Easy Honey Walnut Shrimp Recipe

4 Servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Easy Honey Walnut Shrimp recipe for a favorite Chinese takeout dish of wok fried crispy shrimp and crunchy walnuts in a creamy honey sauce.

Whether it’s Panda Express Honey Walnut Shrimp or a more authentic walnut shrimp recipe, the sweet flavor and delightful crunch of this Chinese Dish is addicting! No need to splurge on takeout, you can make this tasty Dinner at home!

Walnut Shrimp

This delicious easy Honey Walnut Shrimp recipe is made just like your favorite local Chinese restaurant with the sweet honey sauce, sugar glazed walnuts and crispy fried shrimp! It is similar to the popular dish from Panda Express Honey Walnut Shrimp, there are subtle differences like more condensed milk, less honey and a hint of acidity. These creamy honey glazed shrimp with a crispy exterior are sure to be a family favorite dinner idea.

The key to the lip-smackingly delicious, golden honey walnut shrimp sauce is mayonnaise. Yup, just some regular mayo, although if you can find it, Japanese mayonnaise works great too! In addition to the mayonnaise, the other secret ingredient is sweetened condensed milk. The mixture of mayonnaise, condensed milk and honey is what makes the sauce of this tasty dinner so creamy, sweet and addicting.

Another key to making Walnut Honey Shrimp is the tempura batter, which thanks to the rice flour has the perfect balance of lightness and crunch. A word to the wise on how to make the ultimate Honey Walnut Shrimp: it’s crucial to toss the shrimp and walnuts with the sauce just before serving. Allowing the shrimp to linger too long will cause the sauce to melt and you’ll lose that delicious crunch.

You can serve this Easy Honey Walnut Shrimp recipe with other classic restaurant favorites like Lo Mein and Chinese Chow Mein. Even some simple Steamed White rice is perfect for the crispy shrimp and crunchy walnuts, plus it will soak up every bit of that sweet, creamy sauce. Add Crab Rangoon as an appetizer with this budget-friendly crispy shrimp and steamed rice for the ultimate Chinese takeout meal at home for a fraction of the price!

Panda Express Honey Walnut Shrimp Collage of tempura frying steps

What is Honey Walnut Shrimp?

Honey Walnut Shrimp is a popular Chinese-American dish that features crispy, deep-fried shrimp and crunchy candied walnuts coated in a creamy honey-based sauce. The shrimp is typically coated in a light batter before frying to achieve a crispy texture, while the walnuts are boiled in a sugar syrup to caramelize and sweeten them. The final dish combines the contrasting elements of crispy shrimp, candied walnuts, and a rich honey sauce, creating a delightful blend of flavors and textures.

Why should you make Honey Walnut Shrimp at home?

You could just order this sweet shrimp dish, but there are a couple reasons you should definitely recreate this takeout favorite at home. First off is having it freshly made! Unless you dine-in, you simply aren’t going to get the hottest, crispiest wok-fried shrimp. Secondly, making Chinese cuisine at home turns an extravagant meal into a budget-friendly dinner. Finally, when you make this classic dish yourself, you are in charge of the list of ingredients.

Honey Walnut Shrimp

How to Make Honey Walnut Shrimp

  • Walnuts: Bring water and sugar to a boil in a saucepan. Stir in the walnuts and boil for a couple minutes. Strain and spread on a cookie sheet to cool and dry.
  • Sauce: In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, condensed milk, rice vinegar and honey. Set aside.
  • Prep: Beat the egg whites in a separate bowl with a hand mixer until foamy. Heat the oil in a large dutch oven or wok to 350 degrees. 
  • Fry: Whisk the rice flour into the egg whites. Begin dipping the shrimp in batches into the batter and adding to the hot oil. Do not overcrowd the pan. Cook for a few minutes until golden brown.
  • Finish: Place shrimp on a cookie sheet or wire rack (do not use paper towels or they will be greasy) to cool slightly. Toss shrimp and candied walnuts in the honey mayo sauce then serve immediately.

Classic Chinese Side Dishes

FAQS for Honey Walnut Shrimp

Can you reheat honey walnut shrimp?

Reheating Honey Walnut Shrimp is not recommended as it may result in the loss of its crispy texture and overall quality. It is best enjoyed immediately after cooking for that signature delightful crunch and juicy, tender shrimp.

Is Honey Walnut Shrimp authentic Chinese food?

No, Honey Walnut Shrimp is not considered authentic Chinese cuisine. It is a popular Chinese-American dish that was likely created in the United States to cater to American tastes, combining elements of Chinese cuisine with Western influences like honey and mayonnaise.

Is honey walnut shrimp gluten-free?

Since it uses rice flour, this is a gluten-free Honey Walnut Shrimp recipe. Just make sure to double check the labels of the other ingredients (they should also be gluten-free) and you are good to go!

