Recipe and Cooking by Matthew Riviera
Photos by: Pheren Photography

Honey walnut shrimp is a classic chinese dish found in many chinese restaurants. i always enjoy having a dim sum brunch with friends (especially after a nigh of drinking) and honey walnut shrimp is always one of the dishes that makes its way from the cart to our table. the classic chinese version includes nice thick pieces of breaded and fried shrimp, a creamy/sweet sauce that the shrimp is coated in, and of course the candied walnuts which complete the dish.
i wanted to do my own take on honey walnut shrimp giving it an updated gourmet, and minimalist presentation.

 

ingredients

 for the shrimp: shrimp, panko bread crumbs, egg
candied walnuts: walnuts, sugar, salt
rice: forbidden rice (black rice), cooked in coconut milk
asian slaw: julients carrots, red onion, cilantro, rice wine vinegar
garnish: sliced papaya

I started out by candying the walnuts. we started out with a store bought package of sliced walnuts from ralph’s. lay out the walnuts on a parchment  lined cookie sheet and disperse the walnuts to toast in the oven set at 350F and bake for about 10 minutes or until golden brown.
as the walnuts were baking i put about 1/2 cup of sugar on a pan at medium heat and let it melt down while continually stirring for about 10 mins. the sugar transformed into its beautiful cousin, caramel.

once the walnuts were toasted just right, i poured them into the caramel mixture and coated them with a glaze of caramel.

This is time sensitive the little guys had to be rushed back on the parchment lined cookie sheet to separate and set. once they set, i had a hard time not eating them as is.

i prepared the shrimp by peeling them and letting them go for a swim in a bowl of beaten eggs.
Then they are rolled around on a sandy beach of panko crumbs.

The shrimpies were ready to be dunked in hot frying oil!
Once crispy fried to perfection i set them on a paper towel lined plate to let the excess oil be absorbed.

Then came the rice, which i simply put into a rice cooker and filled with a can of light coconut milk from trader joes. the rice turned out a beautiful deep plum color, and the aroma of coconut was intoxicating. black rice has an awesome nutty, rich flavor and coupled with the coconut milk just elevated their flavor profile.

 

as the rice was cooking i needed to add in the honey element. i decided to make a balsamic reduction sauce with a table spoon of this honey & ginger jelly. it gave the reduction a nice balance of sweet, spicy, and tang.

 

the asian slaw was the easy part, just sliced and diced.



Tossed in some rice wine vinegar

Salt and Pepper

i wanted to add an extra bit of fanciness, and something sweet and light as a palate cleanser, and the sliced papaya served its purpose well.
This took a heck of a lot of prep, but in the end the flavors really took  me there and back. so there you have it folks! honey walnut shrimp done up my way!

ingredients

 for the shrimp: shrimp, panko bread crumbs, egg
candied walnuts: walnuts, sugar, salt
rice: forbidden rice (black rice), cooked in coconut milk
asian slaw: julients carrots, red onion, cilantro, rice wine vinegar
garnish: sliced papaya