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Walnut Shrimp

Walnut Shrimp

Ever since I was little, there was one (ok, maybe it was two) dish that I looked forward to (fine it was three) when I attended a Chinese banquet.

Four dishes. I had four favorites out of the twelve dishes and if they weren’t present on the table my little head deemed it not satisfying nor up to my requirements.

The four dishes were:

  • Lobster salad (which fruit and mayo – I know I know, it sounds really gross, but I loved it, since growing up Chinese we didn’t have many creamy dishes, and the mayo was the closest thing to creamy I could get),
  • Yi Mein (longevity noodles) with mushrooms (since it was a carb, it came at the end of the banquet to fill up those gaps in your stomach so you can leave fulfilled),
  • Lobster with ginger and scallions (yes, I love me some lobster)
  • Walnut Shrimp (see a trend here….I guess I really love lobster and mayonnaise)

Since there were an average of 12 people per table, and there were 12 shrimp per dish, I’d nab my one and single shrimp and put it on my plate immediately. Then I’d hope one person at that table hated shrimp and offered it up to one of us. If we were lucky, multiple people didn’t like shrimp (score!) and we could enjoy a few.

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If you’ve ever been to a banquet you probably had Walnut Shrimp. Hell, you probably ordered a similar version of it at Panda Express (Honey Walnut Shrimp) or gotten it from  your favorite Chinese takeout place. This one is the most authentic recipe I have made that resembles the Chinese banquet version. It’s not overly sweet like Panda Express, but you can feel free to use extra honey in the cream sauce if you wish. Just taste it and adjust to your preference.

My mom uses orange juice in the cream sauce, but I used lemon juice. She found out some Chinese restaurants use orange juice rather than lemon and claim it is their secret recipe (not so secret if my mom asked and they just told her) but you can use either one.

This dish looks intimidating to execute, but each component is extremely easy to make. Cook the walnuts ahead of time and set aside. Steam the broccoli ahead of time and set aside. Make the cream sauce and set aside. Then fry the shrimp (mixed with frothy egg whites, then dredged in cornstarch) and combine all the ingredients.

I will be making this for my Chinese New Year’s dinner this year, along with sticky rice and poached chicken with ginger scallion sauce.

You can leave the tail on the shrimp to make it look fancier, but I always remove the peel from the tail, because that little bit of extra meat on the end of 12 shrimps equal one whole extra shrimp.

It’s science.

Walnut Shrimp

February 7, 2018
: 4
: easy

By:

Ingredients
  • Ingredients:
  • 1 lb. large or jumbo shrimp, de-veined
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • oil for frying
  • Ingredients for Candied Walnuts:
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 2 Tbsp. white granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp. oil
  • Ingredients for broccoli:
  • 1 head of broccoli, cut into florets
  • Ingredients for Cream Sauce:
  • 3 Tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1/2 Tbsp. honey (adjust to taste)
  • 2 Tbsp. condensed milk
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice (substitution: 1 tsp. orange juice)
Directions
  • Step 1 Steam or blanch broccoli until bright green and tender. Set aside.
  • Step 2 In a small pan, heat to medium heat and combine ingredients for walnuts (walnuts, sugar, oil). Stir until sugar has melted and thickened, coating the walnuts. Remove from heat immediately and place walnuts on a parchment paper lined surface to cool. Set aside.
  • Step 3 In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients for the cream sauce. Set aside.
  • Step 4 Crack an egg white in a bowl, and whisk until frothy. Add the shrimp and mix well. Dip each shrimp into a bowl of cornstarch, shake off excess and place on plate.
  • Step 5 On a large skillet, pour enough oil to immerse the shrimp halfway up. Heat to medium high. Place shrimp into pan, and cook approx. 2 minutes per side, or until shrimp is no longer translucent. Set shrimp aside in a bowl or plate.
  • Step 6 On a large serving plate, assemble the broccoli in a circular ring bordering the center. Combine the cream sauce and shrimp, and place in the center of the ring. Sprinkle walnuts on top, serve immediately.

Instructions with Photos:

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Steam or blanch broccoli til bright green and tender. Set aside.

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In a small pan, heat to medium heat and combine ingredients for walnuts (walnuts, sugar, oil).

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Stir until sugar has melted and thickened, coating the walnuts.

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Remove from heat immediately and place walnuts on a parchment paper lined surface to cool. Set aside.

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In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients for the cream sauce. Set aside.

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Crack an egg white in a bowl, and whisk until frothy.

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Add the shrimp and mix well.

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Dip each shrimp into a bowl of cornstarch, shake off excess and place on plate.

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On a large skillet, pour enough oil to immerse the shrimp halfway up. Heat to medium high. Place shrimp into pan,

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and cook approx. 2 minutes per side, or until shrimp is no longer translucent.

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Set shrimp aside in a bowl or plate.

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On a large serving plate, assemble the broccoli in a circular ring bordering the center.

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Combine the cream sauce and shrimp, and place in the center of the ring. Sprinkle walnuts on top, serve immediately.

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