Copycat Panda Express Honey Walnut Shrimp

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.

Copycat Panda Express honey walnut shrimp and chopsticks.


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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
  • Honey
  • Mayonnaise
  • Tempura mix
  • Sugar
  • Walnuts
  • Shrimp
  • Oil for frying
Copycat Panda Express honey walnut shrimp ingredients.

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

  1. Place the walnuts in a saucepan with sugar and water. Cook over medium to medium-high heat until the sugar begins to brown.
  2. 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.
  3. When the walnuts are almost dry, prepare the tempura batter according to the package directions. 
  4. Add enough oil to a large pot or Dutch oven to cover the bottom 2 to 3 inches. Heat the oil to 350ºF.
  5. Dip shrimp into the tempura batter, covering the shrimp completely.
  6. 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.
  7. Remove the shrimp after about 2 minutes and transfer them to a wire rack to drain. 
  8. Make the sauce by whisking honey, sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice, and mayo until smooth and combined.
  9. 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.
  10. Sprinkle candied walnuts over the shrimp and serve immediately.

You can garnish this dish with chopped green onions if desired.

Copycat Panda Express honey walnut shrimp and chopsticks on a plate.

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.

Overhead view of copycat Panda Express honey walnut shrimp.

Love Panda Express? Try these copycat recipes!

Be sure to check out more of my easy Chinese food recipes and the best fast food copycat recipes.

Copycat Panda Express honey walnut shrimp and chopsticks.

Copycat Panda Express Honey Walnut Shrimp

Did you know you can make the Panda Express Honey Walnut Shrimp at home?
4.94 from 29 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: Copycat Panda Express Honey Walnut Shrimp, Panda Express Recipes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 708kcal

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Nutrition

Calories: 708kcal | Carbohydrates: 69g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 342mg | Sodium: 1316mg | Potassium: 379mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 45g | Vitamin A: 190IU | Vitamin C: 6.4mg | Calcium: 360mg | Iron: 4.2mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home, and CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Michael

    Can I candy the walnuts ahead of time and just warm them when I make this?

    Can the sauce be made the night before and then heated for freshly cooked shrimp?

    Can the quantity be multiplied for a larger batch?

    • Stephanie Manley

      You could candy the Walnuts ahead of time, I would store them in an airtight container after thy have cooled.
      I would not make the sauce ahead of time, you will have to thin it when you reheat it.
      You could multiply the quantity for a larger batch.

      Hope this helps.

  2. Tina

    5 stars
    Haven’t even gotten to the point of combining all the ingredients but I know for certain you will receive a 5 star rating and beyond if it were possible ☆☆☆☆☆+ … and btw your tempura kicked a** as well! You’re a freaking Rockstar sister girl! Thanks a ton😘

  3. Esther

    I would like to try this recipe for Valentine’s Day but I’m trying not to have any grains and refined sugars for a period of time. Is there a substitute for the sweetened condensed milk and the 3/4 cup sugar that you would recommend? Monkfruit sweetener? If not I can wait to make this recipe until I reach a certain weight.

  4. Rivka

    What’s the mayonnaise for? I’m not a chef and already know that this recipe tastes great but the fact that mayonnaise is part of the sauce has always thrown me. What does it do to/for the sauce?

  5. Thalia Grinch

    5 stars
    Not very experienced, I just came here for the sauce recipe and was surprised by the weird ingredients. I was thinking: ‘will it taste like mayonnaise?’ ‘that seems like a lot of lemon,’ and ‘most of it is made from cream-colored ingredients; isn’t it supposed to be clear.’ It all came together well though. It was a little cloudy, which is different than Panda Express, but was harder to notice while on the shrimp. The main thing is that it was delicious and tasted just like Panda Express’.

  6. Zack

    5 stars
    I wanna try this so much. My mouth started salivating after seeing this. Cause shrimps are my favorite. And if u will give me anything made of shrimp I will be ready to eat without any limits guys!

  7. NunyaBusiness

    5 stars
    I didn’t know that I could make Chinese food that tasted just like it in at Panda Express. My wife was impressed, an then she made me do the dishes. Thanks, I think.

  8. Sandta Maccagnan

    I am looking for the Beef Tips with Mushrooms recipe that Brannigan’s Restaurant had on their menu (no longer open). I believe it was part of a chain of restaurants. This recipe was so delicious and unbelievable. I’m not fond of beef but loved this particular dish. The gravy was so rich and flavorful and thick, it was wonderful. Whatever you can do would be appreciated Thanks for your good works, Sandy

  9. Baltisraul

    I just must stop reading about all these great shrimp recipes. If we were not 45 min from the Gulf I would go broke trying them all. Thanks Stef. keep ’em coming.

    • Stephanie Manley

      I love gulf shrimp or other US-based shrimp. Unfortunately, I am starting to develop a small allergic reaction to seafood that comes from certain areas. So I never do farm-raised shrimp/fish.

      I hope you enjoy this one, I think it would work well with chicken if you salted the chicken or enhanced it a bit before battering.

      • Baltisraul

        I have a reaction to either brown, red or white shrimp. My doctor could not break it down any further than that. I take my chances and if I get the wrong one the hives only last about 30 min. The browns are probably the culprit as they have the very best taste and are the hardest to find.

  10. christopher kates

    I can’t wait to try this. My mouth started salivating by seeing this only. shrimps are my favorite and anytime you give anything made of shrimp I will be ready to eat without any limit. And this is kind of different flavor especially its sweet which i haven’t tried yet. Because I saw some extra ingredients in the recipe. So I’m definitely going to try this soon and will definitely let you know, how it turned out.

4.94 from 29 votes (15 ratings without comment)

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