The Shrimp Incident (Kung Pao Shrimp)

The Shrimp Incident

When you make Kung Pao Shrimp, make sure you put 11 shrimp on each serving so you don’t have an incident!

Inspired by Curb Your Enthusiasm episode “The Shrimp Incident”

It’s always a big event when Curb your Enthusiasm comes back for another season. That’s because Larry David seems to make episodes whenever he feels like it. I wanted to make a recipe inspired by the show for the season 8 premiere last weekend. At first I thought of making the Larry David Sandwich, but it sounds awful, and the whole point of that episode was him trying to trade sandwiches with Ted Danson. I also pondered whipping up a batch of Benadryl Brownies, but most people I know who get sick are more than willing to take medicine on their own.

I finally settled on kung pao shrimp from the classic season 2 episode “The Shrimp Incident”. This is one of my all time favorite episodes. Larry orders some take out Chinese food, and when he gets home, he finds only 3 shrimp in the order. He immediately assumes someone ate his shrimp!

Gather the ingredients

This recipe came together pretty easily with stuff I mostly had on hand. Some citrus juice, baby corn, snap peas, garlic, peanuts, walnuts, dried chili, soy sauce, and sesame oil.

all the ingredients

Cook the Kung Pao Shrimp from The Shrimp Incident

Veggies cook a bit, then garlic and chiles, then liquids and shrimp. When the shrimp is just about done cooking, add a cornstarch slurry to thicken it up.

corn, snap peas, garlic, and lots of chilis

Love this stuff!

the kung pao shrimp from the shrimp incident coming together

Make sure you don’t have your own Shrimp Incident

It is STRICT POLICY to put 11 shrimp in ever kung pao order. When you make this at home, you don’t need to worry about getting only 3 shrimp, or getting your orders mixed up with your enemies.

the kung pao shrimp from the shrimp incident

Everybody steals shrimp, and everybody lies about it! This is Hollywood!!! If Larry’s shrimp were this good, I would have stolen them too.

the kung pao shrimp from the shrimp incident

Twists on this recipe

I made a pretty basic and Americanized kung pao recipe based on this one. I changed it a bit and simplified it even more for the gimmicky nature of this blog post about The Shrimp Incident from Curb Your Enthusiasm. If you want a more authentic version, I love this recipe.

For more recipes from TV and movies, check out my BB8 Cheeseball, the churron from Broad City, and the everything bagel from Everything Everywhere All At Once.

The Shrimp Incident

A recipe inspired by the Curb Your Enthusiasm episode The Shrimp Incident.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Servings: 3 people
Calories: 1027kcal


  • 1 onion sliced
  • sesame oil
  • 1 cup chopped snap peas
  • 1 cup chopped baby corn
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 pounds shrimp cleaned and deveined
  • 3 oranges
  • 2 limes
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 5 roughly chopped dried arbol chiles
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 12 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup peanuts and walnuts
  • 12 oz lo mein noodles cooked and rinsed to package instructions


  • Saute some onions for 3 minutes in sesame oil, add the peas and corn, cook 3 minutes, add the garlic, cook 2 minutes, add 2 lbs shrimp, juice from 3 oranges and 2 limes, soy sauce, sesame oil, and a huge handful of dried chiles. Cook until the shrimp are mostly opaque.
  • Stir the cornstarch and water together in a small bowl and add it to the shrimp mixture. It will thicken as it simmers.
  • Finish with the nuts and serve with some lo mein noodles tossed in more sesame oil.
  • This came out fiery hot. Use less chiles or take out the seeds if you want to tone it down a bit


Calories: 1027kcal | Carbohydrates: 132g | Protein: 84g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 487mg | Sodium: 1388mg | Potassium: 1600mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 892IU | Vitamin C: 111mg | Calcium: 321mg | Iron: 4mg


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