Honey Walnut Shrimp Recipe

Honey Walnut Shrimp

Honey Walnut Shrimp is a delightful dish that blends crispy shrimp with a sweet and savory sauce, topped with candied walnuts for a delightful crunch. Originating from Chinese-American cuisine, this dish has become a favorite in many Asian-inspired restaurants for its unique combination of flavors and textures. Whether enjoyed as a main course or as part of a larger meal, Honey Walnut Shrimp offers a perfect balance of indulgence and freshness, making it a beloved choice for both special occasions and everyday dining. This recipe provides a step-by-step guide to recreating this restaurant-style dish at home, ensuring each bite is filled with the rich flavors that characterize this classic recipe.

Origins and History of Honey Walnut Shrimp:

Honey Walnut Shrimp, a popular dish in Chinese-American cuisine, is believed to have originated in Southern China and later adapted to suit Western palates in the United States. The dish combines crispy shrimp with a creamy, sweet sauce typically made with mayonnaise, condensed milk, and honey, creating a distinct flavor profile that contrasts the crunch of candied walnuts. While exact origins are unclear, its rise to popularity can be attributed to its introduction in Chinese restaurants across America, particularly in the 1980s and 1990s.

The sweet and savory combination of ingredients reflects a fusion of traditional Chinese cooking techniques with Western influences, appealing to a wide range of tastes. Over the years, variations of the dish have emerged, incorporating different sauces and cooking methods to suit regional preferences and dietary needs. Today, Honey Walnut Shrimp remains a beloved dish served in Chinese restaurants worldwide, showcasing its enduring appeal and culinary versatility.

Honey Walnut Shrimp

Serving Suggestions for Honey Walnut Shrimp:

Honey Walnut Shrimp is a versatile dish that can be served in various ways to suit different dining preferences. Here are some serving suggestions to enhance your dining experience:

  1. Main Course: Serve Honey Walnut Shrimp as a main dish accompanied by steamed white rice or fried rice. The sweet and savory flavors of the shrimp and walnuts complement the plainness of rice, creating a satisfying meal.
  2. Noodle Dish: Pair Honey Walnut Shrimp with noodles, such as lo mein or chow mein, for a heartier meal. The noodles absorb the sauce and add texture to each bite.
  3. Salad Topping: Use Honey Walnut Shrimp as a topping for a fresh green salad. The crunchy walnuts and creamy sauce provide a flavorful contrast to crisp lettuce and vegetables.
  4. Appetizer: Serve smaller portions of Honey Walnut Shrimp as an appetizer or part of a larger spread of Chinese appetizers, such as spring rolls or potstickers.
  5. Garnish: Garnish the dish with sliced green onions or sesame seeds for added color and flavor.
  6. Accompaniments: Serve with additional condiments like soy sauce, sweet chili sauce, or sriracha on the side for those who prefer extra flavor or spice.
  7. Family Style: Present Honey Walnut Shrimp in a family-style setting, allowing everyone to serve themselves from a large serving platter.

These serving suggestions allow you to enjoy Honey Walnut Shrimp in various ways, whether as a main course, appetizer, or part of a larger meal. Experiment with different accompaniments and presentations to create a dining experience that suits your taste and occasion.

Variations of Honey Walnut Shrimp:

  1. Spicy Honey Walnut Shrimp: Add a kick to the dish by incorporating chili flakes, sriracha, or spicy mayo into the sauce mixture. This variation balances the sweetness with a hint of heat, appealing to those who enjoy spicier flavors.
  2. Crispy Tempura Style: Coat the shrimp in a light tempura batter before frying to achieve an extra crispy texture. This variation enhances the crunchiness of the shrimp, making it a delightful contrast to the creamy sauce and walnuts.
  3. Healthy Twist: For a lighter version, bake or air-fry the shrimp instead of deep-frying. Use Greek yogurt or a light mayo alternative in the sauce to reduce calories while maintaining a creamy texture. Serve over a bed of mixed greens or quinoa for added nutrition.
  4. Asian Fusion: Experiment with different sauces inspired by Asian cuisine, such as a soy ginger glaze or a sesame soy sauce. These variations infuse the dish with unique flavors while maintaining the essence of Honey Walnut Shrimp.
  5. Vegetarian Option: Substitute shrimp with crispy tofu cubes or cauliflower florets for a vegetarian version. Follow the same preparation steps, ensuring the tofu or cauliflower is well-coated and crispy before tossing in the honey walnut sauce.
  6. Gluten-Free: Use cornstarch or a gluten-free flour blend to coat the shrimp before frying to make the dish gluten-free. Ensure all other ingredients, including the sauce and walnuts, are also gluten-free.
  7. Nut-Free: Replace walnuts with toasted sesame seeds or pumpkin seeds for a nut-free alternative. Adjust the preparation to maintain the crunchy texture and balance of flavors.

