Honey Walnut Shrimp
Budget-friendly crispy shrimp tossed in a creamy, sweet sauce topped with caramelized walnuts! Tastes just like take-out, but BETTER!
I’m kind of a sucker for Chinese food. I could eat it on any given night, and whenever we order take-out, the honey walnut shrimp must always be ordered.
Now this dish involves an epic concoction of crispy battered shrimp tossed in a creamy, sweet sauce along with some candy-glazed walnuts.
It’s actually one of the most popular dishes at Chinese restaurants, but it’s also the most expensive dish on the menu. But sure enough, you could make this right at home for just $10! With one pound of shrimp, some walnuts, honey, condensed milk and a bit of mayo, you can easily recreate this on a tight budget.
But don’t be like me and hoard those walnuts.
They. are. dangerous.
You’ve been warned.
Honey Walnut Shrimp
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Budget-friendly crispy shrimp tossed in a creamy, sweet sauce topped with caramelized walnuts! Tastes just like take-out, but BETTER!
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup walnut halves
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
- 1 1/2 teaspoons condensed milk
- 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
- Heat 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Add sugar and stir, constantly, until golden and thickened. Add walnuts and gently toss to combine. Transfer to a parchment paper-lined plate.
- In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, honey and condensed milk; set aside.
- Season shrimp with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Working one at a time, dip the shrimp into the egg, then dredge in the cornstarch, pressing to coat.
- Working in batches, add the shrimp to the skillet, 8-10 at a time, and fry until evenly golden brown and crispy, about 1-2 minutes on each side. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
- In a large bowl, combine shrimp and honey mixture.
- Serve immediately, topped with walnuts.
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This looks decadent! Would this be an appetizer, or if an entree what would you serve it with? Rice? Anything else? Thanks 🙂
I served this as an entree with rice and it was more than enough.
In Joy Palace restaurant in Seattle, Wa, this is served on a lettuce bed and thin orange slices on the side.
I serve it with rice! I love it so much I can finish a whole serving by myself literally !
Everytime I go to a Chinese restaurant this is all I order
It goes great with some fresh broccoli too! Yummmmmmmmmm my favorite dish at big family banquets. I can’t wait to try this recipe!
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at this web page is actually fastidious.
What about the sugar water & walnuts?? What do u do with that??
The walnuts are tossed with the caramel and set aside to cool to harden. As noted in the instructions, the last step is to “Serve immediately, topped with walnuts.” Hope that helps!
Made this last night, so good gonna make it again tonight!
I’m so glad you liked this! Isn’t it the best? So easy and so much cheaper than the restaurant-version!
What a fabulous recipe, Chung-Ah! I think my boyfriend and I would love this! I’ll have to give it a try one day. Thanks for sharing!
This recipe looks awesome. I’m confused, though, by how much it makes. The recipe says 4 servings but at the top you said it wasn’t enough for two people, so you’d have to double it next time. I know I could probably eat all of it myself, but I want to make sure there’s enough for everyone… 🙂
The recipe does make enough for 4 servings – I just wanted more though since it was just that good!
Instead of tossing the shrimps with the candied walnuts, we toss it with well drained fruit cocktail
It was so so delicious, but the mayo sauce seemed very thick, are u supposed to heat it? I know
When I have it out in a restaurant the sauce seems much thinner. Any susuggestions
I actually loved the thickness of the mayo – it made it so much easier to toss the shrimp together and let the sauce get into all those crevices!
you can also add more vinegar if you want to make it thinner.
When you say condensed milk, is that the same as sweetened condensed?
Yes, sweetened condensed milk.
Is there a substitute for the condensed milk? It seems like such a trace amount and sold in much larger versions.
Unfortunately, without further recipe testing, I cannot answer with certainty. As always, please use your best judgment regarding substitutions and modifications.
I love and hate you for this. Honey Walnut Shrimp is my favorite. It is bad news for me to know how to make it at home.
Made this for my girlfriend who LOVES honey walnut shrimp, and she loved it. I’m going to try and toast the walnuts next time, they felt like they needed it, but this is going in my “must have again” folder.
I just made this for dinner tonight. So yummy. Thank you for sharing your recipe.
I’m so glad you had a chance to try this out!
Great recipe! Thank you. When I make it next time I will be sure that the shrimp are crispy enough. This time I could taste the corn starch because it was a bit underfried. Also I will make sure to drain the walnut from the syrup better. This time there was a thick coating of hardened sugar and it was too sweet. I think it would have been perfect had I made those changes- I definitely recommend this recipe!
