For the Walnuts
- 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup walnut halves measure a heaping 1/2 cup
For the Shrimp
- 1 large egg whisked
- 2/3 cup cornstarch
- 1 lb raw shrimp deveined and shells removed (I used 21-25 count)
- oil for frying
- 2 green scallions thinly sliced
For the Sauce
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp condensed milk
- 1-2 tbsp honey
In a small light-colored saucepan, add water and sugar. Bring to a simmer and allow to continue to simmer until syrup turns thick and the color changes to a very light gold color. This should take about 15 minutes.
Add in the walnuts and stir until they are evenly coated in the syrup. Using a slotted spoon, drain walnuts from the syrup and place onto a sheet of parchment paper to dry.
While the syrup is reducing, you can start frying the shrimp. Add oil to pot being used for frying, adding about 1 1/2 inches deep of oil. Bring oil to medium heat.
Set aside whisked egg in a small bowl and cornstarch in another bowl. Coat shrimp in egg and shake off excess egg coating. Then roll shrimp in cornstarch until completely coated. Add to hot oil and cook until shrimp curl up, the coating turns crispy and shrimp are cooked through. Do this in a few batches until all shrimp are fried. Place cooked shrimp on a paper towel-lined plate. Do not wait for the shrimp to turn golden brown. Since these shrimp are battered in cornstarch, the coating will stay pale.
In a small bowl, add mayonnaise, condensed milk and honey. Whisk together sauce ingredients. Start with 1 tbsp of honey and add more if desired. Add shrimp to a large bowl and pour the sauce over shrimp. Gently toss shrimp in the sauce until all shrimp are coated. Place finished shrimp onto a large serving plate and top with candied walnuts. Garnish with scallions. Serve warm.
- Adapted from Damn Delicious
- The syrup takes about 15 minutes to reduce, so to save time, I like to let it reduce while frying the shrimp.
- I also recommend that you make the syrup in a light-colored saucepan. The color change is very subtle and it will be very hard to see if you use a dark-colored saucepan.
- How do you know when the syrup is ready? In addition, to the slight color change, the syrup will reduce to about 1/4 in volume when done. You will also notice that the bubbles will become less rapid and will break slower, indicating the liquid is thick.
- At many Cantonese restaurants, the walnuts are first fried before they are coated, which makes the walnuts even crunchier. You can do this too if you don't mind the extra step.
- Because the batter is made of just cornstarch, it won't turn golden brown and will instead remain quite pale. However it will crisp up.
- Because it is difficult to determine the amount of oil absorbed by the shrimp and since not all of the batter is used, no nutrition information is provided for this recipe.