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{Recipe + Video} Walnut Shrimp 核桃蝦 + Worldwide Giveaway | Yi Reservation

{Recipe + Video} Walnut Shrimp 核桃蝦 + Worldwide Giveaway

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Walnut shrimp is a popular American Chinese dish featuring crispy shrimp in a sweet creamy sauce.

honey creamy walnut shrimp 核桃蝦

For those of us who live in the U.S., this long and contentious election cycle has finally come to an end.

With the election results out, depending on who you are supporting, you may feel excited, depressed, or simply relieved the fact the election was over. However, we can all agree on that, after weeks of mental torment, the upcoming holiday season feels especially needed and comforting.

To kick off this holiday season, I’d like to share this absolutely delicious Walnut Shrimp. To spice things up, I am also giving away 2 Amazon gift cards to readers worldwide (see details below).

Walnut Shrimp is one of the most requested recipes I’ve gotten over the years, more so after I post this popular creamy coconut shrimp recipe a few years back.
honey creamy walnut shrimp 核桃蝦
While it’s not a traditional Chinese dish per se, walnut shrimp is admittedly one of the handful of American Chinese dishes I personally enjoy a lot.

The first time I had this dish was at a local Chinese buffet restaurant after I moved to the States. I had no idea what it was and I was hesitant to try because I was still getting used to this Western condiment called mayonnaise.

But it’s shrimp so how bad could it be, I thought.

So I cautiously put a piece of shrimp in my mouth and my eyes literally lit up immediately. That crunchy shrimp covered in a thick and sweet creamy sauce was so heavenly! I must have had a plateful of walnut shrimp at that place because it was so addictive. It has become my go-to dish whenever I eat at a Chinese buffet restaurant.

Since this dish is so sinfully delicious, you may think it’s hard to replicate at home. Turns out, it’s quite easy to do.

I first learned how to make walnut shrimp during my summer job at a Chinese restaurant back in the days. It was one of the restaurant’s best selling dishes so I paid very close attention to how the dish was made and repeated with success once I got back home.
honey creamy walnut shrimp 核桃蝦
If you’ve already made either of my coconut shrimp or creamy coconut shrimp, you’d be happy to find out that the walnut shrimp isn’t much harder. The extra step is to make the candied honey walnut which can be made ahead of the time in bulk and the leftovers are great as a snack.

Also, If you don’t want to deep free the shrimp, you can also pan fry the shrimp like I did in the coconut shrimp recipe. It’s still delicious and a tad healthier.

YouTube Video

Since a lot of you have requested for this recipe, I’ve also made a YouTube video to show you how to make this addictive Walnut Shrimp dish. If you find the video, please help me grow my YouTube channel by sharing and giving me a thumbs up. Don’t forget to subscribe to my channel if you haven’t done so.


Holiday Season Worldwide Giveaway (CLOSED)

holiday 2016 giveaway contest
As I mentioned in the beginning of this post, I am hosting a holiday sweepstakes to give away 2 Amazon gift cards at $50 (USD) each. This giveaway is open to readers worldwide!

For details on how to enter, please check out this holiday giveaway page.



Yield: 2-3 Servings

Prep Time: 25 mins

Cook Time: 10 mins

Total Time: 35 mins


  • 1lb medium size headless shrimp
  • 1 broccoli crown (for garnishing)
  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour

Shrimp Marinade:

  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp Shaoxing cooking wine

For Creamy Sauce:

  • 6 tbsp sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1tsp custard powder, toasted (optional – see step 10)

For Honey Walnut:

  • 1/2 cup walnut
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 tsp honey
  • ¼ cup water


