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back in the day

Recipe: chinese honey walnut shrimp recipe

Some time last week (Nov 7th) marked seven years since I began blogging. I hadn’t even realized this until today as I’ve been bogged down with so much. It seems fitting though, because I’ve been talking with some blog friends lately about blogging “back in the day” compared to now, today. It’s quite different. But I won’t bore you with those musings. I remember how excited I was in the early days to find a handful of blogs that posted Chinese recipes I wanted to make. The two I loved most were Jaden’s Steamy Kitchen and Bee’s Rasa Malaysia. They still crank out reliable recipes and I often reference their blogs for all manner of Chinese (or other Asian) cooking help.

Bee recently released her first cookbook, Easy Chinese Recipes, a lovely collection of favorite Chinese recipes and beautiful glossy photos to entice the reader to make every single dish. Bee’s style in her book is no different from her exacting instructions and helpful background information on her blog. The recipes are easy to follow even if you’ve never cooked Chinese food before. But I’ve cooked Chinese food before. LOTS. OF. IT. Yet, I still found plenty of recipes that I’ve been wanting to make and never found a good recipe for until I flipped through Bee’s book.


easy chinese recipes: family favorites from dim sum to kung pao



As any cook is bound to do, I compared some of my family recipes with Bee’s versions and they totally jived. There was never any doubt. I dog-eared several pages – recipes to revisit when I had more time. I finally settled on a restaurant favorite that I never had the guts to try at home, until now…

shrimp, honey, walnuts

marinate the shrimp in salt and egg white



The shrimp are raw despite their pink color (these are wild-caught Key West pink shrimp from Whole Foods), so be sure to use RAW shrimp and not cooked shrimp. It’s a straightforward process considering there is frying involved. Peel and de-vein your shrimp, then butterfly them if you like. (I like to butterfly them because they take on a pretty curled and flared shape when cooked.) Marinate in salt and egg white.

candied walnuts

mixing up the sauce



While the shrimp is doing its thing, there is plenty of time to candy the walnuts and mix the honey sauce. When you pour the walnuts out of the pan to cool, avoid letting them cool in a puddle of caramelized sugar because then you’ll have something more akin to walnut brittle. Chopsticks are great for scooching the walnuts about.

dust the shrimp in cornstarch

fry to golden loveliness



Toss the shrimp in cornstarch and if you’re like me (OCD), make sure to dust the crevices. Plop the shrimp into hot oil and fry until golden (a minute or two). I really really really like my splatter screen because it 1) reduces the number of times I get splattered with oil and 2) limits the mess that frying makes on my range top. You can drain the fried shrimp on paper towels, but I prefer to drain fried foods on a cooling rack because it keeps the fried things crisp (which is the whole point!).

pour the sauce over the shrimp

toss to coat



Coat the shrimp in the honey sauce and adorn with candied walnuts. Serve this dish hot because it is amazeballs when it’s hot – less so when it’s room temperature. I’ve had this dish plenty in the South Bay (California) and I swear this version is just as good. I cannot wait to try more recipes. Nice job, Bee!

honey walnut shrimp – booyah!

part of a complete meal



Full disclosure: I received a free review copy of Easy Chinese Recipes from Tuttle Publishing. All opinions expressed are my own… (duh).

Chinese Honey Walnut Shrimp
[print recipe]
from Easy Chinese Recipes by Bee Yinn Low of Rasa Malaysia

8 oz (250 g) medium raw shrimp, shelled and deveined (butterfly if you like)
1 tbsp egg white
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup (70 g) cornstarch
non-flavored oil for frying (vegetable, canola)

dressing
1/2 tbsp condensed milk
1/2 tbsp honey
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
3 tbsps mayonnaise

glazed walnuts
1/2 cup (50 g) walnut halves
1/4 cup (65 ml) water
1/4 cup (50 g) sugar

Pat the shrimp dry and mix with salt and egg white to evenly coat. Let marinate for 30 minutes. Rinse the walnut halves with cold water, drain, and set aside. In a small saucepan, bring the water to a oil and add the sugar. Stir until the glaze thickens. Lower the heat to medium and add the walnut halves. Stir until the mixture becomes golden brown or caramel in color. Pour the walnuts out onto parchment or wax paper to cool (use chopsticks or a fork to separate them so they aren’t touching or sitting in a pool of caramelized sugar). In a small bowl, mix the condensed milk, honey, lemon juice, and mayonnaise together. When the shrimp is ready, remove the shrimp to a new bowl (leave the excess egg white and liquid behind) and dust with the cornstarch making sure to get an even coating on each shrimp. Shake off any excess cornstarch. Heat 2-3 inches of oil in a wok or medium to large pot (depending on how comfortable you are dealing with splatter) to a temperature of about 350°F. Carefully drop the shrimp into the oil. Work in small batches and fry until the shrimp is a light brown. Scoop the shrimp out with a strainer or slotted spoon and let drain on paper towels or (my preference) a cooling rack to preserve the crispness. Combine the shrimp and half the dressing in a bowl and toss to coat the shrimp. Add more dressing as needed. Serve with the candied walnuts over the shrimp. Serves 4 as part of a multi-course meal.

