Our Chinese family grew up never having tried honey-walnut shrimp.
It wasn’t until we came to the United States that this dish—perhaps most famous at Panda Express—entered our lives.
My mother was out with work colleagues at a Chinese restaurant when they suggested honey-walnut shrimp.
One bite and my mom was hooked: Crispy fried shrimp, shellacked in this rich, creamy, sweet-and-tangy sauce, with crunchy candied walnuts adding a nutty accent.
A Very Chinese CookbookFrom American Chinese classics (General Tso’s Chicken) to Hong Kong dim sum favorites (Shu Mai), A Very Chinese Cookbook is ideal for both the Chinese food-curious and experienced cooks seeking a weekend soup dumpling project.
My parents set out to develop their own version, and they landed on several innovations:
- Instead of American-style mayonnaise, they used Japanese Kewpie mayo, which has a more savory and creamy quality.
- The sweetness comes from honey and condensed milk, the latter adding an appealing dairy flavor to the sauce.
- A squeeze of lemon juice balances out the sauce.
You’ll find this recipe in our book, A Very Chinese Cookbook, along with 100 more dishes that were rigorously tested and developed. Watch the video below to see us demonstrate Honey-Walnut Shrimp.