The honey walnuts can be made ahead of the time and the leftovers are perfect for snacking. To make the honey walnuts, combine all honey walnut ingredients except the honey in a small frying pan over medium heat. Bring it to a boil and reduce the heat and let the liquid reduce. Stir frequently. When the liquid turns thick and sticky, drizzle the honey to the pan and mix well. Separately, pre-heat the oven to 400F (205C).Walnut Shrimp 核桃蝦 Transfer the candied walnuts to a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Spread out. Bake the walnuts for 8-10 minutes until brown. Let the walnuts cool completely and set aside.Walnut Shrimp 核桃蝦 Cut the broccoli crown into smaller pieces.Walnut Shrimp 核桃蝦 Peel and devein the shrimp (see video instruction)Walnut Shrimp 核桃蝦 Add the shrimp marinade and mix well. Let the shrimp marinate for at least 10 minutes.Walnut Shrimp 核桃蝦 Blanch the broccoli for 30 seconds in boiling water and transfer to pot cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain off the water and set aside.Walnut Shrimp 核桃蝦 Heat up 1-2 cups of oil a wok or deep-frying pan. Alternatively you can just pan-fry the shrimp with 1/2 cups of oil. In batches of 4, lightly coat the shrimp with all-purpose flour on both sides.Walnut Shrimp 核桃蝦 Gently drop the shrimp into the frying oil and fry until golden cripsy. About 2 minutes. Scope out the shrimp using a mesh strainer and shake off as much oil as possible. Walnut Shrimp 核桃蝦 Repeat the process until all the shrimp is fried.Walnut Shrimp 核桃蝦 Combine all creamy sauce ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix until the sauce is smooth. The custard powder is optional but it will make the sauce ticker and look yellower. Walnut Shrimp 核桃蝦 Add the shrimp to the sauce fold the sauce onto the shrimp until evenly coated.Walnut Shrimp 核桃蝦 To plate, line the plate with blanched broccoli around the edge. Transfer the shrimp to the center of the plate. Top with honey walnuts. Serve immediately when the shrimp is still crispy.

honey creamy walnut shrimp 核桃蝦

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  1. 9

    Yes, that makes sense. I followed your recipe minus the custard/cornstarch/vanilla/pudding, used half Kewpie half regular, perked it up with a little rice vinegar and lemon, and – didn’t have honey so I added maple syrup to both sauce and nuts. Delicious! Not knowing to sauce the broccoli, I reserved half the sauce in a jar in the fridge. Maybe I’ll doctor that with vanilla and starch but was very happy as it was. So nice-they should bottle it.

    Thanks for everything!

    The pork and bamboo shoots were good too-threw in some peas for color.

    …So did you have thoughts on flour vs cornstarch breading?

    • 9.1

      Hi Noah, glad that the recipe worked out for you. Assuming you were referring the breading for the shrimp, for this recipe either flour or cornstarch works. Cornstarch does give it a little texture though but in this recipe since the shrimp will be coated with a lot of sauce the small difference doesn’t really matter too much. Hope this answers your question.

  2. 8

    I’m not a fan of Western broccoli so would use Chinese broccoli instead. Also, being Japanese, mayo sauces shouldn’t creep me out but they do. Maybe a Hollandaise could be a sub? I also don’t do sugar or honey so I think I’ll have to re-work this for my tastes. Interesting recipe. Thanks for sharing! I always love your posts!

    • 8.1

      Hi Chieko, thanks for checking out the recipe. Glad to hear you’ll be giving this recipe a try. Again, this is not an authentic Chinese dish like most of the recipes on this site but it’s definitely one of the most popular American Chinese dishes.

  3. 7

    Thank you for visiting my blog! It is a joy to read about making Walnut Shrimp! I had no idea the creamy sauce had so much goodness! Sweetened condensed milk is always amazing, with added mayo, just wow! No wonder the dish is so popular! Now I’m off to find custard powder so I can give it a try!

  4. 6

    This is my son’s favorite dish from Chinese restaurant! I’ve never attempted to make it at home, nor even thought of it before watching your video. Thanks for sharing the recipe. Can’t wait to make it for my family soon! 🙂

  5. 5

    Such a great dish! And yours is done to perfection. Thanks!

  6. 4

    OMG! Thank you Yi, this is my favorite Chinese dish and I always wondered how it was made!! Thank you! Thank you! Jan

  7. 3

    Zomg! I always order this dish when I’m out with my family. My younger sisters lurrrve this! I’ve been trying to find the exact recipe but most recipes I’ve seen suggest just using lemon juice, mayonnaise & condensed milk. It tastes close, but it was still missing something. I didn’t know they add custard to it! The secret ingredient! I’m so psyched! Gonna try it.

