Whenever we visit Jason’s family in California, we always go to his dad’s favourite Chinese restaurant. We always order the same handful of delicious dishes for the table to share; my favourite is the “Honey Walnut Shrimp” with its fried shrimp and sweet, creamy sauce. I think the walnuts must be candied, because they are also sweet. It is really more of a dessert than a meal, but my sweet tooth doesn’t mind!
As I looked up inspiration recipes for this, I wasn’t thrilled by the ingredients I saw: cream, mayonnaise, lots of sugar, etc. I decided to attempt a healthier version and it turned out great! My husband said he even preferred it to the original, and I admit that I do as well. Though I think the true test will be to make it for Jason’s dad when we visit in a few months!
(PS: What Americans call shrimp in the US are called prawns in the UK. I am primarily using “shrimp” as that is the word used in the original dish.)
[Pictures below are of a half batch as the kids had eaten earlier during a playdate. Directions to prepare a full batch are below.]
Honey Walnut ShrimpPrint Recipe
- shrimp: 400g shrimp (prawns)
- 1 egg, whipped
- 70g (1/2 cup) of cornstarch
- 200g (1.5 cups) chopped walnuts
- a healthy drizzle of vegetable oil (at least 1/4 cup)
- sauce: 85g (1/4 cup) of honey
- 4 spoonfuls (see pic below) of apricot jam (a bit less than 1/2 cup)
- 120mls (1/2 cup) half fat creme fraiche (or Greek yoghurt)
- Serve with rice (I use this for ease) and steamed veg (I used pak choi).
start your rice (if you're not using the quick rice*)
mix together ingredients for the sauce (honey, jam, and creme fraiche) and set aside
toast the walnut pieces in the oven under a medium/high heat close to the heating element (I recommend standing there and watching them to make sure they don't burn!)
coat shrimp in the whipped eggs before coating them with cornstarch
now is a good time to steam your veg as the shrimp cook fairly quickly!
heat oil over a medium/low heat (make sure it is fully heated before adding the shrimp, or they will be soggy!)
fry the shrimp for about a minute on each side, or until fully pink
remove shrimp and set on a paper towel or cookie rack (see below) to cool for a minute or two
mix shrimp and toasted walnuts with the sauce and serve over rice with steamed veg
(I ended up cutting up my pak choi and mixing it into the rice as it was a bit of a pain to cut. I think I will prepare the rice this way to begin with next time we make this.)