Honey walnut shrimp is a super popular Chinese takeout dish that can be bit pricey to order often. With our recipe, you can now easily make it at home in 20 minutes when you have the cravings or for special occasions at a lower cost! Enjoy this honey walnut shrimps with some shrimp fried rice or simple egg fried rice to complete the meal!
Honey walnut shrimp is a Cantonese dish, originating from Honk Kong. It is a very popular banquet item served for special occasions such as weddings and other celebratory events. Now, it's also one of the most popular dishes offered at most Chinese restaurants, and for good reasons.
Honey walnut shrimp is made of shrimps that are battered and fried, then coated in a creamy, sweet, and savory made with mainly mayo, condensed milk, and honey. It is SO GOOD! Unfortunately, it is a pretty expensive dish to order often.
So here, we are sharing our favorite honey walnut shrimp recipe that you can easily replicate at home and takes only 20 minutes to make!
Please scroll down to the recipe card for the ingredient quantities!
- Shrimps - We used size 28/30 shrimps. Feel free to use smaller or large shrimps. Do note that the cook time will be different for different size shrimps.
- Shaoxing rice wine and salt - For seasoning the shrimps. The shaoxing rice wine is optional to help get rid of any unwanted seafood flavor.
- Cornstarch - Use to marinade the shrimps. Coating the shrimps in a little cornstarch helps protect it. If you prefer, you could use potato starch instead.
- Potato starch, egg, oil- To make the fry batter. Starches will create a crisper batter than flour and the egg gives the batter a nice flavor and good crisp.
- Mayo, condensed milk, honey - These are the main ingredients needed to make the honey walnut shrimp sauce. We used Kewpie mayo, but regular mayo is fine too. If you are looking for a dairy free alternative and don't mind coconut flavor, you can use coconut condensed milk instead.
- Lemon juice - This is optional to give the honey walnut shrimp sauce some acidity which brightens and helps to cut some heaviness from the sauce.
- Walnut - Can't have honey walnut shrimps without walnuts! Feel free to use walnut halves or pieces.
- Sugar and water - For candying the walnuts. Granulated sugar works the best.
How to make honey walnut shrimp
Please scroll down to the recipe card for the full recipe and instructions!
1. Marinade the shrimps. Season peeled and deveined shrimps with salt and Shaoxing rice wine. Add the cornstarch and mix well. Set aside until needed.
2. Make the candied walnuts. Combine sugar and water in a medium pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook the sugar until it turns an amber color and turn off the heat. Add the walnuts and coat well. Transfer to a parchment paper and let cool until needed.
🚨 Caution! The sugar will be super hot, so be careful to not burn yourself! Also, when sugar turn into caramel/amber color, it can easily become burnt in seconds. So do keep a watchful eye on it.
3. Prepare the sauce. In a large pan, add all the ingredients for the honey walnut shrimp sauce and mix well. Set aside until needed. You could also prepare the sauce in a bowl first.
4. Make the batter. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together the ingredients for the batter until smooth and well combined. We recommend mixing when your fingers, as the batter is on the thicker side.
5. Fry the shrimps. Add the marinated shrimps to the batter and mix to coat evenly. Heat 1 to 2 inches of oil to 375°F and fry the shrimp for 3 to 5 minutes, until the shrimps are cooked, crispy, and golden.
6. Assemble and serve. Heat the prepared honey walnut shrimp sauce over medium heat until warm and add the fried shrimps and the candied walnuts. Toss until evenly coated. Serve immediately and enjoy with steamed broccoli and/or rice!
- Keep an eye on the caramel for the candied walnuts! Caramel can go from a perfect amber color to burnt in seconds.
- Don't overcook the shrimps. Over cooking the shrimps will make them chewy and tough, this is especially obvious with larger shrimps.
- If you prefer your walnut shrimps to have a thicker batter, feel free to double the batter quantity.
- Warm up the sauce slightly to help better coat the shrimps evenly. This helps to thin out the sauce for easier coating. We highly recommend it if your sauce ingredients were stored in the fridge.
