It is surprising that we would actually make Honey Walnut Shrimp, seeing that we both dislike mayonnaise! We’ve always been indifferent to this classic Chinese dish that is typically served as one of the 10-courses of a wedding banquet – in fact, it was served at our wedding! I’ve always been curious as to how it’s made, so with a bit of research and ingredients, we ventured to make our version at home that is lighter on the mayo. The crispy battered shrimp is tossed in a creamy honey sauce and topped with candied walnuts for a delectable course to be eaten with rice. It’s definitely a fun way to do something different with shrimp!
The first thing is to prepare the candied walnuts. In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup water with 2/3 cup sugar to a boil. Next, add 1 cup of walnuts and continue boiling for a few minutes until it has a nice glaze over the walnuts.
Place the walnuts on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and set aside. Don't put them on paper towels or they will stick! And feel free to pop a few in your mouth.
Next comes the shrimp! We used 1 lb. of 41/50 ct. large shrimp that's been peeled and deveined.
For the batter, whip 3 egg whites in a bowl until foamy. Add 1/2 cup cornstarch and season with salt and pepper. Toss the shrimp into the batter mixture to coat evenly, as shown. Make sure you add the shrimp to the batter immediately before frying. Don't let it sit in the batter!
Now the frying begins! Heat oil until 350-degrees and drop a few of the battered shrimp into the oil and fry on each side for a couple minutes until golden brown. You don't want to put all of the shrimp in at once because it will drop the temperature of the oil!
The shrimp should look plump and crispy after the deep-fry bath. Set it on paper towels to absorb excess oil.
For the creamy dressing, stir together 3 tbsp mayo, 2 tbsp honey, 1 tbsp lemon juice, and 1 tbsp condensed milk. Mix it together and taste it to see if you prefer it sweeter or creamier. Once you like the consistency and flavor, add the fried shrimp and toss to coat with the sauce.
Don't forget to sprinkle with the candied walnuts before serving! So for those of you like me who never knew how this dish was made, now you have a clear image of the 3-step process: walnuts, batter/deep fry shrimp, and coat with creamy sauce. We had a few friends over the night we made this and they graciously helped us eat the Honey Walnut Shrimp, like it was candy. I especially like the fact that we were able to control the amount of mayo in this dish so it didn't overwhelm our tastebuds. Overall, we thought it was a pretty good outcome for our first attempt!
To view or print-out this recipe, click here: Honey Walnut Shrimp