Honey Walnut Shrimp Bowl Recipe

Honey walnut shrimp is a dish that has achieved star status at many Chinese-American restaurants, as well as at the popular Panda Express chain. Tempura-battered shrimp is tossed in a sweet sauce of mayo, condensed milk, and honey, and then it's studded with crunchy, honey-glazed walnuts. The appeal of this dish comes from its rich, comforting flavors and textures but it can also feel a bit heavy and cloying. This honey walnut shrimp bowl recipe — courtesy of recipe developer Julie Kinnaird  — lightens up the iconic dish but doesn't sacrifice any of the flavor. The bowl starts with a layer of brown basmati rice, which has a naturally nutty flavor to enhance the walnut element. Crunchy Napa cabbage adds freshness and texture, while broccolini cooked with fresh garlic, red pepper flakes, and a bit of soy and oyster sauce adds plenty of umami and spice. The shrimp are coated in a light corn starch batter then quickly fried in avocado oil, keeping them light but super tender. The hot shrimp are tossed in a creamy sauce featuring Kewpie mayonnaise and honey sauce, which omits the sweetened condensed milk for a less cloying taste. Shiny, honey-glazed walnuts are first cooked on the stove top, then quickly roasted to bring out a rich, lacquered flavor. Fresh scallions crown the dish for a dash of color and tangy flavor that brings all of the elements into balance.

Advertisement

Gather the honey walnut shrimp bowl ingredients

For this recipe, you will need peeled and deveined large raw shrimp. To make the shrimp batter, use corn starch, freshly ground black pepper, sea salt, garlic powder, water, and a large egg. After frying, the shrimp are tossed in a mixture of kewpie mayonnaise, seasoned rice vinegar, and honey. The glazed honey walnuts are first cooked on the stove in a honey, salt, and water mixture and then finished in the oven. To build your bowls, you will need brown basmati rice (or your favorite variety), shredded Napa cabbage, broccolini cooked with fresh garlic, red pepper flakes, soy, and oyster sauce, plus scallions to top it all off. You will want to use avocado oil or another frying oil with a high smoke point throughout the cooking process.

Advertisement

Step 1: Start cooking the rice

Bring 3 cups of water, the rice, and 1 teaspoon sea salt to a boil in a medium saucepan.

Step 2: Cover and simmer the rice

Reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for 35 minutes.

Step 3: Fluff the rice

Remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork. Return the cover and remove the pan from heat.

Step 4: Preheat the oven

While the rice cooks, preheat the oven to 325 F.

Step 5: Bring honey, water, and salt to a boil

In a medium skillet, bring 2 tablespoons of honey, 2 tablespoons of water, and ¼ teaspoon sea salt to a boil over high heat.

Step 6: Add the walnuts

Add the walnuts and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes, or until most of the liquid has reduced to a syrup.

Step 7: Bake the walnuts

Transfer the walnuts to a sheet pan covered with parchment paper and bake for 10 minutes, or until they are nicely glazed. Set aside.

Step 8: Mix the honey-mayonnaise sauce

In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, rice vinegar, and remaining 2 tablespoons of honey, stirring until smooth. Set aside.

Step 9: Mix together corn starch and seasonings

In a separate, medium bowl, whisk together the corn starch, black pepper, garlic powder, and remaining ½ teaspoon sea salt.

Step 10: Add the egg and water

Add the egg and ¼ cup water to the corn starch mixture and whisk until smooth.

Step 11: Prepare a baking sheet

Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and a rack.

Step 12: Dip the shrimp in batter

Using chopsticks or tongs, dip each shrimp into the corn starch batter, allowing the excess to drip off into the bowl.

Step 13: Transfer the shrimp to the prepared baking sheet

Place the coated shrimp in an even layer on the rack.

Step 14: Heat the wok and oil

Heat a large wok or heavy, deep skillet over high heat, then add 1 tablespoon of avocado oil.

Step 15: Add the broccolini

Add the broccolini, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Cook and stir until the broccoli is charred and tender, about 5 minutes.

Step 16: Add the soy and oyster sauce

Add the soy and oyster sauce to the broccolini and stir until well-coated.

Step 17: Transfer broccolini to a plate

Remove the broccolini from the wok and onto a plate.

Step 18: Add remaining oil to the wok

Wipe down the pan and add the remaining avocado oil.

Step 19: Cook the shrimp in batches

Once the oil is very hot, add the shrimp about 6 at a time, cooking for about 2 minutes on each side, until the meat is just turning pink and the crust is golden brown.

Step 20: Repeat and remove shrimp from the pan

Repeat until all shrimp are fried, transferring them to a bowl to keep warm.

Step 21: Toss the shrimp with honey-mayonnaise sauce

Toss the shrimp with the mayonnaise-and-honey sauce.

Step 22: Add rice to bowls

To assemble the honey walnut shrimp bowls, start by adding ¼ of the cooked rice to four bowls.

Step 23: Add Napa cabbage

Next, divide the Napa cabbage between each bowl.

Step 24: Add the broccolini

Divide the broccolini between the bowls.

Step 25: Add the shrimp and sauce

Add the shrimp and sauce to the bowls.

