Honey Walnut Shrimp
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Crispy shrimp, sweet honey sauce and caramelized walnuts, what’s not to love about Honey Walnut Shrimp? This Chinese restaurant favorite is easy to make at home in less than 30 minutes, and delicious served with rice or noodles.
It’s time to ditch Panda Express and start making your own delicious Chinese food at home! My go-to order at Chinese restaurants is always Orange Chicken and Honey Walnut Shrimp. I love the delicious flavor of the sweet sauces that accompany each dish. Luckily, I’ve found ways to make both dishes at home in less than 30 minutes, and better than any Chinese take out I’ve ever had!
To make honey walnut shrimp, all you have to do is mix up the sweet honey sauce, a quick batter for the shrimp, then fry the shrimp and toss it all together. You can make the candied walnuts at home, or grab a bag at the store, which is what I normally do to save on time!
The shrimp is delicious served on it’s own, over white or brown rice, or with rice noodles. For a healthier version, you could also serve the shrimp with steamed bok choy or roasted broccoli. No matter what you serve it with, I guarantee that you’re going to love this recipe!
Table of contents
- Eggs – you’ll only need the egg whites for this recipe, so save the egg yolks for a recipe that calls for only egg yolks, like my famous Chocolate Chunk Cookies, or Slow Cooker Swedish Meatballs.
- Rice flour – I found the Thai rice flour that you see pictured above at a local Asian market, 3 bags for $2! If you have an Asian market nearby, I’d recommend checking it out for a great deal. Otherwise you can easily purchase other brands of white rice flour at major grocery stores nationwide. Rice flour can usually be found with the other flours or in the gluten free section at the grocery store.
- Black pepper
- Shrimp – already peeled and deveined shrimp are ideal since they are ready to go with less work, saving you time and effort. If you choose to buy unpeeled shrimp, make sure you peel and devein the shrimp before preparing. For this recipe, I used 41-50 count shrimp size, this a medium shrimp size. What this means is you get 41-50 pieces of shrimp per pound. You can also use a 31-35 which is a large shrimp size. I do not recommend anything smaller, or the shrimp will be overcooked by the time the batter is cooked on the outside.
- Vegetable oil – you will be using this oil to fry the shrimp, so I recommend an oil with a high smoke point, such as vegetable, canola, avocado, corn or peanut oil.
- Candied walnuts – you can make these at home, or purchase them at the grocery store. They might be referred to as glazed walnuts, candied walnuts or caramelized walnuts.
I’ve included step by step photos below to make this recipe super easy to follow at home. For the full detailed recipe instructions and ingredient quantities, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
If you plan to serve the honey walnut shrimp with rice, be sure to cook that ahead of time. You can use this white rice recipe to learn how to make it in a rice cooker, Instant Pot or on the stove.
Step 1: Prepare the sauce by combining mayonnaise and honey in a large bowl. Set aside.
Step 2: Prepare the shrimp batter by whisking together egg whites, rice flour, salt and pepper in a bowl.
Step 3: Dip each shrimp in the batter using tongs. Make sure the shrimp is coated on all sides.
Step 4: Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium high heat on the stove. Once the oil is hot, add the shrimp, 8-10 at a time, making sure not to overcrowd the pan by cooking the shrimp in 3-4 batches. Cook the shrimp for 1-2 minutes per side. Use a slotted spoon to remove the shrimp from the skillet.
Step 5: After removing the shrimp from the hot oil in the skillet, place it on a wire rack to cool. This will allow any excess oil to drip through the rack, keeping your shrimp crispy. Cooling the shrimp on paper towels means the shrimp will sit in any excess oil and can become soggy.
Step 6: Once all of the shrimp are cooked, add them to the bowl with the creamy honey sauce and toss until all of the shrimp are coated in the sauce.
Transfer the shrimp to a serving bowl and top with the candied walnuts. You can also add diced green onions as a garnish, if you’d like. Serve the shrimp with cooked rice, noodles or veggies.
How to make it healthy
While I love this dish just the way it is, I have made a healthy version over the years and while it won’t give you the exact same taste and texture, it will give you a similar vibe that’s healthier, with less calories. Maybe try just one or two of the changes and see what you think sometime!
Instead of battering and frying the shrimp, toss the shrimp with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Heat a skillet over medium high heat, add the shrimp and cook for 1-2 minutes per side.
To make a healthier sauce without mayo, combine 4 tablespoons honey with 2 tablespoons dijon mustard. Instead of serving the dish with candied walnuts, try just using regular walnuts.
Using either method, this recipe is gluten free, because even the battered and fried version is made with rice flour, which is naturally gluten free.
How to make candied walnuts
If you’d like to make the candied walnuts at home, you’ll need sugar, water and walnuts. It only takes 4 simple steps, so give it a try sometime!
- Heat 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan on the stove over high heat, until boiling.
- Turn the heat down to medium and add 1/2 cup sugar, stirring constantly until golden brown and thickened.
- Add 1/2 cup chopped walnuts and gently toss until the walnuts are coated in the caramelized sugar.
- Transfer the walnuts onto a sheet of parchment paper and let cool.
More Chinese recipes
Try more Chinese takeout dishes at home with these quick and easy recipes!
Honey Walnut Shrimp
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 ½ tablespoons honey
- 4 large egg whites, whisked
- ⅔ cup rice flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 pound medium-to-large shrimp
- 1 cup vegetable oil, or canola oil
- ½ cup candied walnuts, chopped
- In a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise and honey, set aside.
- In a separate large bowl, whisk the egg whites, rice flour, salt and pepper together.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Dip each piece of shrimp in the batter, then add to the hot oil in the skillet.
- Cook 8-10 shrimp at a time, making sure not to crowd the skillet.
- Cook the shrimp for 1-2 minutes per side.
- Once cooked, transfer the shrimp to a wire cooling rack.
- Once all of the shrimp are fried, add the cooked shrimp to the large bowl with the honey mayonnaise mixture and toss until all of the shrimp are coated.
- Serve immediately topped with the candied walnuts.
- Serve over rice or noodles, if you’d like, topped with diced green onions.
- To prepare the walnuts at home:
- Heat ½ cup water in a small saucepan over high heat until boiling.
- Turn the heat to medium and add ½ cup sugar, stirring constantly until golden brown and thickened.
- Add the chopped walnuts and gently toss until the walnuts are coated in the caramelized sugar.
- Transfer the walnuts onto a sheet of parchment paper to cool.
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