To me, this walnut shrimp recipe is one of those classic meals that has been around forever. It’s a staple at any Chinese banquet: wedding, birthday, Chinese New Year, or even a baby’s first meal. Those of you who have been invited to one of these dinners will understand exactly what I’m talking about.
In most banquets, walnut shrimp appears in the third or fourth course when diners are just starting to feel comfortable. You’ve probably slowed way down by the time the Cantonese lobster and full steamed fish arrive.
You’ll be grateful for the tiny bowls and takeout boxes when the banquet fried rice and long life noodles are served. However, the walnut shrimp is served early in the meal and is swiftly devoured.
Because of the richness of the sauce, Walnut Shrimp is also known as “Milk Oil” Shrimp (nai yóu xi).
I’ll be serving the banquet version of this meal, while you can get several variations at Chinese buffets and businesses like Panda Express. You won’t find a better walnut shrimp recipe than this one.
Simple to Prepare in the Household
I should warn you that despite its length, this walnut shrimp recipe is pretty easy to prepare. I’ve gone to great lengths to ensure that you have all you need to cook this groundbreaking walnut shrimp recipe, including the proper order of procedures and recommendations.
Observe this as the test. Find an excellent banquet restaurant in Chinatown and get the best Walnut Shrimp dish they offer.
Then, pick up the required items from the fish and vegetable market on the way home, follow the instructions here, and wham! Your homemade version should taste just as good, if not better, than the restaurant’s.
Everyone, I hope you enjoy this. That’s right, you absolutely will.
For the Candied Walnuts:
- 30 walnut halves
- 3 to 4 cups of canola oil (for frying)
- 2 tablespoon of granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons of water
- 1/8 teaspoon of salt
For the Shrimp:
- 450g of shrimp (peeled and deveined)
- 1/3 cup of cornstarch
- ¼ cup of mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk
- 2 teaspoons of honey (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon of rice vinegar
- 1/8 teaspoon of salt
For the Broccoli:
- 225g of broccoli (cut into 2 inch florets)
- 1 teaspoon of oil
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- Bring a small pot of canola oil to a high enough temperature to immerse a whole shrimp. For this reason, the recipe calls for a variable amount of between 3 and 4 cups. Fry the walnuts for around 4 minutes when the oil reaches 325 degrees F. Once they turn a golden brown tint, they are done. Because everyone has their own preference for the level of toastiness in their walnuts, feel free to play around with the process. The final 30-60 seconds make the difference, so choose wisely.
- While the oil is heating, make a simple syrup by combining 2 tablespoons of water with 1 cup of sugar and a teaspoon of salt in a small pot and cooking the mixture on low. For best results, decrease heat to low and often stir for 3–5 minutes. The walnuts should be removed from the oil as soon as they are done, using a slotted spoon to remove as much excess oil as possible. Put the ingredients in a saucepan with the simple syrup.
- Over medium-low heat, swirl the walnuts in the simple syrup until all the liquid has evaporated and the nuts are evenly coated with syrup. This is crucial since the final product should be a thin, crunchy candy coating on the walnuts. They will lose their crunchiness if you remove them from the oven too soon. When they are done, place them on a baking sheet coated with parchment paper, spacing them out evenly.
- Then, in a separate small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, condensed milk, rice vinegar, and salt until completely combined. Dedicate a separate space for. This sauce is best when served at room temperature.
- Before frying, the cleaned shrimp will open up into a more pleasing form if you first make deeper slashes in the rear of the shrimp.
- Quickly coat the shrimp in cornstarch and set them aside. Keep the leftover cornstarch on hand since a second, light dredging will likely be required shortly before frying.
- The best way to cook broccoli is to boil the water, then add 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of oil. Boil the broccoli for 30 seconds, and then remove the florets with a spoon. To stop the cooking process, place it in a bowl of cold water.
- Drain in a colander after soaking for 10–15 seconds. Shocking the broccoli with cold water will preserve them green even though they will still be very heated. The next step is to line them up around the edge of a platter. For best results, prepare the broccoli right before serving the fried shrimp so that it is still warm.
- Since the shrimp may have soaked up part of the cornstarch from the initial dredging, you should heat the frying oil (the same oil you used for the walnuts) to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and dredge the shrimp a second time in the remaining cornstarch. The shrimp should be dropped into the oil swiftly but cautiously, one by one. Depending on your pot size, you may have to do this in stages. The shrimp shouldn’t be allowed to stay together, and you should work fast to add them in batches at roughly the same time so that they all finish cooking at the same rate.
- The frying time for the shrimp should be roughly 2 to 3 minutes per batch. Roll them around, so they’re uniformly fried in the oil, but be careful not to let any oil spill out of the pan.
- Put the fried shrimp in a big mixing bowl made of stainless steel. When all of the shrimp are fried, pour the creamy sauce mixture over the top and gently toss the shrimp to cover. Time will be well-spent here.
- The shrimp and candied walnuts should be served above a bed of steamed broccoli.