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!)
Let's Get Cooking!
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Honey Walnut Shrimp Recipe
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 ½ tablespoons granulated white sugar
- ½ cup walnuts
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 5 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 egg whisked
- ½ cup ice cold soda/seltzer water
- 1 pound jumbo shrimp deveined and peeled
- Oil for frying vegetable, canola, grapeseed, or other high smoke point oil
- ½ teaspoon toasted sesame seeds optional for garnish
- In a metal mixing bowl, combine all-purpose flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill. Keep the shrimp, egg, & seltzer water in the fridge to chill as well.
- 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 sticky caramel glaze forms over 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. Set aside to allow them to cool completely, they’ll continue to harden & become crunchy!.
- In a medium-sized pot, add enough oil for a deep fry, then heat on medium-high heat.
- While the oil is heating, make the batter. Remove the bowl of dry ingredients from the fridge & add the egg & cold seltzer water. Mix until JUST combined - don’t overmix because the carbonation helps create a light crispy batter.
- Dip the shrimp in the batter & coat evenly.
- Check if the oil is hot by dropping a little batter in the oil. If it floats right away, the oil is hot enough. Slowly add shrimp into oil one at a time, working in batches to prevent overcrowding. Immediately begin stirring shrimp to prevent shrimp from sticking together. Cook for about 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown & crispy. You’ll know they’re ready if you no longer see big violent bubbles in the oil, it should be small bubbles, meaning less moisture & crispier shrimp! Remove and transfer to a wire rack or paper towel-lined plate.
- Optional but HIGHLY recommended: Turn off heat & allow shrimp to rest for 15-20 minutes. This gives shrimp more time to release residual moisture, then the moisture will be fried away during the double fry for EXTRA crunchy shrimp for longer.
- Reheat the pot of oil to medium-high. Once the oil is hot, double fry the shrimp! Again, work in batches if needed to prevent overcrowding. Cook shrimp for about another minute, or until you no longer see big violent bubbles in the oil & the shrimp is a deep golden color & crunchy. Transfer to a wire rack or paper towel-lined plate & allow to cool for 1-2 minutes. In the meantime, make the sauce.
- In a large bowl, combine Japanese mayo, honey, condensed milk, rice vinegar, and salt until well combined.
Combine & Serve
- Combine the shrimp & sauce, Toss in the candied walnuts, & garnish with sesame seeds. Serve immediately & 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.
Exact calculations may vary. 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.