Zac Posen's Kung Pao Shrimp

Zac Posen demonstrates his mother's Kung Pao recipe at the Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival.

Zac Posen's Kung Pao Shrimp

Prep Time


Cook Time



4 people

Our friends at Smirnoff recently partnered with fashion designer and new cookbook author, Zac Posen during the Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival.

The 4-day event was held on the historic grounds of the Marble House and Rosecliff Mansion estates. During the festival, Posen hosted a cooking demonstration, featuring his recipe for Kung Pao Shrimp from his new cookbook, “Cooking With Zac. Recipes from Rustic to Refined.”

A fashion-designing powerhouse, this is Posen’s first cookbook. The Kung Pao recipe is one of his mother’s signature dishes, that she prepares often throughout the year. Posen says the dish must be eaten just after cooking in the wok, and that it pairs well with white rice or clear noodles, which absorb the sauce.

In honor of his Smirnoff partnership at theWine & Food Festival, Posen paired his dish with a new flavor from Smirnoff’s Spiked Sparking Seltzer line, Rasperry Rosé.

Photo credit: The Preservation Society of Newport County.


  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 pound (16-20) shrimp, peeled, deveined, and dried with paper towels
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup peanut oil
  • 12 garlic cloves, very finely minced
  • 1 piece (2-inches long) fresh ginger root, peeled and finely chopped
  • 8 scallions, green parts only, sliced on a bias into 1-inch pieces
  • As desired steamed white rice, for serving


  • 1 Whisk together the sugar, vinegar, and soy sauce in a medium bowl until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside.
  • 2 Line a large plate with a paper towel and set aside. Add the dried shrimp to a medium bowl and toss with the cornstarch. Heat the peanut oil in a wok or slope-sided large and deep skillet over high heat until it just starts to smoke, about 2 minutes.
  • 3 Add a shrimp - it should be immediately surrounded by bubbles. If it isn't, continue to heal the oil until bubbles engulf the shrimp.
  • 4 Continue adding the shrimp to the pan quickly, but one at a time. Cook, turning them often with tongs, until they are tightly curled, 1-2 minutes. Use a slotted spoon or frying spider to transfer the shrimp to the paper towel-lined plate.
  • 5 Add garlic and ginger to the pan and cook, stirring often, until it is very fragrant and just starting to take on color, about 2 minutes.
  • 6 Pour in soy-vinegar mixture and bring to a simmer. Return shrimp to the pan and toss to coat until sauce is thick and glossy, about 2 minutes.
  • 7 Turn off the heat and transfer shrimp to a platter. Serve sprinkled with scallions and with rice on the side.


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