45 nibbles at “back in the day”

  1. vanillasugarblog says:

    oh jenn I love this dish. there is a similiar one I make and I add in pineapple chunks. its so so good. when i make it my hubby is giddy with excitement.

  2. Jill says:

    7 years! Congrats! I always enjoy your blogs. You make them seem so easy, but I appreciate all that it takes for you to complete one. Good work!

  3. Connie says:

    This was my late fathers favorite dish. I am so glad I can now make it and remember him. I could not quite remember what is was so could not look it up but your detailed post helped me. Thank you!

  4. Kimberly says:

    Congratulations on 7 years! :-)

  5. Tori @eatori says:

    Congratulations on seven years. This, like everything else you produce, looks gorgeous.

  6. Bee | Rasa Malaysia says:

    Hi Jen, happy 7th. That’s a long time in blogging, I wonder if there is a 7-year itch in blogging, LOL.

    Thanks so much for trying this recipe and the cookbook shout-out. I am so glad that you like the recipe.

  7. Phoo-d says:

    This is one of my favorites. I’ve never attempted it at home. Now I’ll have to give it a try!

  8. Debbie says:

    7 years! That’s great! Yours is a great blog that I love visiting!

  9. lisa says:

    Oh how I love this dish, but never know how to make it. A matter of fact, I had it for dinner last night with our neighborhood Wine & Dine group of 20+ folks. Many of the ladies had this as their entree. Now I will make my own.

  10. Margie says:

    I am so going here. Thanks for the ‘roadmap.’ ;) (I’m in trouble, it’s bedtime and I’m thinking about food, again…)

    Happy 7th! I hope you never tire of blogging and photographing. My world is better because you do.

    :)

  11. warren says:

    Congratulations on 7 years of your blog, Jenn! It’s one of my favorite reads for recipes. I also really appreciate Bee’s Rasa Malaysia. Honey walnut shrimp is one of my favorite recipes from that site, and I’ve probably made it nearly a dozen times since finding it a year or two ago. When first researching the recipe, I read thru a number of them and picked Bee’s to use. Some other recipes suggest using mochiko flour instead of corn starch. Having made it with both, I have to agree that mochiko makes for a superior crunchy crust around the shrimp. I don’t bother removing the ‘extra’ batter around the shrimp. In fact, the additional batter around the shrimp makes the dish better IMO. After frying the shrimp, I fry up the excess batter and add it to the dish. Not healthy, I know, but it tastes good. Also, while I believe the sauce recipe is almost spot on to what it tastes like in restaurants, I find it a bit on the sweet side and add more lemon juice (quite a bit more) to taste.

  12. Susan says:

    I love this dish.
    Thanks for the recipe!

  13. the food dude says:

    I’ve always loved this dish in Chinese restaurants, but never made it at home. Looks like I’ll give this a go one of these days…great recipe!

  14. Nate @ House of Annie says:

    I never used to like honey walnut shrimp growing up because I wasn’t a big fan of mayonnaise. Now I will happily scarf it up. Must be old age ;-)

    Happy 7th bloggerversary. Keep loving what you do and doing what you love; it’s what sustains you.

  15. Kristen @ The Endless Meal says:

    These shrimp look absolutely amazing. I’ve got some local (Vancouver) spot prawns in my freezer that are going to work perfect for this recipe. Thanks for you tip about putting the prawns (or other fried things) on a cooling rack to keep them crisp. I’ll be trying that for sure!

  16. Sally @ Spontaneous Hausfrau says:

    Wow, 7 years? That’s awesome! The shrimp looks beyond delicious with that amazing sauce!

  17. joey says:

    I remember “back in the day”! :) I also love Bee’s blog and book…having a ball going through the recipes. The sweet and sour pork is good too! Made it at home, my first time ever for sweet and sour pork!

  18. Tia G says:

    Delicious looking photos. The shrimp sound wonderful!

  19. Amy @ Eggies says:

    This recipe sounds so delicious. I love the idea of combinging walnuts and shrimp, i have family visiting tomorrow night and will be trying this recipe. Great photos!

  20. jenyu says:

    vanillasugarblog – I love it too, but the mayonnaise is always something I have to get my head around :)

    Jill – thank you :) xo

    Connie – you’re welcome!

    Kimberly – thanks.

    Tori – you’re very sweet.

    Bee – thanks, friend! I am wondering about that 7 year itch for blogging too ;) I always love your recipes xo

    Phoo-d – it’s really easy once you get the mise en place. Hope you enjoy it!