Havs anyone tried using a low fat or low calorie mayonnise? Does it drastically change the taste or ruin the dish?
Absolutely delicious! Made it today for a little snack, cut the recipe in half and it was just the munchie I needed. Much lighter than the panda express ones too.
This is my favorite Chinese dish! Thanks for posting the recipe! My local restaurant adds chopped peaches and diced green pepper — try it, it’s delicious!
Made this tonight and it was a hit! Thanks for sharing the recipe!
My local Chinese place adds diced green pepper and diced peaches. Sounds like an odd combo, but try it! It’s delish!
How would we change the recipe so there’s no walnuts?
Lan, you can simply omit the walnuts.
Should I not do the first part with the sugar and water then?
Yes – as the caramelization process only applies to the walnuts, you can omit that step.
Is there any way to substitute the condensed milk? I’m lactose intolerant.
Lisa, unfortunately, there really is no substitute for the condensed milk. This is a crucial ingredient to this dish and makes it what it is. You can most certainly substitute a dairy-free product but I cannot speak for how much this will change in taste/texture of the dish.
It’s called “Lactaid” Lisa! Don’t leave home without it!
I made mine with Trader Joe’s Coconut cream – couldn’t have been better!
Would homemade sweetened condensed milk work? I would hate to open a can of the stuff just for the small amount used in this recipe.
Yes, Susan, feel free to use homemade sweetened condensed milk.
That looks so good! And I love to save money. I think I will get the ingredients and make this soon.
My family loves this dish. The restaurant I get this at adds broccoli to it. I think I will add this to one of my go to recipes.
My family and I just LOVED this recipe. The sauce was too thick (it wouldn’t coat the shrimp), so I made a tiny bit more and thinned it out with some milk and added it the the shrimp/sauce mixture and it came together perfectly.
Thanks for the wonderful recipe!
Should the shrimps be thawed out or frozen okay? And is regular condensed milked okay as well?
You should thaw the shrimp before using. I also recommend using sweetened condensed milk for optimal results.
Oh, also, is it okay to use already cooked shrimp?
Soo, as the recipe indicates, I recommend using uncooked shrimp. By using cooked shrimp, you run the risk of overcooking it, resulting in a rough, rubbery texture.
As a general rule of thumb, I highly recommend using the ingredients listed in the recipe for optimal results. You are certainly free to make the appropriate substations but I cannot answer how the overall dish will turn out.
Hi! I was just wondering if there was a substitute for the mayo. I highly dislike the smell, taste, and sight of it, but would love to try this dish.
You can substitute sour cream or Greek yogurt, but the taste/texture may be altered quite a bit.
Chung-ah! I made this tonight for my family and it was a total winner! This is my husband’s favorite dish from a Chinese restaurant, so he was pleasantly surprised to have a home cooked version. Thanks for the killer recipe! Printed, and keeping for future reference! 🙂
Shawn, I’m so glad you had a chance to make this – I actually prefer this homemade version than the restaurant one!
What would be the best mayonaise to use?
Feel free to use any kind of mayonnaise – even generic would work fine too, although I’ve been meaning to try out Japanese mayo for this!
YES. This is my favorite Chinese dish by far, and now I’ve found an easy recipe for it! I will absolutely be making this within a few days! Thank you for sharing!
Wow! This blog looks exactly like my old one! It’s on a
entirely different topic but it has pretty much the same page layout and design.
Superb choice of colors!
Chung-AH, I love coconut shrimp that looks a lot like this by the picture. Would you happen to know that recipe? It’s my favorite dish at this Chinese restaurant in Chattanooga TN called Chef-Lin.
Diann, here is my recipe for coconut shrimp – https://damndelicious.net/2013/12/13/coconut-shrimp/. I’m not sure if it’ll taste like your local Chinese restaurant but it’s a favorite in our house!
OMG! These shrimp are sooo good. Thanks for the recipe.
Could you deep fry the shrimp?? And if so what are the directions for that.
Alicia, I’m a little confused with your question as this recipe already includes the directions to deep fry the shrimp.
Is it ok if I make a video of this recipe and post on my blog? I will credit your site as well.
More power to you and to your blog.
Yes, a video sounds great! I just ask that you do not republish any of my photos or the recipe, unless the recipe has been adapted and re-written in your own words with an appropriate link back to my site.
Great, thanks! And yes, I will use my own photos and own words for the recipe. Thanks again.
