Honey Walnut Shrimp

Honey Walnut Shrimp

May 10: National Shrimp Day

An afternoon jaunt to Honolulu’s Chinatown after church was a Sunday shopping ritual for Islander and her parents when she was a little girl. Aside from the Pearl Harbor commissary, the vibrant Asian marketplace was her family’s alternate source for fresh produce, meat and seafood. Sometimes, they would treat themselves at one of the many Chinese restaurants where Islander would always order a shrimp dish. Among her favorites is Honey Walnut Shrimp. The origins of this recipe, whether from an American Chinatown, Canton or Hong Kong, is debatable, but the dish is no doubt delectable. Because the sauce is rich and creamy, Honey Walnut Shrimp is often served at Chinese banquets and on special occasions. One does not need to go to Chinatown to buy the ingredients or eat this dish at a Chinese restaurant or banquet hall. It is surprisingly simple to make at home and can be easily prepared in observance of National Shrimp Day.

Recipe

(Adapted from All Recipes)

Ingredients

  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup raw unsalted walnut halves
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 egg whites (we used ½ cup pasteurized liquid egg whites)
  • 2/3 cup cornstarch or mochiko (sweet rice flour)
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon canned sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tablespoons of honey

Directions
In a small saucepan, dissolve the sugar and salt into the water and bring to a boil. Drop in the walnuts and boil for five minutes until they begin to caramelize. Drain the liquid and let the walnuts dry on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper. In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites with the cornstarch/mochiko until a smooth batter is formed. Coat the shrimp in the batter.

Honey Walnut Shrimp

Deep fry the shrimp in hot oil until golden brown.  Remove with a slotted spoon, drain on paper towels and set aside.   Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, condensed milk and honey. Mix the sauce with the fried shrimp and caramelized walnuts. Transfer to a platter and serve.

Honey Walnut Shrimp

Notes

  • We have used liquid egg white brands such as Crystal Farms AllWhites and Egg Beaters Whites.
  • Use a combination of cornstarch and mochiko for a different texture on the shrimp coating.
  • Mochiko can be purchased at local Asian grocery stores. Check the package label as there is a distinction between plain and sweet rice flour. Use the latter for this recipe.

Asian-Style Shrimp Salad with

Sesame Seed Vinaigrette

Asian Shrimp Salad

May: National Salad Month

Whenever they got Fridays off from work, Islander and her Daddy would walk to the neighborhood open market in the morning and buy fresh shrimp and Hawaii homegrown greens. Combining these ingredients into a salad made for a nice light lunch together that afternoon.

For National Salad Month, we have posted one of our old favorite salad recipes: an Asian-style shrimp salad that is tossed with a sesame seed vinaigrette and topped with crispy won ton strips.

Recipe

For the salad

  • Lettuce, spinach or other leafy greens (equivalent of 3-4 individual salad servings)
  • Sliced tomatoes, onions, carrots or other complementary colored vegetables
  • Crispy won ton strips (we used Hawaii Candy brand)
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 12+ raw shrimps, shelled and deveined

For the dressing

(Dressing adapted from Hawaii Candy)

  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • dash of ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons red wine or balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (we used C&H brand, granulated white)
  • 1 tablespoon minced parsley
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

Directions

In a large bowl, mix the leafy greens and the vegetables.  Set aside. Make the dressing by combining all the ingredients in a shaker. Pour into the salad and toss well. Serve in individual salad plates.

Asian Shrimp Salad

Melt the butter in a small pan. Add the shrimps and saute until the color turns pink. Do not overcook. Drain on paper towels. Top the salad with cooked shrimps. Sprinkle with crispy won ton strips.

Asian Shrimp Salad

Notes

  • May 10 is National Shrimp Day and our Asian-style shrimp salad would be sensational to serve then, too!

Firecracker Shrimp

Firecracker Shrimp

December 20: National Fried Shrimp Day

With just a few days away from the new year (and only a couple of months until the Asian lunar new year), we are already in the mood to celebrate! The timing of National Fried Shrimp Day is another reason to cook festive Firecracker Shrimp. This auspicious appetizer makes a great yang alternative and brings balance to a holiday spread filled with a yin of Christmas cookies and confections.

Noisemakers and fireworks on New Year’s Eve are believed to scare away any evil spirits and bring good luck. Firecracker Shrimp is the perfect combination of crunchy (noisemaker) and spicy (firework) finger food to serve while celebrating on New Year’s Eve and National Fried Shrimp Day!

Recipe

(Adapted from New Asian Cuisine)

Ingredients

  • spring roll wrappers
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • shrimp (uncooked)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup sweet chili sauce

Directions

Defrost the spring roll wrappers, cut the stack diagonally with a sharp knife, separate the sheets, place in a container and cover with a damp cloth until ready to use. Meanwhile, mix the water and cornstarch together and set aside to use for sealing the wrapped shrimp.

Firecracker Shrimp

Shell and devein the shrimp (optional: leave the tail on). Straighten out the shrimp by slitting the inside curve in a few places but not cutting all the way through. Lay out the shrimp to dry on paper towels. Marinate in the sweet chili sauce for 10 minutes at room temperature.

Firecracker Shrimp

Season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Wrap each shrimp by placing it on the left side of a spring roll wrapper with the triangular point facing up. Fold the wrapper inward then bring the triangular point down. Roll tightly to the right as shown in the photos below. Seal with the cornstarch mixture.

Firecracker Shrimp

Place the wrapped shrimp on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Freeze until firm. Transfer to a plastic freezer bag until ready to cook. Deep fry until golden brown and crispy. Drain on paper towels. Serve with sweet chili sauce as a dip.

Firecracker Shrimp

Notes

  • Although shrimp is sometimes considered a yin food, the deep-fried cooking method gives it a yang quality.  For a brief introduction and list of the chi nature of foods and their roots in Chinese and Asian holistic medicine, click here and here.
  • Search our blog for posts on other shrimp recipes.