Tossed in an addictive sweet and tangy sauce, these Honey Walnut Shrimp will beat take-out any day. Ready in less than 30 minutes, they’re an easy solution to your Asian-inspired food cravings.
Better Than Takeout Honey Walnut Shrimp
Perfectly golden and crispy, these easy honey walnut prawns are what your Asian-inspired dinner menu was missing. They’re so creamy and rich that you won’t even look back as you drive past your favorite take-out place from now on.
A sweet and savory sauce is the highlight of these shrimp, along with their light batter. Wait to start tossing until you’ve tried it, though. Unlike at Panda Express, you can actually adjust the sauce to your taste here. You can even add Sriracha to make it spicy! Your kitchen, your call, friend.
Ready in less than 30 minutes, there’s no excuse not to throw this recipe together asap – mainly because you can go nut-free and make a whole bunch of other substitutions to fit your lifestyle and differing tastes. You don’t even need shrimp! Way healthier than restaurant versions; there’s literally nothing to think about.
What You’ll Need
You can make these honey walnut prawns as long as you have shrimp, mayo, sweetened condensed milk, flour, and lime juice at home. Check the recipe card at the bottom of the post for full ingredient amounts.
For the Sauce
- Japanese mayonnaise: Feel free to use regular mayo instead.
- Sweetened condensed milk: Please don’t substitute this.
- Lime juice: Lemon juice works too.
For the Batter
- All-purpose flour
- Cornstarch: You can swap it for all-purpose flour.
- Potato starch: Feel free to substitute it for cornstarch or all-purpose flour.
- Baking powder: Don’t use baking soda, please.
To Cook the Shrimp
- Medium/large shrimp
- Raw honey: Agave syrup works too.
- Black sesame seeds: White sesame seeds are okay as well.
- Vegetable oil
Honey walnut prawns aren’t limited to only using shrimp or walnuts. Check these recipe variations for other yummy versions of this dish.
- Make it spicy. Add a little heat by mixing 1/2 tablespoon of Sriracha with the sauce.
- Use fish. Slice white fish like halibut or tilapia into 2″ cubes. Substitute the shrimp for it and prepare the recipe as directed.
- Add almonds. Substitute the walnuts for almonds and give this dish a different crunch.
- Go nut-free. Skip the walnuts altogether, and toss the crispy shrimp in the sauce. It’ll be just as good!
How to Make Honey Walnut Shrimp
Ready in under 30 minutes, how hard can these honey walnut prawns be?
To Make the Sauce and Walnuts
- Make the sauce. Whisk the Japanese mayo, sweetened condensed milk, and lime juice until well combined. It’s going to be tangy and sweet, but wait until you’ve fried the shrimp to adjust the flavor. Set it aside.
- Fry the walnuts. Add 3/4 cup vegetable oil to a small pot over low heat. Add the walnuts and let them fry for 1 minute, stirring constantly to avoid burning. Remove them from the heat and let them cool for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add honey. Toss the fried walnuts with the honey in a small bowl. Place them back in the oil and cook for another minute or until slightly crispy. Strain them and set them aside to cool. Don’t set them on a paper towel or they will stick. Don’t use the same cooking utensil for the rest of the recipe or the caramelized honey might burn in the oil later on.
For the Batter and Shrimp
- Make the batter. Mix the salt, flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and potato starch in a medium-sized bowl. Add the egg and water. Whisk until you form a batter. It shouldn’t be too runny.
- Coat the shrimp. Add about 3 to 5 cups of oil to a medium-sized pot over medium-high heat. Don’t use the same pot that you used for the walnuts because the honey will burn and stick to the shrimp. Add the shrimp to the batter and mix to combine.
- Fry the shrimp. Drop 1 teaspoon of batter into the oil. If it sizzles right away, it’s ready for frying. Carefully lower 4 to 5 battered shrimp into the hot oil. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes on each side until golden brown. Strain them and set them on a wire rack to cool. Repeat for the rest of the shrimp.
- Add the sauce. Dip 1 fried shrimp into the sauce and do a taste test. Adjust the flavor of the sauce with more mayo, sweetened condensed milk, or lime juice to taste. Once ready, toss all the shrimp with the sauce until completely coated. Add the walnuts and stir to combine.