    Debbie – awww, thank you!

    Margie – thank you :)

    warren – wow!! You really know how to go all out on yours! I like the idea of reducing the mayo and upping the lemon juice – sounds right up my alley :)

    Susan – you’re welcome!

    the food dude – thanks!

    Nate – ha ha, we’re OLD ;) Thanks!

    Kristen – oh, I’m jealous of your fresh shrimp!

    Sally – thank you!

    joey – ooh, I’ll have to try the sweet and sour pork (I’ve never made it before either!)

    Amy – I hope they liked it!

  21. Cindy says:

    This is probably my one of my top 5 favorite Chinese dish!
    So good, you did a great job there!

  22. Joy says:

    That is my favorite dish in the whole wide world. Everytime I have a chance, I order it. Yours look great!

  23. Kristen @ The Endless Meal says:

    It’s been almost a month and I finally got to making these. They’re so good! I’m sitting down and eating a huge plate of them right now :) Thank you for sharing the recipe!!

  24. Sherry says:

    Just made this last night! Delicious! And the crunch was amazing. I do agree with the above comment that the sauce was a touch too sweet (for me) so next time I think I might either up the lemon or use a bit less honey since I think the honey flavor might have been a bit too pronounced. I’ve never tried candying anything before and it didn’t turn out all too well but hopefully the next time will go a bit better. Also, it was first time I deep fried anything but I’m starting to get why you were freaked out by splatter before… It really is pretty scary.

  25. Three Many Cooks » Chinese New Year Potluck says:

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  26. Honey shrimp with candied walnuts | Oven Lovin' says:

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  27. Kat says:

    I usually just go to Panda Express when i’m craving this, but if I can make a version at home that’s tasty, I can rid myself of the fast food thing. Thanks for posting this recipe!

  28. Mishion says:

    can you substitute the mayo? i all because i’m allergic but i want to make this

  29. jenyu says:

    Mishion – I’m not a fan of substitutions, but perhaps you could try vegannaise or some other non egg-based imitation?

  30. Lindsey says:

    I made this last night and I was so surprised how easy it was. It turned out perfect too! It looks exactly like the picture and tastes so great. Thanks for the recipe!

  31. Honey Walnut Shrimp | she cooks…he cleans says:

    [...] adapted this recipe from Chinese Honey Walnut Shrimp found at Use Real Butter, but it is originally from Easy Chinese Recipes by Bee Yinn Low.  The main change I made was to [...]

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  34. SharLynn says:

    Hi…it won’t let me cut and paste, so is there a way to keep the recipe for myself with out having to hand write it all out? Thanks!

  35. SharLynn says:

    I found the “print” option above, but wanted to put your pics with it too!

  36. Honey Walnut Shrimp | glutenfreequest says:

    [...] days of discovering this recipe, I had to try it for myself. I love shrimp, I love honey, I love walnuts. Plus, it’s all [...]

  37. Let’s Take It Outside | The Mustard Seed House says:

    [...] Tomatoes + Strawberries, Mushrooms + Apricots, Eggs + Beats, Eggs + Coconut, Oysters + Watermelon, Shrimp + Walnuts, Salmon + Licorice, Scallops + Vanilla, Chocolate + Onions, Blackberries + Rose, Rhubarb + [...]

  38. jessica says:

    Does anyone have a suggestion as to what to make with this entree?

  39. jenyu says:

    Jessica – you can make anything with this. Definitely recommend some vegetable sides, perhaps fried or steamed rice. Anything goes. Check out my recipes page (the Asian recipes column on the left) for ideas. http://userealbutter.com/recipes/

  40. Let’s Take It Outside | The Mustard Seed House says:

    […] Tomatoes + Strawberries, Mushrooms + Apricots, Eggs + Beets, Eggs + Coconut, Oysters + Watermelon, Shrimp + Walnuts, Salmon + Licorice, Scallops + Vanilla, Chocolate + Onions, Blackberries + Rose, Rhubarb + […]

  41. Katherine says:

    Hi! Lovely blog you have! Great recipes, they all look so delicious! I’m planning on making this recipe, it looks soo good! I have One question, is the “condensed milk” the sweetened condensed milk? Or is it just regular evaporated milk? Thank you!

  42. jenyu says:

    Katherine – it’s sweetened condensed milk.

  43. Tobechi says:

    Omg! I made these last night and they were so easy and A W E S O M E! Thank you so much for the recipe!

  44. dana says:

    I’m curious – when you said you had this in the South Bay – in Nor Cal or So Cal? If the latter, I’m curious which restaurant it was. I lived in the South Bay in So Cal for 20+ years and only found two restaurants that had great honey walnut shrimp – one of which is no longer in business (China Teapot), and the other is Seafood Port. Can’t wait to try your recipe!

  45. jenyu says:

    dana – south bay near San Francisco :)

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