Honey Walnut Prawns
August doesn’t recall having had this dish in her life before Zach, but now it’s one of their shared favorite Chinese plates. Not all restaurants have it – in fact it can be hard to find – so Zach figured out how to make it at home for any time the mood strikes us. This should be eaten immediately because the batter is so light and crispy that it can get soggy from the honey glaze, so don’t anticipate any leftovers.
48 oz. of peanut oil for frying
1 1/2 lbs. of peeled and deveined shrimp
1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour, plus 1 cup for dredging
1 1/2 cups of soda water or carbonated water, ice cold
3/4 cup of corn starch
1/2 cup of mayonnaise
1/2 cup of walnuts
1/4 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup of sweetened condensed milk
4 tbs. of local honey, divided in 2 and 2
1 tbs. of sesame seeds
4 tsp. of baking powder
2 tsp. of kosher salt
1/4 tsp. of powdered ginger
Orange slices for garnish (optional)
Thirty minutes before cooking the shrimp, make the sauce so that it can set up in the refrigerator. Mix the mayonnaise, orange juice, condensed milk, 2 tbs. of honey, and ginger, thoroughly until well combined. Chill for 30 minutes, which allows plenty of time to prepare the walnuts.
Toss the walnuts in 2 tbs. of honey, then sprinkle with sesame seeds to coat them. Bake on a sheet pan lined with foil or a Silpat at 350 degrees F for 8-10 minutes until lightly toasted.
Heat the oil to 375 degrees F in a deep fryer. In a medium size mixing bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups of flour, corn starch, baking powder, and salt so that the ingredients are evenly dispersed. Add the ice-cold soda water and mix thoroughly to make the batter. Put the 1/2 cup of remaining flower in a separate bowl. Toss the shrimp 10 at a time, first in the flour and then in the batter; tail on or off is up to you. Removing the shrimp from the batter in one motion, gently lay in the hot oil one at a time, never more than 10 at once so as not to overcrowd the fryer. Cook for no longer than 2 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove with a spider and drain on a towel or several paper towels before transferring to a large bowl
Take the sauce from the fridge and drizzle over the shrimp on the bowl. Toss, making sure they’re all coated. Plate with a small handful of walnuts and a few orange slices.