooking until garlic is fragrant, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Add the remaining ingredients and the sauce and bring to a full boil. Cook, stirring consistently until the sauce is thick, shrimp are cooked through, and the peppers reach desired doneness.
Taste the shrimp for flavor and add sea salt to taste.
Serve with choice of steamed rice, cauliflower rice, or side dish of choice.
If you’re into fried rice, consider making my Basil Fried Rice, Kimchi Fried Rice, or Red Curry Fried Rice.
- Make it Low-FODMAP by omitting the garlic, green onion, and sriracha (don’t add chilies).
- To make the recipe Whole30, omit the pure maple syrup and use broth instead of wine.
- Make it Paleo by using broth instead of wine.
- In order to make the recipe Low-Carb or Keto, use liquid aminos instead of coconut aminos and omit the pure maple syrup. If you’d like, you can add a couple teaspoons of sugar-free sweetener.
- Replace the coconut aminos with liquid aminos, tamari, or soy sauce.
- Add some heat by incorporating 1 to 2 Thai chilies.
- Make the recipe very mild by omitting the sriracha.
30-Minute Kung Pao Shrimp
A quick, easy, and healthier take on one of your favorite takeout meals!
Kung Pao Sauce:
- 3 Tbsp white wine
- 3 Tbsp coconut aminos or liquid aminos
- 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 Tbsp sriracha*
- 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup, optional
Kung Pao Shrimp:
- 2 Tbsp avocado oil
- 16 ounces shrimp (fresh or frozen)
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 to 2 red or green chilies, chopped, optional*
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (8-oz.) can water chestnuts
- 3 stalks green onion, chopped
- ½ cup raw cashews
1. Combine the ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl or measuring cup and set aside until ready to use.
2. In a large skillet, heat the avocado oil over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until pink and nearly cooked through. Add the bell pepper, chilies, and garlic and continue cooking until garlic is fragrant, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and the sauce and bring to a full boil. Cook, stirring consistently until the sauce is thick, shrimp are cooked through, and the peppers reach desired doneness.
3. Taste the shrimp for flavor and add sea salt to taste. Serve with choice of steamed rice, cauliflower rice, or side dish of choice.
Nutrition InformationYield 4 Serving Size 1 of 3
Amount Per Serving Calories 437Total Fat 24gCarbohydrates 17gFiber 1gSugar 8gProtein 34g
Wednesday 31st of March 2021
This recipe was very good. So easy and quick for a weeknight meal. I used a 1/4 cup of water with 2 Tbsp of cornstarch to thicken. We will definitively be making this recipe again.
Wednesday 31st of March 2021
I'm so happy you like it, Karen!! Many thanks for letting me know! xoxo
Tuesday 9th of March 2021
This was absolutely delicious. Followed recipe to a T with the exception of changing maple syrup for honey. I will definitely be making this again and again. Thanks for sharing.
Wednesday 10th of March 2021
I'm so thrilled to hear it, Nancy!! Thanks so much for letting me know!! oxoxoxox