Any suggestions for what to serve with this? Would like the shrimp to go a bit further for my family of six…… Thanks!
You can always serve it with rice and/or veggies. Hope that helps!
Are you using raw walnuts?
Yes, it is best to use raw walnuts.
Just made this dish! Love it. So easy to make.
Instead I added the same amount of mayo as honey and milk. Then coated the shrimp with that sauce tthe cornstarch. Everyone loved the flavor. I also roasted my walnuts with brown as sugar.
This is so good i followed the directions exactly. Thanks I love your blog.
Diann, I know what you’re talking about since I live by Chattanooga. This recipe is similar to that at Chef Lin’s. Except they call it coconut shrimp.
can you substitute coconut milk for condensed milk?
It’s really best to use condensed milk for the consistency and sweetness of the dish.
Making this for dinner tonight. Cannot wait. My sister made it and loved it so now its my turn.
I really liked this, but the prep/cooking time took a lot longer. My husband said it needed some spice so when I make it again ill add a little spice. But definitely worth making again.
Mary – you can definitely add a bit of spice by drizzling on some Sriracha. We use Sriracha on almost everything!
This was so delicious! I had everything but cornstarch and honey, so it was an easy run to the store for the last ingredients. I doubled the sauce part because we wanted it on the veggies I steamed also, and we like sauce. 🙂 Everything turned out perfect. Thank you! I definitely needed to fry the shrimp right after dipping them in egg and cornstarch because a couple got soggy and didn’t hold the batter well. But all in all, an easy delicious dinner that I never would’ve made had it not been for your site. Paired the shrimp with steamed veggies and jasmine rice. And I decided not to do the walnuts.
I added this honey walnut shrimp recipe to a bed of thinly sliced cucumbers at the bottom of the plate and the cucumbers added just the right amount of freshness! Thank you for another foolproof and budget friendly recipe!
I made this and the only problem I had was with the walnuts. I stirred constantly and when it had thickened and was golden I added the walnuts and as soon as I started coating them the caramel mixture crystallized and hardened into opaque crystals. It was pretty sad. What did I do wrong?
Amy, it is very difficult for me to say what went wrong as I was not in the kitchen with you. Many factors can be at play here, and I worry first and foremost that your heat source was set too high.
I made this last night. My husband loved it. I thought it was better than some I have had a restaurants! Just the right amount of sauce. I and a little trouble with the walnuts….second time was a charm though. Next I will try the honey, garlic chicken!
Tonight I am going to try this recipe substituting Fish in place of the shrimp. Has anyone ever tried this? What would you suggest I do different if anything at all?
not to be creepy but im stalking your page. i love your recipes so easy to follow! do you think this would be good with grilled shrimp instead of fried. i know the texture would be alittle different but it’ll cut out some of the calories.
Yes, I’m sure these would still be great with grilled shrimp (plus you get to save on a ton of calories too :).
This was the most amazing dish! I had never tried this anywhere, but it sounded wonderful so I tried it. I do recommend getting the shrimp already peeled and deveined, since that is the most time-consuming part of the process, or use larger shrimp. I also used Coconut sugar in place of the sugar and arrowroot instead of cornstarch to make it a little more healthy. I also used avocado oil for frying the shrimp. It’s a very high burn temperature oil, so it’s great for frying, and very mild tasting as well as being a healthier alternative oil.
I am in LOVE with your recipes. I tried this out on my parents and husband and it has been requested for birthday dinner ever since! Thanks!
.Dumb question but do I use black walnuts or regular walnuts?? Thanks .
It is best to use regular walnuts.
I just found your website. Can’t wait to try this Honey Walnut Shrimp recipe. It is a favorite of mine. Thanks for this recipe.
Will have to try this. Not much into cooking seafood here on Guam, surprise, but the simplicity and obvious good reviews have me intrigued. Will try as posted and will vary as per comments on additional attempts. Might think about adding Thai peanut oil in some part of the process myself. I’ll let you know how it turns out. My test subjects for all my “attempts” are my coworkers…so far, rave reviews…let’s see what this one brings.
Is there a way to cut back on the sugar on this recipe or maybe an alternative? I’m a diabetic and this would spike my sugar levels… I often use Agave Nectar versus Honey becuase ti doens’t spike it as much. But this recipe calls for 1/2 cup of sugar. Either way, I’d still make this recipe and eat just a few as an appetizer. Looks amazing! Thanks! 🙂
Unfortunately, without further recipe testing, I cannot advise an appropriate substitute that will not alter the overall taste/texture of the dish. Please use your best judgment to suit your dietary restrictions.
