Today is the Chinese New Year! This year is the Year of the Rooster – my 3rd is a Rooster – and apparently rooster years are BAD LUCK for current roosters… GREAT – can’t wait to see what this year will bring as he’s already my anxious one. BUT good news for him? Honey Walnut Shrimp for Dinner!
Breaded and fried shrimp with a sweet creamy sauce and topped with candied walnuts… YUM! I mean seriously just delicious. For my dad’s birthday every year we go out for Chinese food – family style – we love getting a dozen or so dishes and sharing – but we always order two honey walnut shrimps cause there never seems to be enough for everyone! So THIS year after dinner I figured I simply HAD to learn to make it!
2 warnings – Don’t overcook the sugar for the candied walnuts – I prefer mixing in the walnuts JUST as the sugar starts to color vs letting it develop a rich caramel colored – otherwise it could taste more burnt. And the second warning – DON’T OVERCOOK THE SHRIMP!
It takes a little practice – let the oil get hot before adding the shrimp – don’t crowd the shrimp in the pan – and flip as soon as the shrimp starts to look pink and they start to curl. They’ll cook even less on the second time – then pull right out and drain on a rack over a paper towel to keep crisp!
You can mix in the walnuts along with the sauce but personally I like just topping the shrimp with them – it’s prettier for one – I sprinkle about half onto the pile of shrimp and keep the others on the side for people to add as they desire! some like more, some like less! And whlie the full sized half walnuts are PRETTIEST, the smaller, broken candied chunks are the perfect size for me!
Walnut Shrimp Recipe - Chinese New Years
- 1 lbs Large Shrimp
- 2 egg whites
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 C water
- 1/2 C granulated sugar
- 1 C walnut halves
- 1/2 C cornstarch
- 1 C oil
- 1/3 C mayonnaise Asian Mayo will give you a more authentic flavor
- 3 Tbsp honey
- 2 Tbsp sweetened condensed milk
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- Pat shrimp dry
- whip the egg whites and salt until foamy
- put the shrimp in the egg white mixture, stir and leave for 30 mins
- In a small sauce pan bring the water and sugar to a boil and boil until it starts to turn golden (I'd do it a little less than I did in the video - but it's all about the flavor you want on your candied walnuts)
- spread onto a silpat mat, they'll harden right away
- put the cornstarch in a large ziplock bag - and put the shrimp in, shake until all the shrimp are coated
- heat the oil and fry the shrimp - half at a time - once you see the shrimp start to curl and you see pink flip right away - it will curl a little more - don't over cook - pull out and let drain on a wire rack over a paper towel (not directly onto a paper towel - they will get soggy)
- in another bowl mix the Mayo, honey, condensed milk and lemon juice - stir
- add the shrimp and stir to coat
- to with the walnuts and serve with rice!