Today, i am welcoming you all with the sweetness and inviting you to enjoy the crunch and crisp of our new dish that is Honey Walnut Shrimp. I love making this simple and lighter version of honey walnut shrimp at home – it’s not only easy but also more budget-friendly than ordering it from a restaurant. Shrimp is a go-to protein for us because it cooks up quickly and is incredibly versatile.
You might have seen my recipes for Peel and Eat Shrimp and Shrimp and Grits, exploring various flavors. Now, let’s dive into the world of Chinese cuisine with my homemade honey walnut shrimp. Instead of a heavy batter, I opt for a light dusting of cornstarch.
This gives the shrimp a delightful crispiness without making it too heavy or soggy. Plus, I can’t resist those crunchy candied walnuts – I always make an extra batch to ensure there’s enough for everyone!
What is Honey Walnut Shrimp?
If you’ve visited any Chinese restaurant in the U.S., you likely know and love honey walnut shrimp. Despite not being a big seafood fan, I find honey walnut shrimp irresistibly delicious. The dish strikes a perfect balance with a hint of sweetness from honey and a savory crunch from the tempura batter.
Making it at home is super simple and feels much fresher and more flavorful, especially when cooked with love. Personally, I adore the crunchy walnuts coated in a simple syrup – they’re a perfect standalone snack!
Where Does Honey Walnut Shrimp Originated From?
Honey walnut shrimp probably originated in Hong Kong and found its way to the United States in the 1980s and 1990s, though the exact origins of the dish are not entirely clear.
Surprisingly, a lot of my younger Hong Kong acquaintances had never heard of this meal. Yet, there is a treasure trove of anecdotes and recollections linked to it when one speaks with the elder generations. My Grandma told me a story about her childhood in Hong Kong in the ’60s and ’70s when walnut prawns were a common dish at family dinners.
This meal offered a more budget-friendly alternative to pricey seafood options like steamed grouper or abalone, and walnuts and prawns were both seen as celebratory and opulent at the time.
Chinese banquets and takeaway menus in the United States often offer honey walnut shrimp, which is a very popular dish these days. This recipe is sure to be a hit with your friends and family because of how easy it is to create.
Overview: How to Make Honey Walnut Shrimp?
Making candied walnuts is the first step in this simple but delicious honey walnut shrimp dish. They give a sweet and crunchy component. To make the walnuts, boil some water and sugar. Toss in the walnuts and simmer for a minute or two. After that, drain and set them on a baking sheet to dry.
The batter begins with whipped egg whites and continues with the addition of mochiko until the mixture reaches a pasty consistency. Next, the shrimp are dipped in the mochiko batter and cooked in batches, one at a time, in heated oil until they attain a stunning golden brown color, which typically takes approximately 5 minutes per batch. Using a slotted spoon, transfer them from the fryer and set them on paper towels to drain.
Lastly, in a medium-sized serving bowl, combine the mayonnaise, honey, and sweetened condensed milk to create a delicious sauce. To coat the fried shrimp completely, they are tossed in this delicious sauce. Lastly, a lovely texture is added to the dish by sprinkling candied walnuts on top. With just the right amount of sweetness and crunch, these handmade honey walnut shrimp will be a hit with guests, and if you love its taste truly then can definitely go for Honey Glazed Walnut.
Best Honey Walnut Shrimp Recipe
- Small Saucepan
- Cookie sheet
- Medium bowl
- Whisk (or fork for whipping egg whites)
- Heavy deep skillet
- Slotted Spoon
- Paper Towels
- Medium serving bowl
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 2/3 cup mochiko (glutinous rice flour)
- 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 tbsp honey
- 2/3 cup white sugar
- 4 large egg whites
- 1 cup vegetable oil for frying
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp anned sweetened condensed milk
Prepare Candied Walnuts:
- Mix water and sugar in a saucepan, bring to a boil.
- Add walnuts, boil for 2 minutes, then drain onto a cookie sheet to dry.
Make Mochiko Batter:
- Whisk egg whites in a bowl until foamy.
- Stir in mochiko until it forms a pasty consistency.
- Heat oil in a deep skillet over medium-high heat.
- Dip shrimp in mochiko batter and fry in batches until golden brown (about 5 minutes).
- Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
- Mix mayonnaise, honey, and sweetened condensed milk in a serving bowl.
- Toss fried shrimp in the sauce to coat.
- Sprinkle candied walnuts on top.
- Serve and enjoy!
- Adjust the sauce’s sweetness according to your preference. To taste, adjust the amount of honey and sweetened condensed milk.
- Before you cook the shrimp in batter, make sure the oil reaches a temperature of 350°F. The upside of cooking shrimp quickly is that they are fully cooked by the time the exterior turns a golden brown color.
- Avoid overcrowding the skillet and cook the shrimp in tiny batches to ensure even cooking.
- Make sure the shrimp are coated uniformly without disturbing their crispy exterior texture by gently tossing them with the sauce.
Time For the Secret Tips!
- SHRIMP: Use raw, peeled, and deveined shrimp. If using frozen, ensure it’s fully defrosted before cooking.
- CORNSTARCH BATTER: The key to light and crispy shrimp. Cornstarch balances the richness of the mayo-based sauce.
- WHITE PEPPER: Substitute carefully if using black pepper. White pepper is milder, so adjust ratios. Consider keeping white pepper in your pantry.
- CANDIED WALNUTS: Homemade is recommended for control over sweetness. If buying, skip step #3 in the recipe.
- MAYO: Japanese mayo (like Kewpie) is used, but any mayo works.
- LEMON JUICE: Substitute with rice vinegar if needed.
- NEUTRAL OIL: Avocado, canola, or vegetable oil is preferred. Avoid olive oil for its low burning point and potential flavor mismatch.
Possible Variations and Substitutions
Variations with oil: Peanut oil works just as well as regular oil when frying shrimp, if that’s your preference. It changes the dish’s flavor profile somewhat without sacrificing its deliciousness.
Using Air fryer: Feel free to use your air fryer if you have one; it would be perfect for these shrimp. Even though they won’t get quite as crispy as frying, they’re still delicious and nice enough.
Options for Protein: Try out a variety of proteins. Chicken or tofu are good alternatives to shrimp if you want to change up the texture and flavor. You can personalize the recipe according to your taste or dietary restrictions in this way.
What Goes Well With Honey Walnut Shrimp?
Storing and Reserving
- Transfer to Airtight Container: Save Any Leftover Honey Walnut Shrimp by Transferring Them to an Airtight Container. The shrimp will stay fresher for longer and won’t pick up any fridge smells this way.
- Quickly Transfer to the Refrigerator: Put the sealed container in the fridge without delay following your meal. Shrimp remain safe for consumption when refrigerated because it slows down the growth of bacteria.
- Constrained Space for Keeping Time: Try to finish off the leftovers in a couple of days. Taste and quality are guaranteed to be at their best. The texture and taste can begin to deteriorate after this time.
- Reheating for Crispy Texture: Use the oven for the best results when reheating for a crispy texture. Lay out a baking sheet and get the oven preheated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Add the honey walnut shrimp. To maintain a crispy exterior on the shrimp, bake for about 10 minutes.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q:1 Which Oil should be used for Frying?
A. Peanut and corn oil are ideal for sautéing and stir-frying since their smoke point is 450°F, which is higher than the smoke point of most cooking oils.
Q:2 Can we oit using honey?
A. Yes, if you tart sauces to sweet ones, however honey is always welcome!
Q:3 Can we use store based walnuts?
A. Yes, you can but i will prefer you to do their preparation at home for an extra crisp.