I found this recipe about a month ago on Pinterest and have to say this has quickly become one of my weekly dinners. My husband and I love Walnut Shrimp and when I came across this I was so thrilled. For some people concerned about the sugar or calories, I have used the fat free sweetened condensed milk, egg whites instead of the whole eggs, and reduced fat mayo after using the original recipe a few times and it works!! Thanks for posting this recipe.
I made this recipe last night with my Chinese roommates and it was a HIT!! Tasted just like the real thing 🙂 Will definitely be using this recipe again!
Can i use Large Shrimp? Will I have to up the ingredients if I do so ?
Yes, you may have to adjust the ingredients as you see fit.
I dont have condensed milk? What can i substitute it with?
Unfortunately, without further recipe testing, I cannot advise an appropriate substitute that will not alter the overall taste/texture of the dish. Using a substitution may also result in a mediocre outcome.
I just have to tell you how much my family loves this! I only make it for Father’s day and my husbands birthday, but man, I just made this for probably the 6th time and let me tell you, it was gone in under 10 minutes! Less time than it took me to clean up. And I don’t even bother with the walnuts anymore, I just make the shrimp and let them dip it in the mayo honey mixture!
How long for the sugar water to thicken? I was standing there for about 15 mins with it boiling and stirring constantly and it did not thicken. I ended up putting the pecans in anyway and it did sweeten them up a bit.
Also, the shrimp did not get crispy. Maybe I should use just egg whites with the corn starch next time?
The sauce is very good and just like what they serve at my favorite Chinese restaurant.
This tasted even better the next day.
15 minutes is a bit long – I would say that 5 minutes should do the trick. Either way, I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe! 🙂
I’m sorry, at what point you use mayo mix?
Please refer to the second to last step:
In a large bowl, combine shrimp and honey mixture.
This is happening Friday night along with the chicken pot stickers…We are loving your recipes, thank you!
OMG this is the best recipe ever! I tried it last night thinking it probably wouldn’t come out half as good as yours did in your pic, but it DID! I followed step by step and this is hands down the best honey walnut shrimp I have ever had! Now that I know how easy it is to make I will not be ordering out anymore! I love your recipes! Thank you so much!
Had this as a side dish last night and we were thrilled with the results! I love getting honey walnut shrimp at restaurants and didn’t think I’d be able to achieve them at home. Will definitely be eating these at home more often 🙂
This is a wonderful tasting, easy and inexpensive recipe. You can also change it up now and then by using chopped chicken in place of the shrimp! Thanks for posting!
Although I lived on the west coast for 30 years, I only saw this dish in one restaurant. It was my favorite! This will be my next shrimp adventure, and I might try it with chicken or both too. I have no other use for the milk so I’ll freeze it in an ice cube tray for future use. Thanks so much for this recipe, Chung-Ah!
I’m anxious to try this – as well as the lettuce wrap on H&F yesterday. You were a star! Good job…..
Shrimp and honey? no arguments here (:
Hi- this looks sooo good. My hubby is allergic to shrimp though- would I be able to substitute anything? Chicken?
Yes, chicken would be a great substitute!
Wow. Wow. This was amazing. I ran out of cornstarch half way through, so the other batch of shrimp got a flour coating and those were just as good. I bought walnuts that were already candied to save time… and I doubled the sauce because we love our Chinese food saucy.
I also let the shrimp marinate for an hour in the seasoning and spices to make sure they were flavorful. This dish tasted just like what’d you get at a restaurant. Just don’t over crowd the shrimp in the pan, only do a few at a time. I served along with a side of homemade fried rice. Amazing dinner.
This is so good! Make this dish now!! It comes out better than many restaurants.
Wow, so many rave reviews! This was a favorite dish of ours to order from Chinese restaurants before we went vegan. GOOD NEWS for some of the people asking for alternative ingredients! My local grocery store sells dairy free sweetened condensed milk made from coconut, vegan mayo (egg-free mayo) and even vegan shrimp! For those who don’t eat shrimp 😉 I will be trying this wonderful recipe with vegan ingredients. Thank you!
Can this be made without the mayonnaise? Can something else be substituted?
Hi Josephine! Unfortunately, without further recipe testing, I cannot answer with certainty. As always, please use your best judgment regarding substitutions and modifications.
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