    • 3.1

      Sorry, after getting through my excitement, I calmed down enough to read the rest of the recipe lol. Thanks so much Yi! I can’t wait to try it.

      Also, will double frying the shrimp be better than just frying once to keep their crispiness intact? Like how Koreans do their fried chicken?

      • Hi Coralie, I am glad that you are excited about the recipe! The double frying method will make the shrimp crispier but I’d be careful not over-fry as the shrimp tends to get really tough when over-cooked. And yes the secrete is in the custard powder. It adds a little vanilla taste and also makes it look better. Please let me know if you get to try this recipe.

  8. 2

    What is “custard powder” ?

    • 2.1

      Hi Mitch, thanks for checking out the recipe. Custard powder is primarily used to make custard filling. In this case, it’s used as thickening and flavoring agent and it’s optional (I only added because it’s part of the original recipe from the restaurant I worked at). You can find custard powder in baking supply section of the grocery stores or online. Hope this helps.

      • Hello Yi! I have difficulty finding your proper custard powder locally; will Jell-o vanilla or tapioca pudding mix be adequate, or is it better to skip it? I got two vanilla mixes, one which you cook with hot milk, one you make cold.

        A couple of other questions:

        Another recipe seems to add the honey to the sauce not the walnut glaze. It also deep-fries the walnuts which then go in the saucepan of glaze. Which seems better to you?

        Other recipes coat the shrimp with cornstarch, not flour. Why flour? And incidentally, if avoiding corn products, how (in general) would potato starch work?

        I have Kewpie mayo as well as Hellman’s mayo. Which is better? If I use Kewpie do I need the custard powder?
        Finally, my dinner was delayed and the shrimp have been marinating for two days now. Will they suffer in taste or texture?

        Going to also make your pork w bamboo shoots. May throw in some green peas for color, maybe some mushrooms. Have the whole peeled shoots from a can; have sliced, will blanch 30 sec in the salted broccoli water. Mine are quite large, almost tennis ball size. I sliced improperly I guess, they don’t look like your sections. I’m sure they’ll still taste good.

        I have a pound of flank steak ready for something but have a pound of bulgogi mix from H Mart which needs to get used so will serve that instead.

        As an alternative to pork and bamboo (I also have the pork butt sliced for that and marinated-in larger pieces than your recipe, maybe 3″x3/4″x1/4″), I have leeks and could do twice cooked pork, a big favorite with this crowd. How do you feel about pork butt as sub for pork belly? Some delicate diners find belly too fatty.

        • The recipe I goog’d first was this: https://thewoksoflife.com/walnut-shrimp/

          I wouldn’t insult you by offering comparison (aside from my earlier post, haha), but looking again, your quantities are so different, and for making the same amount of shrimp, that I am alarmed. Will theirs be too scanty, do you think, or do you just like yours to have a lot of sauce, or maybe you have a dish of it on the side for dipping?

          Their approach is clearly quite different as they include vinegar in the sauce (as well as honey), so perhaps neither of you is right or wrong, but I wanted to be sure I wasn’t missing anything.

        • Hi Noah, this recipe is on the saucier side so even the broccoli is covered in this sauce. Hope this answers your question.

        • hi Noah, thanks for checking out my recipes! You can use some cornstarch in place of custard powder and add a little bit of vanilla extract. I have not used jell-o or tapioca pudding in this recipe. To answer your question regarding the candied walnuts, both ways work. I normally don’t like to deep fry stuff unless i have to so I toast my walnuts. I have not tried adding honey directly to the sauce but I like the honey flavor in the walnuts. Use Kewpie if you have that handy, it has a smoother texture. The shrimp should still be okay but use it as soon as you can. The authentic double cooked pork calls for pork belly but I am sure leaner cuts like pork butt would still work flavor-wise. It just won’t be as tasty in absence of the fatty part 🙂

  9. 1

    You have just combined 3 of my favourites in one dish….this must be yum!

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