My good neighbor brought over a nice bag of these fine Kung Pao peppers so naturally I thought of cooking what else - yeah, original I know. I returned the favor with several branches of Tabasco peppers - hey, the plants needed pruning so I just broke them off and besides, she could put them in water if wanting to prolong them. What, you think I had time to pick them off - must of been a hundred of those tiny buggers.
The peppers she gave me were fresh but I needed dried ones for this recipe although I do not know if it would have made a difference. Therefore, I set out to dry them in the oven. Here is what I read to do: Lay muslin cloth on the oven racks and place peppers about an inch apart. Turn the oven on low or about 140 degrees F. and place an oven mitt to ajar the door about half-an-inch. It didn't tell me how long so I waited. Checked the peppers after several hours. Waited some more. Checked them again and waited still some more. Oh, the heck with all that I finally thought, just throw the swiveled things in the wok when the time comes and hope for the best. As it turned out, it didn't really matter.
Kung Pao Shrimp
4 to 6 servings
1 1/2 lbs medium peeled and deveined shrimp
1 tablespoon dry sherry
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
Peanut oil for frying
4 to 6 small red dried hot chili peppers
3 cloves of garlic -minced
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1/2 cup roasted cashew nuts (or peanuts)
2 medium green onions -sliced
1 small white onion -diced
1/2 cup diced zucchini
1/2 green bell pepper -chopped
1/2 red bell pepper -chopped
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon dry sherry
3 tablespoons chicken broth
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
Combine the 1 tablespoon sherry, the cornstarch, salt and pepper in a medium bowl mixing well. Add the shrimp and marinate in the refrigerator for 15 to 20 minutes.
In a small bowl, mix the sauce ingredients together well and refrigerate.
Using a wok or large fry pan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil along with chiles and stir fry until the peppers begin to char just a little. Remove from the wok and set aside.
Add about 1 teaspoon more oil and stir fry the garlic and ginger for 15 seconds. Add the cashews and remaining vegetables cooking for a couple of minutes tossing all while. Cook until the onions begin to turn clear.
Return chile peppers to the wok, add the shrimp and toss to cook about 2 minutes or until the shrimp turns pink and meat is opaque.
Increase the heat and pour in the sauce. Cook stirring until the sauce thickens and is bubbly.
Remove from heat and serve with white rice.