Experience the ultimate delight with this copycat Panda Express Honey Walnut Shrimp recipe. Succulent tempura-battered shrimp coated in a sweet and tangy sauce, complemented by the crunchy candied walnuts. Satisfy your cravings with this homemade version that rivals restaurant quality.
Panda Express Honey Walnut Shrimp Copycat Recipe
If you've been hesitant to try the Honey Walnut Shrimp at Panda Express because of the mayonnaise in the recipe, let me put your doubts to rest. As someone who is not a fan of mayo, I can assure you that it adds a subtle and delicious touch to the sauce. Trust me, if I enjoy it, you're likely to love this flavorful fried shrimp dish as well! Don't let your skepticism hold you back - go ahead and give it a try, and prepare to be pleasantly surprised!
Tender, succulent shrimp coated in a crispy tempura batter, tossed in a mouthwatering sweet and tangy sauce, and topped with candied walnuts for an irresistible crunch. This homemade version of the popular Panda Express dish captures all the flavors and textures that make it a favorite.
What's in Honey Walnut Shrimp?
- Water: It is used to make a simple syrup with the sugar. You can adjust the sweetness of the syrup by adding more or less sugar according to your taste.
- Sugar: The ratio of water to sugar for a simple syrup can vary depending on the desired consistency and sweetness. The most common ratio is equal parts water to sugar (e.g., ½ cup of water to ½ cup of sugar).
- Walnuts: Make sure to use fresh and high-quality walnuts for the best flavor and texture.
- Egg whites: Ensure that the egg whites are at room temperature for better incorporation into the batter.
- Cornstarch: You can substitute it with potato starch or all-purpose flour if desired.
- Shrimp: When purchasing shrimp, choose peeled and deveined shrimp for convenience. You can also leave the tails on for an attractive presentation if desired.
- Oil: Use a vegetable oil with a high smoke point, such as canola or peanut oil, for frying the shrimp.
- For the sauce, mayonnaise adds creaminess, while sweetened condensed milk adds sweetness and richness. Adjust the amount of honey in the sauce to suit your taste preferences.
- Paprika: Gives a subtle smoky flavor and adds a touch of color to the sauce.
- The green onions are optional but provide a fresh and aromatic flavor. Slice them thinly for garnishing the dish.
Feel free to customize this recipe by adding additional ingredients such as diced pineapple or bell peppers for a variation in flavor and texture.
How to Make Honey Walnut Shrimp
In a small saucepan, combine the water, sugar, and walnuts. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil over low heat and let it boil for 2-3 minutes. Then, carefully remove the walnuts from the saucepan and place them on a wire cooling rack to dry.
In a separate medium bowl, whisk the egg whites until they become light and foamy. Add the cornstarch and continue whisking until combined, resulting in a smooth batter.
Heat the oil in a medium frying pan or wok over medium-high heat until it reaches a temperature of 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Dip each shrimp into the batter, ensuring it is fully coated. Allow any excess batter to drip off the shrimp before adding them into the hot oil.
Fry the shrimp for approximately 4-5 minutes, or until they turn light golden brown. Once cooked, transfer to a paper towel lined plate or a wire rack to drain off any excess oil.
Make the Creamy Honey Sauce
In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sweetened condensed milk, honey, and paprika.
Gently toss the cooked shrimp in the sauce, ensuring they are evenly coated. Place the coated shrimp on serving plates and top with candied walnuts. Garnish with sliced green onions.
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Tips for Making Panda Express Honey Walnut Shrimp Recipe
- Fresh shrimp: Use fresh, high-quality shrimp for the best flavor and texture. Look for peeled and deveined shrimp for convenience.
- Candying the walnuts: Make sure to keep an eye on the walnuts while boiling them in the sugar syrup. Overcooking can result in overly caramelized or burnt walnuts. Aim for a light golden brown color.
- Batter consistency: When preparing the batter, ensure it is smooth and not too thick or too thin. Adjust the amount of cornstarch accordingly to achieve a coating that adheres well to the shrimp.
- Drip off excess batter: Allow excess batter to drip off the shrimp before adding them to the hot oil. This helps prevent the shrimp from clumping together and ensures a crispy exterior.
- Proper frying temperature: Maintain the oil temperature around 350°F (175°C) to achieve a crispy and evenly cooked shrimp. Use a thermometer to monitor the temperature or test with a small piece of shrimp before frying the whole batch.
Is Honey Walnut Shrimp a Chinese dish?
Honey Walnut Shrimp is a popular dish that is often associated with Chinese-American cuisine. While it may not be a traditional Chinese dish with deep roots in Chinese culinary history, it has gained popularity in Chinese-American restaurants, including Panda Express. The combination of sweet and savory flavors, crispy shrimp, and candied walnuts creates a delicious and unique dish that has become a favorite among many.
What to Serve with Honey Walnut Shrimp
- Steamed Rice: A simple and traditional choice, steamed white or brown rice complements the flavors of the shrimp and helps balance the sweetness of the dish.
- Fried Rice: For a more flavorful option, serve the Honey Walnut Shrimp with Fried Rice.
- Stir-Fried Vegetables: Add some freshness and color to your meal by serving stir-fried vegetables such as broccoli, bell peppers, carrots, and snow peas.
- Steamed Vegetables: If you prefer a lighter side, steamed vegetables like bok choy, green beans, or snap peas are a healthy and refreshing choice that pairs well with the shrimp.
- Asian Slaw: A crisp and tangy Asian slaw made with cabbage, carrots, and a sesame-ginger dressing can provide a refreshing and crunchy element to your meal.
- Steamed Buns or Lettuce Wraps: For a fun and interactive dining experience, serve the Honey Walnut Shrimp with steamed buns or lettuce wraps. These can be used to make mini shrimp sliders or wraps by adding the shrimp along with some fresh herbs and sauces.
How to Store Leftover Panda Express Honey Walnut Shrimp
Allow to cool down to room temperature. Transfer to an airtight container or a sealable plastic bag. Ensure that the container is large enough to accommodate the shrimp without crushing or squishing them.
If there is any sauce remaining, you can either store the shrimp with the sauce or separate them into different containers. Storing them together may help maintain the flavor and texture of the shrimp.
Place the container in the refrigerator and store for up to 2-3 days. Ensure that the temperature of your refrigerator is set below 40°F (4°C) to keep the shrimp fresh and safe to consume.
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String Bean Chicken Panda Express-Juicy chicken stir-fried with fresh string beans in a flavorful sauce.
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Panda Express Mushroom Chicken Copycat-Tender chicken, mushrooms, and a delicious sauce make this dish a crowd-pleaser!
Panda Express Black Pepper Chicken-Tender chicken, crispy vegetables, and a savory black pepper sauce make this dish a must-try!
Kung Pao Chicken-This popular Chinese-inspired dish features tender pieces of chicken, stir-fried with peanuts, bell peppers, and zucchini in a flavorful Kung Pao sauce.
Chow Mein Panda Express-A delicious blend of stir-fried noodles, fresh vegetables, and a savory sauce. Perfect for satisfying your Chinese cuisine cravings!
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