Kung Pao Mushroom is  made by using adding mushrooms to a Kung Pao sauce which gets its unique flavor from roasted peanuts and whole dried red chilies (peppers) being smoked in hot oil.

Kung Pao Mushroom

Is it just me or do the characters of any new series you begin to watch all look alike until you are couple of episodes into the season and start recognizing them by their names? Does the fact that this does not happen to me with Indian cinema/television as much make me a racist? Ha ha. I think our brains are conditioned to do so. In fact, my husband says that his non-Indian colleagues get confused with Indian faces all the time calling one by another’s name just before realizing they goofed up 😀

This is precisely what used to happen to me when I walked into a Chinese buffet!  I found myself wondering the reason they calling it by different names since they all look the same. Hmmm… This is what a non-Indian must be thinking at an Indian buffet. They all look the same, Curry! A spicy curry and a not-so spicy curry?? (If you are looking for a curry, recipe with mushroom, here is one) It is not until you have eaten it a couple of times or cooked it do you start recognizing the subtle yet obvious flavor differences.

Kung Pao Mushroom

In India, especially Bangalore, Chinese food has become so rampant that it is even sold from a cart just like falafels in New York. Except that that Chinese food cart in Bangalore is not owned by a Chinese man. Far from it; the person who owns it might not even have tasted Chinese food. The preparations are very tasty nevertheless! 😀 So, the Indian-ised  Chinese available in India comes only in two forms – Soy based (called Hunan gravies) and red chili based (called Shezwan gravies). Now, I am sure, you can relate to how everything looked the same to me at a Chinese buffet??

Today, I have been exposed enough to Asian cuisine that I can replicate flavors and recreate recipes. One of my favorites is Kung Pao mushroom. If you have not tried it before or it is not available where you live, you must make this at once. Kung Pao mushroom (or Tofu or vegetable) comes together quickly, is extremely tasty and can be incorporated into your weeknight meals too!

Kung Pao Mushroom

Here is the recipe for:

Kung Pao Mushroom


Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Serves: 2-3



  • 2 cups mushrooms (cleaned and cubed)
  • 3 tablespoons roasted peanuts
  • 8-12 dried red chilies
  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 2 inch piece ginger sliced into juliennes
  • 2 gloves garlic (sliced )
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell peppers (red capsicum)
  • 1/2 cup broth /water
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 1/2 tsp corn starch
  • 1 stalk green onion (chopped)
  • For the marinade:
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp oil
  • For the sauce:
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp fermented bean paste


  1. Mix the ingredients for the marinade and add the mushroom cubes into it. Cover and set aside for at least 15 min.
  2. Mix all ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Heat 1/2 tbsp oil in a wok.
  4. Add the diced red bell peppers and saute till golden. Set aside.
  5. Add 1 tbsp oil into the same pan and let it heat up. Add the marinated mushrooms (discard the excess marinade if any) and saute until they are turn golden. Set aside with the sautéed bell peppers.
  6. Add the remaining 1 1/2 tbsp of oil until it smokes.
  7. Add in the ginger and garlic slices. Just about 30 seconds later, add the dried red hilies broken into pieces.
  8. Stir fry the dried red chilies until aromatic and smell spicy.
  9. Add in half the roasted peanuts. Mix well.
  10. Add in the sauce and stir well. Add up to half cup water/broth as required.
  11. Add the sautéed mushrooms and red bell peppers. Mix well.
  12. Once the broth begins to boil, add the corn starch paste (made by mixing corn starch and 2 tbsp water)
  13. Stir continuously as the sauce thickens and turn off the heat.
  14. Garnish with remaining scallions and remaining peanuts and serve with a bowl of hot rice/noodles.

My Take:

The recipe can be used for cauliflower, tofu or even chicken. The chicken might require a longer marinating period and the cauliflower might require blanching before marinating.

If you do not have fermented bean paste, never mind. Just skip and continue. It lends a very distinct Asian restaurant food flavor but I have made it without too and it has turned out perfectly good

Yummily Yours'



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  1. Wow.. I am a biggggg fan of kang pao tofu. I love mushrooms too. Should try it with mushroom next time.
    Great pictures yaar.

  2. You’re killing me in this morning time 🙁 Not fair, Prash… Bookmarking it for making sometime soon!!

  3. Nicely made mushroom. Thanks for posting this international recipe 🙂

  4. definitely craving a bowl of this kung pao right now.. i think i know what im making for dinner tonight! thanks for the idea!

  5. Oh my goodness, Prash… Kung Pao is one of my favorite dishes! I’m pretty sure that I shouldn’t be trusted alone with this… especially if I’m expected to share it with others 😉


  7. Love kung pao and this meal looks like a great idea for Sunday lunch 😉

  8. Looks good! Can i get the bean paste from stores in Bangalore?

  9. I made this for dinner tonight and it came out amazing….Its the first dish amongst the ones I have made that tasted like the ones served in restaurants. Satiated the craving for good food that I had been having for quite some time. Thanks. Loved it!!!

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  11. Looks delicious, this post made me so hungry, Thank you for sharing, Love your blog.


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