Copycat Panda Express Honey Walnut Shrimp is one of the most popular menu items at Panda Express. You can recreate this dish at home with this copycat recipe.
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Easy Honey Walnut Shrimp Recipe
Do you love Panda Express Honey Walnut Shrimp? You really can make it at home. Best of all you can double or even triple this recipe so everyone has the portion they wished was served in the restaurant.
If you have never tried the dish before you have been missing out on a wonderfully sweet and crunchy batter-dipped recipe that you are going to love. Candied walnuts add a really nice touch to the batter-dipped shrimp in a sweet and creamy sauce.
The ingredients are all easy to find at your local grocery store, so in no time at all, you can enjoy this shrimp recipe tonight.
What’s in Honey Walnut Shrimp?
The ingredients in the Honey Walnut Shrimp are pretty easy, and in a pinch, if you wanted to leave the walnuts out the shrimp would stand well on its own. First, let me say, the ingredients are not at all traditional Chinese cooking ingredients.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Sweetened condensed milk
- Lemon juice
- Tempura mix
- Oil for frying
Ingredient and Equipment Notes
The shrimp are battered with a standard tempura mix. You can use a store-bought mix or my tempura batter recipe.
If desired, you can season the shrimp with a little salt and black pepper before dipping them in the tempura batter. Note this will change the flavor slightly.
I personally fry my shrimp in vegetable oil. For frying most dishes I typically use vegetable oil. You could use canola oil, peanut oil, or another oil for frying. My preference tends to be generic vegetable oil.
I use a deep fryer for this, but you can use a large pot and a candy thermometer to cook your shrimp. Fry your shrimp at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. This is a great temperature for delicate shrimp to cook.
How to Make Honey Walnut Shrimp
- Place the walnuts in a saucepan with sugar and water. Cook over medium to medium-high heat until the sugar begins to brown.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil and pour the walnuts onto it. Let them dry for about 20 minutes, spreading them out with a fork so they don’t touch each other.
- When the walnuts are almost dry, prepare the tempura batter according to the package directions.
- Add enough oil to a large pot or Dutch oven to cover the bottom 2 to 3 inches. Heat the oil to 350ºF.
- Dip shrimp into the tempura batter, covering the shrimp completely.
- Drop the dipped shrimp into the hot oil in batches (a few at a time) and gently toss to make sure the shrimp cook evenly on all sides and don’t stick together. Scoop out any batter that floats away from the shrimp.
- Remove the shrimp after about 2 minutes and transfer them to a wire rack to drain.
- Make the sauce by whisking honey, sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice, and mayo until smooth and combined.
- When all the shrimp are cooked, place them in a large bowl and drizzle the creamy honey sauce on the fried shrimp. Stir to coat the shrimp, but be careful not to break off the crust.
- Sprinkle candied walnuts over the shrimp and serve immediately.
You can garnish this dish with chopped green onions if desired.
What to Serve with Honey Walnut Shrimp
Serve the shrimp over steamed white rice or brown rice for a hearty meal. A side of Chinese mixed vegetables or egg drop soup would be great. Oh and some crispy wonton strips too!
Honey Walnut Shrimp Leftovers
Some recipes are great to make and enjoy the next day, this one is not one of those. I do not like the way it behaves when reheated. I find the sauce soaks into the shrimp, and it just isn’t my favorite way to enjoy this Panda Express favorite.
But if you do have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
To reheat, place the shrimp on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper. Heat them in the oven at 400°F for about 10 minutes.
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Copycat Panda Express Honey Walnut Shrimp
- 1 cup walnut pieces
- 1 cup water
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 10 ounces tempura mix
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- 1 pound medium or large shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails removed
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon sweetened condensed milk
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- Place the walnuts in a saucepan with water and sugar. Cook over medium to medium-high heat until the sugar begins to brown. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil and pour the walnuts onto the paper or the foil and let dry for 20 to 25 minutes, spreading them out with a fork so they don’t touch each other. When the walnuts are almost dry, begin to prepare the tempura according to the package directions.
- Add enough oil to a pan to cover the bottom 2 to 3 inches; heat the oil to 350 ºF. Dip the shrimp into the tempura batter, covering the shrimp completely. Drop into the hot oil a few at a time and gently toss to make sure the shrimp cook evenly on all sides and they don’t stick together. Scoop out any batter that floats away from the shrimp to keep the oil from breaking down. Remove the shrimp after about 2 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to drain.
- To make the sauce, whisk together the honey, sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice, and mayonnaise. When all the shrimp are cooked, place it in a bowl and drizzle on the sauce. Stir to coat the shrimp, but be careful not to break off the crust. Sprinkle the candied walnuts over the shrimp and serve immediately. This recipe should be eaten in one sitting – this recipe does not reheat or freeze well.
Made this recipe a few times now and have to say I LOVE it better than Panda’s shrimp! It tastes so amazing! I think the reason it is tastier is because it is right-off-the-stove fresh! Omitted the walnuts, though, since I don’t like them. When I get it from Panda, I always pick the walnuts out. Anyway….DANG GOOD! Never any leftovers! Thanks for all your hard work in recreating this amazing dish! You and your hard work are appreciated!!
I almost didn’t try this recipe because I loath and detest mayonnaise. I’m so happy I tried it, though. Not only is it delicious, but I find it much tastier than Panda’s.
Thanks so much for the recipe!