Step 26: Add the honey-glazed walnuts and scallions, and serve

Top each bowl with the honey-glazed walnuts and scallions. Serve immediately.

What is the history of the honey walnut shrimp bowl?

Honey walnut shrimp has become familiar to many American diners via Panda Express. The origins of the original dish are a bit of a mystery, but some believe that it first developed in Hong Kong as a banquet dish. The combination of shrimp or prawns and walnuts was considered a relatively expensive delicacy, and with the array of textures and flavors offered in this dish, it is easy to see why it became popular. Honey walnut shrimp is now seen as Western-inspired Cantonese fare, based on Cantonese restaurant menus from decades ago. When Panda Express debuted its version of honey walnut shrimp in 2010, the now staple won the MenuMasters award for Best New Menu Item. Regardless of where and when this popular dish was created, it has a celebratory taste and feel that seems to bring people together and keeps them coming back to share it again.

Advertisement

Can you make honey walnut shrimp bowls in advance?

The delicacy and range of temperatures in this dish lend it to eating immediately after preparation. Mise en place is key, and there are several ways to prep ahead and cook on the fly. First, the rice can be cooked in advance and reheated shortly before serving. Because the rice becomes a welcome "sponge" at the bottom of the honey walnut shrimp bowl, it will soak up all of the wonderful flavors from above and you can be less concerned about perfect rice texture. The Napa cabbage and scallions can also be cut in advance and refrigerated until ready to use. Make the walnuts up to 2 days ahead, and do yourself a favor by making a double batch for snacking! The shrimp batter and honey mayonnaise sauce will keep well for a few hours in the refrigerator before cooking, but save the battering and frying for the last minute. Your broccolini will also be at its best if sauteed just before serving.

Advertisement

Honey Walnut Shrimp Bowl Recipe

4.9 (10 ratings)

This recipe for honey walnut shrimp bowls emulates the perennial takeout classic but cuts down on the sweetness for a lighter, more nutritious affair.

Prep Time
30
minutes
Cook Time
1.08
hours
servings
4
Servings
Up close honey walnut shrimp bowl
Total time: 1 hour, 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups brown basmati rice
  • 1 + ¼ + ½ teaspoons fine sea salt, divided
  • 2 + 2 tablespoons honey, divided
  • 1 cup walnut halves
  • ½ cup kewpie mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned rice vinegar
  • ½ cup corn starch
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 large egg, whisked
  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tablespoon + ½ cup avocado or other frying oil, divided
  • 2 bunches broccolini, trimmed and cut into bite-sized florets
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 2 cups finely shredded Napa cabbage
  • 2 large scallions, trimmed and sliced thinly on a diagonal

Directions

  1. Bring 3 cups of water, the rice, and 1 teaspoon sea salt to a boil in a medium saucepan.
  2. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for 35 minutes.
  3. Remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork. Return the cover and remove the pan from heat.
  4. While the rice cooks, preheat the oven to 325 F.
  5. In a medium skillet, bring 2 tablespoons of honey, 2 tablespoons of water, and ¼ teaspoon sea salt to a boil over high heat.
  6. Add the walnuts and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes, or until most of the liquid has reduced to a syrup.
  7. Transfer the walnuts to a sheet pan covered with parchment paper and bake for 10 minutes, or until they are nicely glazed. Set aside.
  8. In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, rice vinegar, and remaining 2 tablespoons of honey, stirring until smooth. Set aside.
  9. In a separate, medium bowl, whisk together the corn starch, black pepper, garlic powder, and remaining ½ teaspoon sea salt.
  10. Add the egg and ¼ cup water to the corn starch mixture and whisk until smooth.
  11. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and a rack.
  12. Using chopsticks or tongs, dip each shrimp into the corn starch batter, allowing the excess to drip off into the bowl.
  13. Place the coated shrimp in an even layer on the rack.
  14. Heat a large wok or heavy, deep skillet over high heat, then add 1 tablespoon of avocado oil.
  15. Add the broccolini, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Cook and stir until the broccoli is charred and tender, about 5 minutes.
  16. Add the soy and oyster sauce to the broccolini and stir until well-coated.
  17. Remove the broccolini from the wok and onto a plate.
  18. Wipe down the pan and add the remaining avocado oil.
  19. Once the oil is very hot, add the shrimp about 6 at a time, cooking for about 2 minutes on each side, until the meat is just turning pink and the crust is golden brown.
  20. Repeat until all shrimp are fried, transferring them to a bowl to keep warm.
  21. Toss the shrimp with the mayonnaise-and-honey sauce.
  22. To assemble the honey walnut shrimp bowls, start by putting ¼ of the cooked rice to four bowls.
  23. Next, divide the Napa cabbage between each bowl.
  24. Divide the broccolini between the bowls.
  25. Add the shrimp and sauce to the bowls.
  26. Top each bowl with the honey-glazed walnuts and scallions. Serve immediately.

Nutrition

Calories per Serving 1,250
Total Fat 77.8 g
Saturated Fat 8.7 g
Trans Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 240.3 mg
Total Carbohydrates 103.8 g
Dietary Fiber 13.5 g
Total Sugars 15.9 g
Sodium 1,568.9 mg
Protein 44.1 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
Rate this recipe

Recommended

Advertisement