Storage and reheating
Leftover honey walnut shrimps can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days. Just make sure to let it cool completely before refrigerating. To reheat, microwave until hot. Do note that the shrimps will not be as juicy or as tender as when freshly made.
If you wish to make extra shrimps to freeze, we recommend frying the shrimps until just cooked (about 2 to 3 minutes for size 28/30 shrimps), let the shrimps cool completely, then freeze the shrimps. Don't coat the shrimps with sauce until ready to eat.
To reheat, bake the frozen shrimps at 350°F or air fry at 325°F until crispy, about 10 minutes. You could also fry the shrimps at 350°F. Do let the shrimps thaw before frying.
Cornstarch is a good substitute for potato starch.
If you cannot have walnuts, pecans (halves or pieces), cashews (preferably whole), and almonds (preferably whole) are great substitutes in honey walnut shrimp.
What to do with leftover oil
Leftover oil can be reused for cooking or more frying. Transfer the leftover oil into a heatproof bowl, jar, or container. Let the oil cool completely, then cover with plastic wrap or a lid. If you're uncomfortable with handling hot oil, set the oil aside to cool first!
If you plan on reusing the oil again, make sure to strain it through a fine mesh strainer or a couple layers or cheesecloth to remove any debris. Keep the oil in a cool, dark place and use within a couple of weeks.
If you're disposing oil, pour it into a jar or a container that can be sealed. Dispose of it in your trashcan. DO NOT pour it down your drain! It may damage your pipes and also cause damage to the environment!
If you’ve made this recipe or any recipes from our blog, please tag us on Instagram using #twoplaidaprons! You can also tag us in your Instagram stories using @two_plaid_aprons. We would love to see your creations! It absolutely makes our day! 🥰
Honey Walnut Shrimp
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup potato starch packed
- 4 tablespoons oil any neutral oil
For the sauce:
Marinade the shrimps:
- In a bowl, season shrimps with Shaoxing rice wine and salt. Mix until well combined.
- Add the cornstarch and mix until the shrimps are evenly coated. Set aside to marinade while you prepare the other ingredients.
Make the candied walnuts:
- In a medium size pan over medium heat, combine the granulated sugar and water. Bring to a simmer and let the sugar cook until it becomes an amber color. Stir occasionally if necessary.*Be very careful as the sugar will be super hot! Also, keep a close eye on the sugar once it becomes golden in color. It can go from amber to burnt in seconds.*
- Once the sugar caramelized to an amber color, add the walnut and mix until all the nuts are well coated.
- Immediately transfer the candied walnuts to a parchment paper and separate the nuts as best as possible. Set the candied walnuts aside and let them cool until needed.
Prepare the sauce:
- Into a large pan, combine the mayo, condensed milk, honey, and optionally, lemon juice. Mix until well combined. Set the sauce aside until needed.
Batter the shrimps:
- In a mixing bowl, combine the potato starch, egg, and oil. Mix thoroughly until smooth and well combined.
- Add the marinated shrimps and mix until all the shrimps are evenly coated with batter.
Make the honey walnut shrimps:
- Heat 1 to 2 inches of oil in a wok or pan to 375°F. Also prepare a plate lined with paper towels.
- Once the oil is hot, carefully place the shrimps into the oil, one at a time. Fry in batches if needed. Let the shrimps fry for about 3 to 5 minutes, until the shrimps are just cooked and looks golden. Remove the shrimps from the oil and let it drain on the prepared plate with paper towels.
- When all of the shrimps are fried, heat the prepared sauce over medium heat until warm. Turn off the heat and add the shrimps along with the candied walnuts. Toss until everything is evenly coated.
- Serve the honey walnut shrimps immediately and enjoy with some steamed broccoli and/or rice!
- Shrimps - Feel free to use smaller or larger shrimps of your choice. Do note that the size of the shrimps will change the fry time. So, please adjust accordingly.
- Sauce - We recommend slightly heating up the honey walnut shrimp sauce for easier coating. This is especially helpful in the colder weather or if the ingredients are stored in the fridge.