These variations allow you to customize Honey Walnut Shrimp to suit dietary preferences and flavor preferences while maintaining its core elements of crispy shrimp, creamy sauce, and candied walnuts. Experiment with different ingredients and techniques to create a personalized twist on this classic Chinese-American dish.

Honey Walnut Shrimp

Storage and Shelf Life of Honey Walnut Shrimp:

After preparing Honey Walnut Shrimp, it’s essential to store it properly to maintain its quality and safety:

  1. Refrigeration:
    • Transfer any leftover Honey Walnut Shrimp to an airtight container or sealable bag.
    • Refrigerate promptly within 2 hours of cooking.
    • Properly stored, Honey Walnut Shrimp can be refrigerated for up to 3-4 days.
  2. Freezing (Not Recommended):
    • While possible, freezing may affect the texture of the shrimp and walnuts, causing them to become soggy upon thawing.
    • If freezing, place in a freezer-safe container and consume within 1-2 months for best quality.
  3. Reheating:
    • To reheat, gently warm the Honey Walnut Shrimp in a skillet over medium heat until heated through.
    • Alternatively, microwave in short intervals, stirring between each, to avoid overheating.
  4. Shelf Life:
    • For optimal taste and texture, consume Honey Walnut Shrimp within the recommended storage period.
    • Discard any leftovers that have been at room temperature for more than 2 hours or show signs of spoilage, such as an off smell or appearance.

Proper storage and handling ensure that you can enjoy Honey Walnut Shrimp safely while preserving its delicious flavors and textures. Adjust portions as needed to minimize leftovers and maintain freshness.

Health Benefits Of Honey Walnut Shrimp

While Honey Walnut Shrimp is a delicious and satisfying dish, it’s important to note its nutritional aspects and potential health benefits:

  1. Protein from Shrimp: Shrimp is a good source of high-quality protein, which is essential for muscle repair, growth, and overall body function.
  2. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Walnuts, when used in moderation in the dish, provide omega-3 fatty acids. These healthy fats are beneficial for heart health, reducing inflammation, and supporting brain function.
  3. Vitamins and Minerals: Shrimp contains various vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B12, selenium, and zinc, which play crucial roles in immune function, metabolism, and antioxidant defense.
  4. Moderate Calories: While Honey Walnut Shrimp is a flavorful dish, its calorie content can vary based on preparation methods and portion sizes. Opting for baked or air-fried shrimp and using a light sauce can reduce calorie intake compared to deep-fried versions.
  5. Nutrient Balance: When served with vegetables or whole grains, Honey Walnut Shrimp can contribute to a balanced meal, providing fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
  6. Customizable Ingredients: Depending on dietary needs and preferences, Honey Walnut Shrimp can be adapted to be gluten-free, dairy-free, or lower in sugar, offering flexibility in meal planning.

It’s important to enjoy Honey Walnut Shrimp in moderation and be mindful of portion sizes, especially considering its typically rich sauce and candied walnuts. By incorporating it as part of a balanced diet, it can be a flavorful and nutritious addition to your meals.

Honey Walnut Shrimp

FAQ Related to Honey Walnut Shrimp:

  1. Can I use frozen shrimp for this recipe?
    • Yes, you can use frozen shrimp for Honey Walnut Shrimp. Thaw them thoroughly before cooking according to the recipe instructions. Pat them dry with paper towels to ensure they crisp up when fried.
  2. How do I make the walnuts candied for this dish?
    • To make candied walnuts, toss them in a mixture of honey and sugar over medium heat until caramelized and sticky. Spread them on parchment paper to cool and harden before using in the recipe.
  3. Can I make this dish ahead of time?
    • Honey Walnut Shrimp is best served fresh to maintain its crispy texture. However, you can prepare the components ahead of time (such as frying the shrimp and making the sauce), then assemble and heat just before serving.
  4. How do I prevent the shrimp from becoming soggy after coating with the sauce?
    • Ensure the shrimp are cooked until crispy and well-drained before tossing them in the sauce. Coat them just before serving to maintain their crispiness.
Honey Walnut Shrimp

Honey Walnut Shrimp Recipe

Rachid Yousfi
Honey Walnut Shrimp is a beloved Chinese-American dish known for its delightful combination of crispy shrimp, creamy honey sauce, and candied walnuts. Originating from Southern China and popularized in Western cuisines, this dish features tender shrimp coated in a sweet and savory sauce made with honey, mayonnaise, and condensed milk. The addition of crunchy walnuts adds texture and complements the rich flavors, making it a favorite in both restaurant menus and homemade meals. Enjoyed as a main dish with steamed rice or noodles, Honey Walnut Shrimp offers a satisfying blend of flavors that is sure to please any palate.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 4 people
Calories 600 kcal


  • Deep Fryer or Heavy-bottomed Skillet: For frying the shrimp until crispy.
  • Slotted Spoon or Tongs: To remove the fried shrimp from the oil.
  • Mixing Bowls For preparing the batter, coating ingredients, and mixing the sauce.
  • Whisk or Fork: To mix the batter and sauce ingredients thoroughly.
  • Small Saucepan: For candying the walnuts with honey.
  • Measuring Spoons and Cups To accurately measure ingredients.
  • Paper Towels: For draining excess oil from the fried shrimp.
  • Knife and Cutting Board: For chopping walnuts or any other preparation needed.
  • Plate or Platter: For serving the finished dish.
  • Plate or Platter: For serving the finished dish.
  • Kitchen Thermometer (optional): To monitor oil temperature when frying.