- Serve. Sprinkle with sesame seeds to taste, serve, and enjoy!
Tips for Success
Pre-cleaned shrimp is by far the most life-saving tip when you’re pressed for time.
- Buy pre-cleaned shrimp. Ask your fishmonger to devein and clean the shrimp for you. There are also packages of cleaned, frozen shrimp that you can grab at the store.
- Use tempura. If you don’t have time or if you don’t have all the ingredients for the batter, use tempura batter mix.
- Add soy sauce. Add 2 teaspoons of soy sauce to the sauce for additional saltiness and umami flavor.
- Use candied walnuts. If you already have some on hand, use them to cut down on cooking time.
What to Serve with Honey Walnut Prawns
For a full take-out style meal at home, you can serve these honey walnut shrimp over a bed of steamed rice or Shrimp Fried Rice. Paired with Orange Chicken Bites, Asian Beef Skewers, and Chicken Lettuce Wraps, you’ll feel like you brought your favorite Asian restaurant straight to your kitchen. My Poke Bowl Recipe, Easy Kung Pao Chicken Recipe, Chinese Chicken, and Broccoli also go quite well with it.
If you’re looking for something a little lighter, you can make lettuce wrap-style tacos with iceberg lettuce, steamed rice, and some honey walnut prawns. Drizzled with soy sauce or Sriracha, they’re amazing!
How to Store & Reheat Leftovers
- Refrigerate any cooled leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Don’t store the shrimp longer than this because the risk of food poisoning increases significantly.
- To reheat the shrimp, microwave them for up to a minute or until warm. You can also reheat the shrimp in a pan over medium-low heat for several minutes or until heated through; stir occasionally. They won’t be as crispy as they were initially because the batter will have absorbed all the moisture from the sauce, but the shrimp will taste just as good.
More Easy Shrimp Recipes
- Cajun Shrimp and Guacamole Tortilla Bites
- Lemon Garlic Shrimp Recipe
- Shrimp Corn Chowder
- Juicy Grilled Shrimp Kabobs
- Baked Batter “Fried” Shrimp with Garlic Dipping Sauce
Honey Walnut Shrimp
- cooked rice
- shredded cabbage salad
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk the mayo, sweetened condensed milk, and lime juice until well combined. Set the sauce aside.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the salt, flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and potato starch to make the batter. Add in the egg and water and whisk until you form a batter. Add the shrimp to the batter and toss to combine. Set aside.
- Add about 4 to 5 cups of oil to a deep frying pan set over medium-high heat.
- Drop 1 teaspoon of batter into the oil. If it sizzles right away, it's ready for frying. Carefully lower 4 to 5 battered shrimp into the hot oil. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes on each side until golden brown. Remove from oil with a slotted spoon, strain, and set them on a wire rack to cool. Repeat with the rest of the shrimp.
- Meanwhile, add ¾ cup vegetable oil to a pot or skillet set over low heat. Add the walnuts and let them fry for 1 to 2 minutes, constantly stirring to avoid burning. Remove them from the heat and let them cool for a couple of minutes.
- In a small bowl, toss the fried walnuts with honey. Place them back in the oil and cook for another minute or until slightly crispy. Strain them and set them aside to cool.
- Dip a fried shrimp into the mayo sauce and do a taste test. Adjust the sauce's flavor with more mayo, sweetened condensed milk, or lime juice to taste. Once ready, toss all the shrimp with the sauce until completely coated. Add the walnuts and stir to combine.
- Arrange the shrimp over a bed of cooked rice.
- Sprinkle with black sesame seeds, and enjoy with a side of cabbage salad.
- Shrimp: Use raw, thawed, cleaned, and deveined shrimp. You can also use fish fillets; slice white fish, like Halibut or Cod, into 2-inch cubes, and use that instead of shrimp.
- Walnuts: If you don’t have walnuts or are allergic to walnuts, skip them altogether or use a different nut.
- Mayonnaise: For a more authentic recipe, I suggest using Kewpie, which is Japanese mayonnaise. It’s thicker, tangier, and sweeter than its American counterpart. Add a little heat by mixing in a bit of Sriracha to the sauce.
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.