What side dishes go well with Walnut Honey Shrimp?

You want to serve this creamy delicious shrimp dish with sides like chow mein, steamed veggies, or plain rice so that the flavors don’t compete with the tasty honey sauce. Plus, noodle and rice dishes let you soak up every drop of the addicting sauce.

Do I have to use walnut halves?

You don’t have to use walnut halves for this recipe. You can swap in crushed walnuts pieces or try a different nut like pecans or almonds.

Panda Express Honey Walnut Shrimp Collage of sauce preparation steps

Key Ingredients

  • Walnuts: Big, sweet glazed walnuts add a delightful crunchy contrast to the tender shrimp and sticky, creamy sauce. You boil them in a sugar syrup then let them cool so the glaze hardens for extra crunch.
  • Mayonnaise: The mayonnaise serves as the base for the creamy honey sauce. Its rich and smooth consistency binds all the flavors together and provides a luscious mouthfeel to the dish.
  • Condensed Milk: Adding sweetened condensed milk to the sauce contributes to its sweetness, while making it extra thick and creamy.
  • Rice Vinegar: Rice vinegar provides a tangy and slightly acidic note to balance the sweetness of the honey and condensed milk. It helps to brighten the flavors and adds a mild tang to the sauce.
  • Honey: Honey is a natural sweetener that not only enhances the overall sweetness of the dish but also provides a distinctive earthy floral flavor to balance the sugary walnuts and syrupy milk.
  • Batter: Rice flour together with the whipped egg whites, for makes a light and airy batter perfect for coating and frying shrimp. This gluten-free tempura batter puffs up slightly in the oil for a crispy coating that doesn’t feel heavy or too thick.
  • Shrimp: Jumbo shrimp are succulent and juicy when fried with the tempura coating and the sweet sauce is perfect for the delicate flavor of the meat. There are instructions for how to peel and devein shrimp included in this post.
Easy Honey Shrimp with Walnuts

Can you make this Honey Walnut Shrimp ahead of time?

This dish is best made fresh so your shrimp is perfectly crispy and tender, and your sauce has the best consistency. However you can candy the walnuts up to 2 weeks ahead of time and keep in the fridge or freezer. You can fry the battered shrimp then freeze without the sauce ahead of time and reheat from frozen, just keep in mind they won’t be as tender and juicy.


  • Chicken: Another amazing dinner idea would be Honey Walnut Chicken! Simply make the sauce and walnuts like usual but swap in Crispy Chicken Bites instead of shrimp.
  • Coconut: Add shredded coconut to the honey mayonnaise sauce for a tropical twist, and coat the shrimp in a mixture of rice flour and coconut flour before frying. You can also toss the candied walnuts in shredded coconut before they dry.
  • Orange: Make this similar to Orange Shrimp by swapping the honey with orange marmalade, use orange juice instead of vinegar and add orange zest.

How to peel and devein shrimp:

  • To peel raw shrimp, tear away at the shell above the first segment of the shell (the tail segment).
  • Take a paring knife and make a shallow cut along the spine of the shrimp (the back of it).
  • Using the paring knife or a fork, gently remove the black strip of intestines.
  • To remove tails just squeeze the shrimp out from the bottom of the tail segment. 

More Popular Chinese Dinner Dishes

How to Store

  • Store: Store leftover Honey Walnut Shrimp in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Separate the shrimp from the candied walnuts and sauce if possible to preserve the crispiness of the shrimp. Eat within 2-3 days.
  • Reheat: To reheat, use an oven on a low temperature to maintain the crispy texture of the shrimp. Avoid using the microwave, as it can make the shrimp soggy. 
  • Freeze: It’s not recommended to freeze this dish because it won’t thaw and reheat with the same. However, it can be kept for about a month if you need to freeze it. 

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Honey Walnut Shrimp

Easy Honey Walnut Shrimp recipe for a favorite Chinese takeout dish of wok fried crispy shrimp and crunchy walnuts in a creamy honey sauce.
Yield 4 Servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 1 cup water
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup walnut halves
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 2/3 cup rice flour
  • 1 pound shrimp , 13-15 count, peeled and deveined
  • canola oil , for frying


  • In a large saucepan add the water and sugar and bring it to a boil.
  • Add in the walnuts and boil for 2-3 minutes.
  • Remove with a strainer and put onto a cookie sheet.
  • In a small bowl mix the mayonnaise, condensed milk, rice vinegar and honey together.
  • In a separate bowl, using a hand mixer whip the egg whites to a foamy consistency (this is before it all turns white and has soft peaks).
  • Heat oil (three inches deep) in a large dutch oven to 350 degrees.
  • Add in the rice flour  to the egg whites and mix.
  • Dip the shrimp into the rice flour mixture and add it to the canola oil.
  • Cook for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Remove from the oil and cool on a cookie sheet.
  • Toss the shrimp and walnuts with the honey mayonnaise mixture.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 628kcal | Carbohydrates: 73g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 16g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 190mg | Sodium: 329mg | Potassium: 566mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 47g | Vitamin A: 56IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 152mg | Iron: 2mg
Chinese Honey Walnut Shrimp

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. Great dish! Loved it. I only had brown rice flour but worked fine.
    Also didn’t have sweetened condensed milk so made a sub.
    Served over rice. YUM!

