Honey Walnut Pine Nut Shrimp

“What’s more luscious than cheesecake, roses in bloom and freshly washed hair? Let me count…,” she said to Mr. Goat.


What is about mayonnaise that makes it taste sooo good?  The satisfying ‘mouthfeel’ that food companies strive to imbue in their products, the same reason why crispy chicken, ice cream, chocolate, pecan pie and of course, bacon tastes so good. Add to that, a wee dollop of sweetened condensed milk just puts this dish over the top! Yes, it’s decadent, it’s rich, it’s to be indulged only rarely. Perhaps I delude myself by adding pine nuts for its antioxidant and vision health benefits, and shallow frying instead of deep frying. Regardless, when I serve this at dinner, I am sure to make it count.

Jokes aside, pine nuts are one of my favorite handy addition to most side dishes. In addition to staving off those liver spots, they are also known to reduce the risk of heart disease, suppress appetite in a good way and is a rich source of magnesium. I like how just a few of these seeds adds a rich nutty texture. honey-walnut-pine-nut-shrimp-20160910_195315-1

To further impress your guests with crunchy shrimp, just like what you get at restaurants and dim sum pavilions, soak the peeled shrimp in a bowl of cold water with 1 Tbsp of baking soda or lye water (枧水) for about 30 minutes, rinse well and pat dry before cooking.

Very little oil is used even though the shrimp look and feel as if they were deep fried. The tricks are to have shrimp that is patted dry, foamy egg whites, and not messing with it once it’s in the oil, until it needs turning over. I had to resist the urge to push the shrimp around in the wok and just let chemistry work its magic. So, put it into the wok, wait, turn over, wait, and scoop! I used a pair of tongs to turn each one over so as to avoid touching them unnecessarily.

This is so delicious that before you know it, the platter will be clean!

Honey Walnut Pine Nut Shrimp
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Pine nuts add a new spin on this popular favorite at every Chinese restaurant and take-out.
Recipe type: Sides
Cuisine: Chinese
Serves: 2-4
  • 3 Tbsp granulated white sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • ⅓ cup walnuts
  • ⅓ cup pine nuts
  • ½ lb shrimp, shells and tails removed, deveined
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 Tbsp corn starch
  • 4 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 green onion, thinly chopped
  1. Soak deveined shrimp in a bowl of water with some baking soda and sugar. This step is optional but makes for crunchy, bouncy shrimp.
  2. Dissolve 3 Tbsp sugar in 1 cup of water over medium heat. Add walnuts and pine nuts and boil for about 2 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  3. Whisk egg whites until foamy. Add in the cornstarch and whisk again. Dry shrimp in paper towels, giving it a gentle squeeze to remove excess moisture. Put shrimp into eggwhite/cornstarch batter.
  4. Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a pan/wok over medium-high heat. When a drop of water dances in the oil, carefully place shrimp one by one into the oil. I used tongs to prevent the batter from dripping all over in the oil. You don't have to toss the shrimp, just leave it in the oil in a single layer, without touching each other, for about 1 minute, or till one side turns golden brown. Using tongs, turn each shrimp over and leave for about another minute. Remove with tongs and place on paper towels.
  5. Mix honey, mayonnaise, sweetened condensed milk. Add shrimp, walnuts and pine nuts. Coat well using a pair of chopsticks or spoons.
  6. Garnish with green onions and serve.

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