While I write this post I am starving. It’s a special form of torture to have to write about food while you’re ravenous. Just looking at the photo above of this shrimp dish is making my mouth water. I wish I could go back in time to when I took my first bite of this recipe. It’s almost an exact replica of the honey-walnut shrimp at the local Chinese restaurant. I contemplated adapting this recipe to a healthified version so it could fit into my Take-out at Home series but decided against it. There’s no way anything but a battered, fried, sugared, coated version could taste nearly as good. Plus, if you only eat honey-walnut shrimp when you make it, chances are you won’t be eating it weekly.
There are three components to this dish, the candied walnuts: the fry batter, and the mayo-based coating. All are easy enough but they do dirty a few dishes. Just make sure you fry your shrimp right after dipping them in the batter.
Taste: Just like your favorite Chinest take-out dish, sweet and satisfying.
Texture: The shrimp is perfectly cooked with a glorious crisp, crunchy batter while the sauce is creamy and the walnuts are crunchy.
Ease: There’s batter and frying so it does dirty quite a few dishes. However, nothing is overly difficult or complicated.
Appearance: I was surprised at how similar this looked to the restaurant dish.
Cons: Not healthy by any means. But hey, if you only eat honey-walnut shrimp when you make it from scratch at home, you probably won’t over-indulge.
Would I make this again? For a special treat.
Yield: 4 servings
- 1 cup water
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 4 egg whites
- 2/3 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup vegetable oil for frying
Stir together the water and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and add the walnuts. Boil for 2 minutes, then drain and place walnuts on a cookie sheet to dry.
Whip egg whites in a medium bowl until foamy. Stir in cornstarch until it has a pasty consistency. Heat the oil to 350 degrees F in a heavy deep skillet over medium-high heat. Dip shrimp into egg white-cornstarch batter then fry in batches in hot oil until golden-brown, about 5 minutes per batch. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
In a medium bowl stir together mayonnaise, honey, and sweetened condensed milk. Add fried shrimp and walnuts, tossing to coat.