A Healthier copycat version of panda express honey walnut shrimp! easy to make and made with BATTERED CRISPy shrimp, that are crunchy and sweet, with caramelized walnuts- and served in a creamy sauce you will love.

This is a new staple meal in our house! I love how flavorful and easy this dish is to prepare. Plus, you likely will have all of the needed ingredients in your pantry.

Better yet- I love that it is easy to make and home, and honestly WAY better than takeout.

Big points too since the whole family enjoys it…even Ollie- and it is packed with nutrient-dense ingredients! The shrimp are packed with protein, and the walnuts are a great source of healthy fats.

If you love shrimp and want to include this healthy food to your diet, check my delicious Shrimp Cakes with Lemon Aioli or these delicious and Healthy Crab Cakes.

Is it authentic?

I never actually had walnut shrimp growing up in China. It is more of an American Chinese Food- however, I will tell you it is delicious!

Since my parents have been here, you know we have tried to recreate this dish and put our own authentic twist on it as well.

What makes honey walnut shrimp healthy?

A bowl of crispy walnut shrimp and topped with green onion.

The traditional version of Honey Walnut Shrimp consists of shrimp battered in mochiko (which is a glutinous rice flour easily found at Asian markets) or cornstarch, candied walnuts that have been toasted in sugar, a mayo-based sauce with a touch of condensed milk in it. 

My recipe is a much healthier version than panda express’s.

Because it is made in the air fryer it uses way less oil, but you still get that crispy perfection.  It’s gluten free, refined sugar free and made with healthier ingredients loaded with protein and healthy fats. You can also make your own mayo or use a paleo kind.

Ingredients for Honey Walnut Shrimp

Shrimp: Excellent source of protein and omega 3 fatty acids. Despite being low in calories, shrimp contains many nutrients and minerals, including iodine and antioxidants that may promote heart, brain and thyroid health. To learn more about shrimp health benefits click here.

Walnuts: Are extremely nutrient-dense. They are a wonderful source of antioxidants, vitamin E, omega 3 fatty acids, protein, and fiber. Research shows that walnuts are beneficial healthy fats for brain, and they help lower cholesterol. To learn more about walnuts health benefits chick here.

Coconut sugar vs Refined Sugar: Coconut sugar is a plant-based, natural sweetener made from coconut palm sap. It is less processed than table sugar and for this reason a better and healthier option.

Arrowroot Starch: is a starchy powder that’s extracted from the root of a tropical plant known as Maranta arundinacea. Different than corn starch, arrowwood starch extraction is simpler and it uses more traditional methods, without the use of high heat or harsh chemicals. It’s also naturally gluten-free, grain-free, vegan and paleo-friendly, which makes it a better and healthier option. To learn more about Arrowroot starch health benefits chick here.

Ingredients for Honey Walnut Shrimp

Shrimp is prepped and peppered and salted to be made into walnut shrimp

For the shrimp

  • Raw shrimps – fresh or frozen, peeled. You can use many kinds of shrimps or prawns for this recipe
  • Egg
  • Arrowroot Starch (for a healthy, paleo and gluten-free option). You can also use tapioca flour, or cornstarch.
  • Avocado Oil (I prefer for a higher smoking point)

For the candied walnut

Ingredients are laid out for the walnut shrimp
  • Walnut, halved
  • Coconut Sugar
  • Coconut Oil

For the sauce:

  • Mayo of preference (paleo or vegan options)
  • Coconut cream (for a dairy free option), or regular cream
  • Rice vinegar
  • Honey

How to make Honey Walnut Shrimp

Start by cooking the shrimps: First, Rinse and pat dry the shrimps.

Sprinkle salt and pepper on and prepare the rest of the ingredients. Add arrowroot starch in a bowl, & egg beaten with 1 tbsp oil in another bowl.

Dip shrimp in the starch, and shake the excess flour.
Coat shrimp with egg wash on both sides.
Dip the shrimp in the starch again to coat.

Place the coated shrimps in a well-greased air fryer basket or greased parchment paper. Make sure they are not too tightly packed so they can get “fried” evenly.
Cook at 400F for 5 – 6 minutes, flip and cook for another 3 – 4 minutes.

Next make the honey walnut:

In a saucepan, simply combine walnuts, coconut sugar, and coconut oil. Stir continuously on medium to low heat until golden brown, set aside.
Prepare the sauce ingredients: Mayo, honey, coconut cream, rice vinegar
In a bowl, mix the sauce ingredients.

The perfect balance of sweet, savory, and sour flavors!

Lastly, transfer the cooked shrimp into a bowl and combine with honey walnuts and sauce!

If the shrimp is cold, transfer the cooked shrimp into the skillet with the walnuts and toss everything together until the shrimp is hot and coated. Then add the sauce.

Serve with a sprinkle of chopped chives (optional)

How to Serve Walnut Honey Shrimp

A pair of chopsticks is holding up a shrimp

Whatever you choose to serve this dish with, you will not be disappointed! The flavors make this dish enjoyable with just about ANY side! I

If you want to try it with one of my favorites, then try one of these options:

Rice (Brown rice or white rice)

Lettuce cup

Eat it on its own

With this zucchini stir fry, cucumber salad.

How to Store

I actually didn’t store this because Tom and my parents devoured it all! But based on similar recipes, you can try the following!

  1. Store in an airtight container in the fridge
  2. To reheat, pan sear or microwave (but the shrimps will get soggy)
  3. OR toss the shrimp in the air fryer, which will allow it to get crispy again!

What are some of your favorite shrimp recipes? Leave a comment below!

Get the recipe:Honey Walnut Shrimp

5 stars (2 reviews)



  • 1 lb Shrimp
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2 cup Arrowroot Starch , (more if needed)
  • 1 tbsp Avocado Oil , (I prefer avocado oil which has a higher smoking point)


  • 3/4 cup walnuts halved
  • 1/4 cup Coconut Sugar
  • 2-3 tbsp Coconut Oil


  • 1/4 cup Mayo (I use a Paleo Mayo)
  • 2 tbsp Coconut (or Regular) Cream
  • 1 tsp Rice Vinegar
  • 3 tsp Honey
  • 1/2 tsp Salt to Taste, *may not need




  • Rinse and pat the shrimp dry, and then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Dip Shrimp in starch, shake off the excess, coat with egg wash and then dip in starch again to coat. Repeat for all of the shrimps.
  • Place them in a wellgreased air fryer basket or greased parchment paper. Make sure they are not too tightly packed so they can get “fried” evenly
  • Preheat the Air fryer to 400. Cook for 5 – 6 minutes, flip and cook for another 3 – 4 minutes.


  • In a sauce pan,combine walnuts, coconut sugar and coconut oil. Stir continuously on medium to low heat until golden brown, set aside


  • In a bowl, mix the sauce, and combine the shrimp sauce and walnuts.
  • If shrimps have cooled down, you can place them in a pan over medium heat). Pour the sauce over to coat and add walnuts.
  • Serve with sprinkle of chopped chives (optional)

The Nutrition Facts above are specific to the ingredients I chose to use for this recipe, which may vary.


A pair of chopsticks is holding up a shrimp