  • 1 Pound Shrimp: Use fresh or thawed shrimp. Larger shrimp can be used, but adjust cooking time accordingly.
  • 1 Cup Walnuts: Walnuts are candied with honey and sugar for a crunchy texture.
  • ½ Cup Mayonnaise: Provides creaminess to the sauce. Adjust amount based on desired consistency.
  • ¼ Cup Honey: Adds sweetness to the sauce. Adjust amount based on desired sweetness.
  • 2 Tablespoon Condensed Milk: Enhances the creaminess of the sauce. Adjust amount for desired richness.
  • ½ Cup Flour or Cornstarch: Used for coating the shrimp before frying. Helps achieve a crispy texture.
  • 1 Large Egg: Helps the flour or cornstarch adhere to the shrimp.
  • 2 Cups Vegetable Oil: Use enough oil to submerge the shrimp during frying.
  • Salt and Pepper: Seasoning the shrimp before coating enhances flavor.


  • Prepare the Candied Walnuts:
    In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup of walnuts with 1/4 cup of honey.
    Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the walnuts are evenly coated and the honey starts to caramelize, about 3-4 minutes.
    Transfer the candied walnuts to a parchment-lined baking sheet to cool and harden.
  • Prepare the Shrimp:
    In a mixing bowl, season the peeled and deveined shrimp with salt and pepper to taste.
    In a separate bowl, place 1/2 cup of flour or cornstarch.
    Dip each shrimp into the beaten egg, then coat evenly with the flour or cornstarch, shaking off any excess.
  • Fry the Shrimp:
    In a deep fryer or heavy-bottomed skillet, heat vegetable oil to 350°F (175°C).
    Fry the coated shrimp in batches until golden brown and crispy, about 2-3 minutes per batch.
    Use a slotted spoon to transfer the fried shrimp to a plate lined with paper towels to drain excess oil.
  • Make the Sauce:
    In a mixing bowl, combine 1/2 cup of mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk, and 1/4 cup of honey. Adjust sweetness and creaminess to taste.
    Mix until well combined to form a smooth sauce.
  • Coat the Shrimp:
    In a large mixing bowl, toss the fried shrimp with the prepared sauce until evenly coated.
  • Assemble and Serve:
    Arrange the coated shrimp on a serving platter.Sprinkle the candied walnuts evenly over the shrimp.
  • Garnish and Enjoy:
    Garnish with additional chopped green onions or sesame seeds if desired.
    Serve immediately while warm and crispy as a delicious appetizer or main dish with steamed rice or noodles.


  • Preparation Tips:
    • Dry Shrimp Thoroughly: Ensure the shrimp are pat-dried before coating with flour or cornstarch. This helps the coating adhere better and promotes crispiness when fried.
    • Candied Walnuts: Monitor closely when making candied walnuts to prevent burning. Stir constantly and remove from heat promptly once they are caramelized to avoid bitterness.
  • Frying Tips:
    • Maintain Oil Temperature: Fry the shrimp in batches and maintain the oil temperature around 350°F (175°C). This ensures even cooking and crispy texture without absorbing too much oil.
    • Drain Excess Oil: After frying, drain the fried shrimp on paper towels to remove excess oil and preserve crispiness.
  • Sauce Preparation:
    • Adjust Consistency: Adjust the amount of mayonnaise and condensed milk to achieve the desired thickness and creaminess of the sauce. Add honey gradually to balance sweetness.
  • Assembly and Serving:
    • Coat Shrimp Before Serving: Toss the fried shrimp with the sauce just before serving to maintain crispiness. This prevents the shrimp from becoming soggy.
    • Garnish Thoughtfully: Garnish with fresh chopped green onions or sesame seeds for added flavor and visual appeal.
  • Storage and Reheating:
    • Serve Fresh: Honey Walnut Shrimp is best served immediately after preparation to preserve its crispy texture and flavors.
    • Reheating: If necessary, reheat gently in a skillet over low heat to avoid overcooking the shrimp. This helps retain their texture.
  • Customizations:
    • Dietary Considerations: Adjust ingredients to suit dietary preferences, such as using gluten-free flour or reducing sugar content in the sauce.
    • Personal Taste: Experiment with spice levels or additional ingredients like garlic or ginger to personalize the dish to your liking.
Keyword Honey Walnut Shrimp

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