Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Kung Pao Shrimp

Ah, so!  Here goes the white girl trying to make Chinese food again!  I had my brother, his girlfriend, and my mom over for dinner, and this Kung Pao Shrimp lasted about two minutes!  There were a few left on my plate to get a small picture.  omm nom nom.  See now... If I didn't try shrimp shish-kabobs a couple weeks ago, I would have missed out on this tasty dish.  However, if you're not a shrimp fan, you can use chicken.  It would still be amazing.  Next time you're craving Chinese food, make it yourself!  It's not hard, but if you're not a multi-tasker, you're out of luck.  
Kung Pao Shrimp:
source: Here in America's Test Kitchen: 2002

1 pound shrimp (I used medium)
1 T dry sherry or rice wine
2 t soy sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 t ginger
3 T vegetable oil
1/2 c peanuts
1 t red pepper flakes (more or less depending on how much hot, hot heat you like)
3/4 c chicken broth
2 t rice vinegar
2 t Asian sesame oil
1 T oyster-flavored sauce
1 T hoisin sauce
1 1/2 t corn starch
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
3 medium scallions, diced thin

Here is a picture of all of the not-so-common ingredients.  They can all be found in the Oriental section in the grocery store.  Unless you live in an itty-bitty town.  Then, you might have to take a road trip, order some, or just chicken out and buy the pre-made Chinese food.  
In a small bowl, mix the garlic, ginger, and 1 T vegetable oil.  Set aside.

In another small bowl, mix the peanuts and red pepper flakes.  Set aside.

In another somewhat larger bowl, mix the chicken stock, rice vinegar, sesame oil, oyster-flavored sauce, hoisin sauce, and corn starch.  Here a tip for you- Put the corn starch in a small bowl or measuring cup.  Scoop a couple tablespoonfuls of the chicken stock mixture in with the cornstarch to make a paste.  Add the paste back in with the chicken stock stuff.  If you just dump the corn starch in, you will have lumps all over the place.  Mixing it with liquid first prevents any lumps from showing up in your sauce. Set this bowl aside as well.

In a 12 inch skillet, heat 1 T oil over medium-high heat.  Add shrimp to cook, stirring frequently for about 40 seconds.
 Add the peanuts and red pepper flakes.  Cook for another 40 seconds or so, stirring often. Remove this to a bowl and set aside.
 In the same pan, add 1 T of oil.  Swirl it around to cover the bottom.  Add the diced red pepper and cook until the peppers are softened, about 20 seconds.
 Add the garlic-ginger mixture.  The garlic will scorch fast, so you only need to cook this for about ten seconds.
 Add the chicken broth stuff.
 Add the shrimp and peanuts back into the pan.

Cook it for about one minute.  The mixture will thicken to a nice saucy consistency.  Put it in a serving bowl and top with the chopped green onions.

I served this with fried rice, cream cheese rangoons, stir-fry vegetables, and skewered gingered beef (coming soon).  This would go awesome with the sweet and sour chicken as well.  One of these days, I'll make my dad's egg rolls and post them on here.  They are my favorite, and no one makes them quite like him.  Yes, we are very caucasian, but we love Chinese food!  fa-ra-ra!

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