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Apr 19 2011

Honey Walnut Shrimp

Published by at 9:15 pm under Cooking at Home

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

24 responses so far

24 Responses to “Honey Walnut Shrimp”

  1. Markon 19 Apr 2011 at 9:45 pm

    These things were a treat to eat! +1 on the mayo control. The texture came out better and the flavors were so much more distinct. Great job on the recipe!

  2. thefoodaddictson 19 Apr 2011 at 9:54 pm

    Thanks Mark!! Glad you guys enjoyed the Honey Walnut Shrimp! It was great having you guys over.. and Chester loved playing with Bosco! We’ll have another doggy play date and we’ll cook again!

  3. Quyen - Kitchen Runwayon 19 Apr 2011 at 10:12 pm

    Oh…one of my favorites! I’ve never made this at home — looking forward to trying your recipe!

  4. Sarah Non 19 Apr 2011 at 10:34 pm

    Thank you for having us over. Your version of the Honey walnut shrimp is super delicious! The twist of light mayo is not only healthy but also makes the honey flavor more intense ( just the right amount if course). Yum!

  5. suzie greenon 19 Apr 2011 at 10:41 pm

    Oh my!! this looks divine …. the walnuts alone I could eat! So glad to be a friend , wish you would put out more recipes!! I like the way you show step by step , so we can see how and what it is to look like!!

  6. Sandyon 19 Apr 2011 at 10:45 pm

    Hey this recipe looks (relatively) easy. Who knew? Maybe I can prep this meal next time to impress my mom when she comes back!

  7. Amyon 19 Apr 2011 at 11:53 pm

    I’ve always loved this dish but never tried to make it at home. Your final picture looks better than the restaurant versions! I can’t wait to try it. Thanks!

  8. Savoriqueon 20 Apr 2011 at 1:10 am

    Thanks for this inspiring recipe. The only twist I would apply to it is breaking down the candied walnuts in tiny pieces to sprinkle them over (just like I do over my salad).
    The candied walnuts idea is new to me so thank you for bringing it up. After a quick search on google, I realize there are many recipes for them but haven’t found prepared candied walnuts (ready to use) for sale yet. I’ll look further…

  9. Nanetteon 21 Apr 2011 at 8:10 am

    Dan: This is my favorite Chinese dish. At the restaurant where I order this, it’s called, “Happy Shrimp” and boy does it bring a smile to my lips. I use a similar recipe as the one you posted and just took photos of my last “creation”, so I can post it on my blog. Readers will get a double dose of this fabulous recipe, but it’s worth it. Great cooks, think alike :) N

  10. Lori Lynnon 21 Apr 2011 at 8:10 pm

    Sounds like such an interesting recipe. Photos are terrific, as always.

  11. Kung Food Pandaon 25 Apr 2011 at 1:07 am

    I’d have to say I’m a sucker for this dish at Chinese restaurants.

  12. Jessicaon 27 Apr 2011 at 8:37 am

    YUM! Just came across your wonderful blog on foodbuzz & am a new follower!
    - Jessica @

  13. Chef Eon 28 Apr 2011 at 8:54 am

    What a great recipe. I have this bag of walnuts I bought LOL an industrial size and need to use them up. I am making this tonight!
    Chef E´s last [type] ..What To Do With Leftover Cereal

  14. Papacheongon 02 May 2011 at 12:00 am

    Look so nice! Must be very Yummy!


  15. Angelaon 10 Aug 2011 at 7:28 pm

    Made this tonight for the 1st time. This was the best and easiest recipe I found online. I cannot wait to check out the rest of your site for more ideas. And I love that you post the pictures with the step by step directions. GREAT job. =)

  16. Brookeon 03 Sep 2011 at 6:27 pm

    I love the pictures!
    I’m going to try to cook it tonight.
    I love this dish when we order out.

  17. Matthew Gastronomeon 11 Sep 2011 at 1:21 pm

    In many of my recipes I replace mayonaise or salad dressing with greek yogurt. Would I be able to do the same with this recipe?

  18. thefoodaddictson 12 Sep 2011 at 9:43 am


    We have never heard of replacing yogurt for this recipe. It doesn’t hurt to give it a try. If it ends up working out let us know so we can try this substitute as well.


    Daniel @ the food addicts

  19. Jesson 28 Oct 2011 at 1:16 pm

    have you ever tried not frying the shrimp (maybe baking with a breading or potentially just pan cooking without breading) and cooking and then using the sauce?

    I’m trying to lighten it up a bit more by not frying but haven’t been able to find a ‘similar’ recipe without it being fried.


  20. thefoodaddictson 31 Oct 2011 at 8:50 am

    Hey Jess,

    Yes we have tried baking and pan frying and it just doesn’t come out the same. The breading becomes too soggy.

    Daniel @ the food addicts

  21. Kennieon 08 Feb 2012 at 11:15 pm

    Loved this! Tried it tonight and my hubbie thought I snuck of the Panda Express. Only difference, I had some tempura batter that I used instead of the egg wash batter and used more honey in my glaze. Delish!

  22. [...] Honey Walnut Shrimp, a regular on Chinese restaurant menus (and one of my favorites) can be made at home with just a few ingredients. I haven’t yet tried this recipe, but I like that it uses less mayonnaise than other versions I’ve seen. [...]

  23. Adeliaon 26 Jun 2013 at 5:59 pm

    Hi, My husband made this and it is delicious; it is very close to the Honeyed Pecan Prawns I’ve eaten in Chinese restaurants. Thanks.

  24. [...] Honey Walnut Shrimp, a regular on Chinese restaurant menus (and one of my favorites) can be made at home with just a few ingredients.  I haven’t yet tried this recipe, but I like that it uses less mayonnaise than other versions I’ve seen. [...]

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