Monday, May 2, 2011

I Did a Bad, Bad Thing

I remember the first time I had Honey Walnut Shrimp. I was with a friend at a local Chinese restaurant, and he’d ordered it, although it wasn’t on the menu. And so for a while I thought it was this super secret item that only a fortunate few knew about. Then I saw it on menus all over the place.

Anyway, as I continue to placate O2’s aversion to meat, I thought I’d jump on the bandwagon and make my own Honey Walnut Shrimp at home, which turned out to be remarkably easy and quick enough to make it a mid-week friendly meal. I served this with a side of baby bok choy which was flash fried with a bit of garlic (ok, a LOT of garlic) and then steamed slightly.

Don’t ask why it didn’t make it into the picture.

Have I ever mentioned my short attention span??


Anyway, if you're of the low-fat, low-calorie foods ilk, click on, my friend.  We're talking sugar, mayo and fried things.  And I'm not about to apologize.

Honey Walnut Shrimp

1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1 clove garlic, smashed
1-¼ lbs raw large shrimp, thawed, peeled and deveined
½ tsp salt
½ tsp white pepper
1/3 cup corn starch
½ - 1 cup canola or vegetable oil (enough to cover the bottom of a pan)

½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup water
1/8 tsp salt
2/3 cup walnuts, halved (I used chopped)

¼ cup good quality mayonnaise
1 tsp honey
2 tsp sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp black sesame seeds
¼ cup green onion, chopped

Combine garlic, ginger and shrimp in a bowl. Stir well to combine and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium. Cook and swirl pan until mixture starts to turn an amber color. Add salt and walnuts. Continue to cook and stir the walnuts (the sugar will crystallize and become a ‘sandy’ consistency and then will begin to melt again. When sugar has melted, spread walnuts onto a cookie sheet. Separate into a single layer and allow to cool.

In another bowl, combine the mayo, honey, condensed milk and vinegar.

Heat the canola oil in a large sauté pan or wok over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, add the salt, pepper and corn starch to the shrimp and stir to combine. When oil is hot, drop the shrimp into the oil. Cook and stir until shrimp begins to turn opaque and becomes golden on one side. Flip over and cook the other side just until it begins to brown. Remove and drain on paper towels. Add the shrimp to the mayo mixture and toss to combine.

Serve the shrimp over cooked rice and garnish with sesame seeds, green onion and the candied walnuts.

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