Slightly crunchy shrimp covered in a light honey lemon mayo with sugar glazed toasted pecans over a bed of finely chopped iceberg lettuce, a delicious yet (slightly) healthier version of the classic Honey Walnut Shrimp.
Have I mentioned that I love shrimp? No? Well, if I didn’t, you now know that I do. Honey Walnut Shrimp is my absolute favorite shrimp dish! We always order it when we eat out at a Chinese restaurant, which honestly isn’t that often. My family firmly believes that if you know how to cook, there’s no need to eat out. So we rarely go out to eat except for special occasions or extremely lazy days. But while this is my favorite dish, it can be pretty pricy. After all, it is seafood.
I decided that I want to try making this dish at home. Not only would it be cheaper but I would be able to eat more than a handful of times a year. I tried following a few recipes online, but it didn’t work as well. Sometimes the taste wasn’t the same. Sometime the consistency was different. So I played around until I found one that was just right. It sounds complicated, but it’s not, and the result is worth the effort.
First, make the candied pecans. Why did I use pecans instead of walnuts? Because I couldn’t find halved walnuts in time to make this recipe that wouldn’t make me poor. Nuts are so expensive these days!
Combine sugar and water in a small skillet over medium heat. Stir to allow the sugar to dissolve in the water. Allow the sugar water to boil.
Once the water boils, add the pecans and allow it to boil for another minute before setting it aside. Allow the pecans to be coated with the sugar syrup for a few minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 o F. Line a baking sheet with foil.
Transfer the pecans over to the baking sheet and place in the oven. Toast the pecans for 5-8 minutes until they have a slight crunch to them. However, make sure to keep an eye on them. Since the pecans are coated in sugar, it’s more likely to burn. Once they are done, set them aside for now.
In one of my previous posts, I demonstrated the different techniques for cutting shrimp. You can use that as a reference. =)
For this recipe, cut about 1/3 of the way into the shrimp along the deveined outer edge. Do this for all the shrimp. This allows the shrimp to flare open a little. It’s a nice trick when you want to add extra volume to your dish.
In a medium bowl, add the shrimps and egg white. Mix until all the shrimps are coated with the egg white. Allow the shrimp to sit there for a few minutes. The egg white makes the shrimp sticky so that we can coat it with flour or cornstarch.
Place flour or cornstarch into a medium size bowl. I used flour but cornstarch is better for that golden brown look. I only used about 1/3 cup of flour. If you need more, just add more. I didn’t want to waste the leftover flour.
Dip the shrimp into the flour and coat all the surfaces. If the flour falls off, dip it back into the egg white and then into the flour.
Place the coated shrimp on a surface covered with plastic wrap. It’s less of a mess and easy for clean up.
In a medium skillet or pot, add vegetable oil. I recommend a skillet or a pot that’s deep, that way there’s less of a splash of oil.
Allow the oil to heat over medium to high for a minute. Carefully add the shrimp, lightly frying several at a time until the shrimp become orange/pink and the coating turns slightly golden. I placed the cooked ones on a plate lined with paper towel to allow the oil to drain.
Now, quickly mix the two different mayonnaises, lemon juice, honey, and condensed milk together. Most recipes will use either regular mayo or Kewpie mayo. But I find that with regular mayo, the consistency is perfect, but the taste isn’t quite right. If I used just Kewpie mayo, or Japanese mayo, which is often found in sushi rolls, the taste is perfect, but the consistency is too thin and acts like a sauce. It wasn’t sticky enough to stay on the shrimp. So I combined both types to get the perfect taste and the consistency.
Once you mix together the ingredients, the consistency should be relatively thick so that it could coat the shrimp. If it’s too thin, add about ½ tablespoon of regular mayo.
Dip the shrimp into the honey lemon mayo sauce to coat. You just need a light coat of it over the shrimp. That’s enough to give you all the flavors.
Plate the shrimp over thinly chopped iceberg lettuce and add pecans.
Serve immediately with rice or noodles. Enjoy!
For a printer friendly version, click here.
Click on the image below for an enlarged version of the recipe.