This Honey Walnut Shrimp is a mouthwatering Panda Express Copycat Recipe that’s made with crispy, crunchy shrimp and candied walnuts! Hits the dinner table in only 25 minutes!
Love a good Panda Express copycat recipe? Then you’ll also want to check out this Orange Chicken copycat as well that’s ready in just 35 minutes!
Toss the takeout menu to the side and instead grab the recipe card for this Honey Walnut Shrimp! Serve it up with steamed or fried rice and a side of broccoli to make it a complete meal!
All About This Honey Walnut Shrimp Copycat Recipe
Taste: You’ll enjoy all the flavors of your favorite take-out dish, yet you’ll find that they’re even better in this homemade version! The flavor is packed into this dish between the crispy fried shrimp, slightly savory honey sauce, and sweet, candied walnuts!
Texture: Matching all that flavor is tons of texture! The deep-fried batter on the shrimp is crispy on the outside yet fluffy on the inside, all covered in a thick, sticky honey sauce! Finishing off the dish are the softened candied walnuts!
While the crispy shrimp and flavor-packed sauce are sensational in this recipe, the candied walnuts are actually what sets this dish apart from the rest! Since the candied walnuts are made with just two other ingredients and boiled for only 3 minutes, the result is absolutely worth the extra effort.
The boiling process softens them nicely while the sweet glaze coats the outside of each walnut. As they rest on a wire rack, the walnuts dry up, allowing the sugar coating to seal.
These candied walnuts then finish the shrimp dish off, giving it the sweet, crunchy goodness that makes this recipe stand out among the rest!
Tips For Making This Honey Walnut Shrimp Recipe
- Sauce – Thoroughly whisk the sauce ingredients together to ensure that the flavors of the sauce are fully combined. The sauce may seem runny as it cooks, but it thickens up perfectly as it cools.
- Coating – When covering the shrimp in batter, only allow it to drip for a few seconds before adding them to the oil. Any longer, and the batter will become too thin by the time it’s fried. The thicker breading is worth the extra mess of moving quickly so that the batter doesn’t become too thin while dripping.
- Deep Frying – Instead of measuring out the oil to use, we actually will go by depth measurements when frying the shrimp. The depth of the oil should be about 3 inches, this makes it deep enough so that the shrimp won’t hit the bottom as it fries. Yet also isn’t so deep that the shrimp are completely submerged either.
- Wire Rack – For perfectly crisp shrimp, transfer them from the pan onto a wire rack-lined baking sheet. Drying on the wire rack allows the air to circulate all around the breading instead of soaking in the oil if left on a paper towel-lined plate.
- Combining – Once the sauce is finished and the shrimp have crisped up, it’s time to combine them! To do so, place the shrimp in a medium bowl and pour a portion of the sauce over them. Stir to coat and continue adding more sauce until they’ve reached your desired sauciness.
Making take-out dinner favorites such as this Panda Express Honey Walnut Shrimp is not only convenient but also way more budget-friendly! Especially if you find yourself at the takeout counter way too often!
Another one of my favorite copycat shrimp recipes is this Wild West Shrimp from Longhorn’s Restaurant. Though I also really love this Simple Shrimp Alfredo Pasta Dinner Recipe as well as these Bang Bang Shrimp Tacos!
As with any seafood, this dish is best enjoyed on the same day. However, leftovers can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container to enjoy for up to 4 days.
Can I Still Make This Recipe If I Don’t Have A Wok?
Yes, this recipe can still be made without a Wok! A Wok is just really great for high heat, quick cooking like we want when frying the shrimp.
Instead of a Wok, you can just use a large skillet that’s deep enough to hold the amount of oil that’s needed in this recipe.
Should I Use Frozen Or Fresh Shrimp?
For best taste, fresh is best when it comes to seafood, but frozen can definitely be used as well. If using frozen shrimp, they will need to be completely thawed before using them in this recipe.
Can Vegetable Oil Be Used Instead Of Canola Oil?
Yes, vegetable oil can be used for frying in this recipe instead of canola oil.
How Hot Should The Oil Be To Deep Fry The Shrimp?
The oil needs to be 350 degrees F. To monitor the temperature of the oil, you can use a kitchen thermometer.
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Honey Walnut Shrimp (Panda Express Copycat)
- canola oil for frying
- ½ cup water
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup walnuts
- 1 lb jumbo shrimp peeled and deveined
- 1 cup tempura flour divided
- ⅔ cup water
- ¼ cup green onions diced
- Pour 3 inches of canola oil into a wok and heat oil to 350°F. Depending on the size of the wok this could be anywhere from 1 to 3 cups, therefore go by the depth of the canola oil rather than measuring. You will want it to be deep enough that the shrimp does not hit the bottom as it fries, but not so deep that the shrimp is completely submerged.canola oil
- Place a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the water and sugar to the saucepan and whisk until the sugar dissolves.½ cup water, ¾ cup granulated sugar
- Add in the chopped walnuts and bring to a boil. Boil for three minutes. Remove walnuts with a slotted spoon and place them onto a wire rack-lined baking sheet to dry.½ cup walnuts
- Place a saucepan over medium heat. Add the raw honey, garlic paste, ginger paste, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, and water. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.⅓ cup honey, 1 tablespoon garlic paste, 1 tablespoon ginger paste, 2 teaspoon rice wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 3 tablespoon water
- Toss the shrimp with 2 tablespoons of tempura flour to coat.1 lb jumbo shrimp, 1 cup tempura flour
- Then, whisk to combine the remaining tempura flour with water. Dip shrimp one at a time in tempura batter. Immediately place the shrimp into the hot oil from the batter. Fry for 4 to 5 minutes. Flip the shrimp over halfway through cooking time.1 cup tempura flour, ⅔ cup water
- Remove the shrimp from the oil with a slotted spoon and place it on a wire rack line baking sheet to allow the shrimp to crisp as the excess oil drips off.
- Toss the shrimp in the sauce. Serve over rice and carnish with green onions and candied walnuts.¼ cup green onions
- Shrimp will keep for up to 4 days in the fridge. Can also be frozen for 30 days.
- We recommend canola oil because it has a high smoke point and neutral flavor that will not distract from the dish.
- Candied walnuts are quick and easy to make and set this dish apart from the rest. Boiling the walnuts helps to soften and the sweet glaze coats the outside of each walnut. Allow them to rest on a wire rack-lined baking sheet so the walnuts will dry and the sugar coating will seal.
- The sauce will thicken as it cools. Be sure to whisk well to combine the flavors of the sauce. Once the sauce is simmering lower the heat to low and let thicken and simmer as the shrimp are fried.
- Allow the batter to drip off for only a few seconds before adding to the oil. Tossing the shrimp in a small amount of tempura flour will help the batter to stick better to the shrimp. Don’t hold the battered shrimp over the batter for too long or the breading will be too thin by the time it is fried. It may be a bit messy but it will taste much better if it has a thicker breading. The tempura will be crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. Once the breading is golden brown it is time to remove it from the oil. We worked in batches, the first batch took 5 minutes total while the second was ready in 4 due to the amount of time the oil had been heating as well as the amount of oil in the wok decreasing from the first batch.
- The wire rack allows the air to circulate around the breading so it will dry crispy instead of soaking in the oil if left on a solid surface.