  2. Crispy and sweet. The Chinese Sichuan Green Beans are a nice slightly salty complement to this. In addition, I served a mild coconut rice to make a complete meal.

  3. Could I use the buttermilk and cornstarch for the shrimp in this recipe? Like your bang bang shrimp recipe does?

  4. I found your website about 5 months ago I love the recipes
    I made the panda express copycat chowmein and the honey walnut shrimp just excellent my girlfriend and loved it

  5. I haven’t rated the recipe yet because I haven’t tried it, but it looks fantastic. I love the walnut shrimp at Panda. My question is this, where did you find rice flour? Did you use white or brown? Or can I substitute a different kind of flour? Can’t wait to try it.

  6. I love,love,love your Dinner Then Dessert site. I first found you on Pinterest and started following you on there. I have made several of your recipes, which by the way have all turned out wonderfully, and my family thanks you Lol.
    I have really never been all that impressed with Panda Express until I tried the Honey Walnut Shrimp. Rarely Do I eat seafood with takeout or restaurants because of a bad experience I had of food poisoning, so I took a chance trying there honey walnut shrimp and I became addicted but still a little nervous. When I found your copycat recipe I had to try it right away. I went that day and got everything that I needed. I made it following your recipe to a tee and Holy Moses it was BETTER than it Is at panda express. Unfortunately they have now lost a customer for life. I usually have it delivered to me twice a week at least to get the honey walnut shrimp. It gets quite expensive with the high cost of the food and the delivery service. Now I can make as much as I want or as little as I want and I am saving sooo much money for a far more superior taste. I tend to think it’s your recipe and not my ability or skill LOL. I am signed up for everything Dinner Then Desert. I am 51 and significantly disabled, I hardly ever get out of my home except for doctor appointments and now with the quarantine it’s even worse, so the one joy in my life is cooking. I’ve always been pretty good at it but I always get so excited when I find a recipe blogger that has so many wonderful recipes, especially the copycat ones since I don’t get to go to restaurants and such. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge of cooking. I’m tickled super happy!!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. It makes me happy to know that you’re getting so much from the recipes and the site.

  7. AWESOME! I doubled the sauce, because I like sauce – per Panda Express recipe, used cornstarch + egg white for batter and when it got thick,added just a splash of water to thin it out. Used a wok, just enough oil to fry (not completely submerged), served with white rice and candied walnuts. Just yum. Keeping it organized was key. Easy and totally worth it. Thank you!

  8. My family loved the walnut shrimp! Taste was great! The only hiccup w recipe was the rice flour and egg batter. I tripled checked the instructions and did it correctly but it came out too thick so i added a little bit of water to thin it out. Other than that delicious!!

      1. The recipe needs to be fixed. There should be water or soda water added to the shrimp coating. As is, you get paste. Fortunately I used your honey walnut chicken directions.

  9. So, you discard the sugar water that you boiled the walnuts in, correct? I just made this and it was pretty good, I didn’t have all the proper ingredients but it was good.

  10. I am a bit confused about Step 7 Add in the rice flour and mix.
    Add the rice flour to what? To the oil from Step 6?

    1. I’ve edited it to read a bit clearer…or so I hope.

      You’ll want to add the rice flour in with the egg whites mixture.

  11. There are a couple steps that aren’t totally clear…

    1.  Where do the condensed milk and vinegar get added in?

    2.  I’m assuming, but it doesn’t say explicitly, that you add the rice flour to the egg whites?

    Would love to make this but wanted to clarify first.  Thanks!

    1. I’m not sure if it was a glitch or I need more coffee before posting…thanks for catching that! I edited it so hopefully it sticks this time. 🙂

      1. Your doing good! We’re all human and you come back with all the corrections! Thank you! Sometimes, the coffee doesn’t work ?!

  12. Steps 6,7,8 are confusing. Do we add the rice flour to the canola oil? The recipe calls for rice vinegar but the instructions don’t mention it.

    1. So sorry it was confusing. I’ve edited it to read a little bit easier now.

      You’ll want to add the rice flour to the egg whites you just hand mixed. The rice vinegar is used in step 4.

  13. I love all things shrimp, but I have never tried this recipe! I know what is going on the menu this weekend.

  14. I tried making fried shrimp ahead of time once and it was a big fail! Thanks for pointing out that tip and making it clear not to make everything ahead of time! This only takes a short time to make anyway, so it looks great!