I could never leave a Chinese restaurant without ordering a plate of honey walnut shrimp, but ever since I started studying at UCSB, I haven’t had the chance to eat one of my favorite dishes as often as I’d like. Of course, the honey walnut shrimp at Panda Express is always an option, but there’s just something different about the way the dish is made at an authentic Chinese restaurant. This recipe comes pretty close to the honey walnut shrimp dishes that I always loved to eat back home in L.A., and it pairs well with some stir-fried broccoli and white rice.
Ingredients (for the candied walnuts):
- ¼ cup halved walnuts
- 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
- ¼ cup of white sugar
Ingredients (for the sauce):
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- ½ tablespoons honey (up to 1 tablespoon, if desired)
- ½ tablespoon condensed milk (up to 1 tablespoon, if desired)
Ingredients (for the shrimp):
- 1 pound medium or large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
- ½ cup cornstarch or tapioca starch
- 1 egg, beaten
- Salt and pepper
- Vegetable or canola oil
- In a medium-sized pan over medium-high heat, add all the ingredients for the candied walnuts. Stir frequently for five minutes until the sugar is caramelized and all the walnuts are coated evenly with the butter and sugar mixture.
- Place the walnuts on a parchment paper-lined plate and separate them to avoid clumping. Let them dry.
- Combine all the ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl and adjust the honey and condensed milk ratios to your liking.
- Pat your shrimp dry with a paper towel and season them with salt and pepper.
- Coat each shrimp in the egg and then in the cornstarch immediately after. Make sure to press the shrimp down into the cornstarch and that the entire shrimp is evenly coated. Shake off the excess cornstarch.
- In a large pan, heat up the oil between 350 and 375 degrees Fahrenheit for frying. Working in batches, fry 10 shrimp at a time until golden brown on both sides. This will take about one to two minutes for each side.
- When ready, place each batch of shrimp onto a paper towel-lined plate to soak up the excess oil.
- When all the batches are fried and have cooled down a bit, transfer everything to a plate and coat the shrimp generously with the sauce mixture. Add the walnuts to the plate and combine it.
Although it may seem like there are a lot of elements to this dish, it is actually very easy to make and budget-friendly too. The recipe makes four servings so you can cook this for your housemates or family, or save it for later in the fridge.