I promise this will be the BEST honey walnut shrimp you’ll ever sink your teeth into…. And it’s incredibly simple to make at home! This honey walnut shrimp recipe has juicy EXTRA crispy shrimp tossed in a sweet creamy sauce that you just can’t get enough of. And of course, you can’t forget the sweet, salty, and addictively crunchy candied walnuts.
Let’s jump into the recipe already but I’m starting to drool!
How to Make the BEST Honey Walnut Shrimp Recipe
Honey walnut shrimp is a take-out favorite and really, what’s not to love?!
The ingredient list may look long, but don’t let that intimidate you. It’s SO easy to whip up the BEST honey walnut shrimp and the perks of cooking it at home is that you can customize it exactly how you like!
Extra candied walnuts? Why not?! Don’t like the sauce too sweet? No problem. You’re the top chef of your kitchen. Don’t be afraid to adjust and add your own flare!
The Secret to a Light & EXTRA Crispy Batter
To get that satisfying crisp on your shrimp, you only need 2 simple ingredients and one game-changing technique.
Adding seltzer water to the tempura mix makes the batter light and crisp, instead of a heavy cakey batter. To take it to a whole other level, make sure to double fry your shrimp!
This little difference is game-changing! It only takes another minute or so and makes a world of difference. Your shrimp will be EXTRA crispy for longer!
Easy (& Addictively Crunchy!) Candied Walnuts
Pro-tip: Make extra because these get swooped up FAST!
I always wondered how to make these without dirting a bunch of dishes… And now that I know, I make them in large batches as a little treat / snack haha.
When making these walnuts, keep a close eye on them and don’t step away, otherwise, you may turn around to burnt sadness. You’ll know they’re ready when a thick caramel glaze coats the walnuts.
Quickly spread them out on a pan, salt them, and allow them to cool. They’ll get crunchier once they’re cooled completely.
Key Tips for an Irresistible Sweet & Creamy Sauce
This creamy sauce comes together in only about a minute! The condensed milk truly makes a difference, bringing in sweetness and a luxurious creaminess at the same time. Don’t skimp on it!
The rice vinegar is also a key ingredient to balance the sweetness, but you can also substitute it with lemon juice. If you want the sauce to stay a creamy white, instead of clear glaze, wait a few minutes after frying the shrimp to allow them to cool.
The sauce turns more transparent with heat.
What to Serve with Honey Walnut Shrimp
Here are some quick & easy favorites that pair so well with this honey walnut shrimp recipe!
- 5-Minute Quick Egg Fried Rice (The Fastest Fried Rice EVER!)
- Garlic Spinach Stir-Fry (Less than 10 Minutes!)
- Korean Cucumbers (Easy & Healthy!)
- Vegetarian Udon Noodles (20 Minutes or Less!)
- Bok Choy with Garlic Sauce (Restuarant-Quality Made Easy!)
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Honey Walnut Shrimp Recipe
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 ½ tablespoons granulated white sugar
- ½ cup walnuts
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup Japanese mayo
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons condensed milk
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- ½ cup tempura mix
- ½ cup soda water
- 1 pound large or jumbo shrimp deveined and peeled
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ½ tablespoon sesame seeds optional for garnish
Make the Candied Walnuts
- Heat a medium-sized pot on medium. Add in butter and sugar to combine, then pour in walnuts. Continuously stir and cook for about 5 minutes or until a caramel glaze covers the walnuts. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn.
- Pour them onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Quickly dust them with salt then separate them so they don’t stick together as they cool. Allow them to cool completely while preparing the rest of the ingredients.
Make the Sauce
- In a large bowl, combine sauce ingredients. Set aside.
Make the Crispy Shrimp
- In a large bowl, combine tempura mix and seltzer water, then dip shrimp in the batter until they’re well coated.
- Heat a large skillet or wok on medium-high heat. Add enough oil to the pan to shallow or deep fry. Once the oil is hot, shake off any excess batter from the shrimp, then add them in the oil in batches to prevent overcrowding. If you add too many shrimp, it’ll be more difficult to make them crispy. Cook for about 2 minutes, flipping halfway through, or until lightly golden and cooked through. Remove and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate or wire rack.
- Once all the shrimp are cooked, increase the pan’s heat to high and double fry the shrimp to make them extra crunchy. Flash fry them for a few seconds, transfer them to a paper towel-lined plate or wire rack to drain, then quickly dust them with a little salt while they’re still hot.
Assemble Honey Walnut Shrimp
- Optional: Allow the shrimp to cool for a few minutes, or until cool to the touch. This is more for aesthetics since it'll keep the sauce white and creamy instead of heating and turning clear. The sauce will taste the same either way!
- In a large bowl, combine the candied walnuts, shrimp, and sauce. Keep stirring until all shrimp and walnuts are well coated. Garnish with sesame seeds, if desired, then serve immediately and enjoy!
- Japanese Mayo: I HIGHLY recommend making the effort to get Japanese mayo at local Asian or Japanese markets. It's richer, creamier, and adds a subtle tang. Swapping it out will change the flavor of the sauce.
- Oil for Frying: Use an oil with a high smoke point, such as grapeseed, canola, vegetable, or avocado oil. Avoid using oils such as olive oil with low smoke points.
Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and provided for informational purposes. Nutrition may vary based on product availability, methods of preparation, origin, and freshness of ingredients, etc. For the most accurate nutritional information, use your preferred nutrition calculator, actual ingredients, and quantities used for the recipe. Please consult with your physician or registered dietitian if more precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.