Are you a fan of Panda Express’s Honey Walnut Shrimp?
You may have noticed that it’s not always available on the menu. But did the popular fast-casual Chinese food chain actually discontinue this beloved dish?
Before you start panicking, let’s take a closer look at the situation. In this article, we’ll explore the history of Panda Express and its menu changes, as well as the reasons behind the availability of their shrimp dishes.
So sit back, relax, and let’s dive into the world of Panda Express and its famous Honey Walnut Shrimp.
Did Panda Express Discontinue Honey Walnut Shrimp?
The short answer is no, Panda Express did not discontinue their Honey Walnut Shrimp. This classic menu item is still available at most locations, although it may not always be on the menu.
Panda Express is known for its popular American Chinese comfort food dishes, and the Honey Walnut Shrimp is one of their most beloved items. This dish features large tempura-battered shrimp, wok-tossed in a honey sauce and topped with glazed walnuts. It’s no wonder why customers keep coming back for more.
However, some customers have noticed that the availability of Panda Express’s shrimp dishes can be inconsistent. This is due to the fact that these dishes take time and effort to prepare, which can be challenging for employees during busy times like the COVID-19 outbreak.
In an effort to make things easier for their employees, Panda Express recently announced that they would be limiting their menu to only their best-selling items. This means that some less popular dishes may not be available at certain locations. However, the Honey Walnut Shrimp is still a fan favorite and is likely to remain on the menu at most locations.
The History Of Panda Express And Its Menu Changes
Panda Express was founded in 1983 and has since grown to become one of the most popular fast-casual Chinese food chains in the United States. According to their website, they have over 2,000 locations across the country and sell more than $3 billion worth of food each year.
Throughout their history, Panda Express has made several changes to their menu to keep up with changing customer preferences and market trends. One of their most notable menu changes came in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, when they decided to limit their menu to only their best-selling items. This was done to help their employees manage the increased demand for take-out and delivery orders during this challenging time.
Another significant menu change occurred in 2020 when Panda Express introduced a new premium item called the Honey Walnut Shrimp. This dish features tempura-battered shrimp wok-tossed in a honey sauce and topped with glazed walnuts. It was initially tested in about 200 stores before being rolled out systemwide, and it quickly became a fan favorite.
Despite these menu changes, Panda Express has managed to maintain its reputation for serving up delicious and affordable Chinese comfort food. Their commitment to quality ingredients and excellent customer service has helped them stay relevant in an increasingly competitive market.
What Is Honey Walnut Shrimp?
Honey Walnut Shrimp is a popular Chinese-American dish that features large, crispy battered shrimp tossed in a sweet and creamy sauce and topped with caramelized walnuts. The dish is typically served as an entree and is often accompanied by steamed rice and garnished with thinly sliced green onions.
To make Honey Walnut Shrimp, the shrimp are first peeled and deveined before being coated in a mixture of all-purpose flour and tempura batter. The shrimp are then deep-fried until they are crispy and golden brown. Meanwhile, the walnuts are cooked in a mixture of brown sugar, water, and butter until they are caramelized and coated in a sweet glaze.
To create the honey sauce for the shrimp, mayonnaise, sweetened condensed milk, honey, and lemon juice are combined in a bowl. Once the shrimp and walnuts are cooked, they are tossed together in the honey sauce until evenly coated.
Honey Walnut Shrimp is a delicious and indulgent dish that has become a staple at Chinese-American restaurants across the United States. Its unique combination of sweet and savory flavors and crunchy textures make it a favorite among many customers.
The Popularity Of Honey Walnut Shrimp
Honey Walnut Shrimp is a beloved dish that has gained immense popularity in recent years. While it originated in Hong Kong, it has become a staple in American Chinese cuisine, particularly in California. Its popularity can be attributed to its unique combination of sweet and savory flavors, as well as the satisfying crunch of the battered shrimp and glazed walnuts.
Panda Express’s version of the dish has helped to further popularize it, as it is one of their most sought-after menu items. However, it’s worth noting that there are variations of the dish served at other Chinese restaurants, with some using prawns instead of shrimp.
Despite its popularity, Honey Walnut Shrimp can be quite expensive to order regularly from restaurants. This has led many people to seek out recipes online and attempt to make it at home. With its relatively simple ingredients and quick preparation time, it’s no wonder why so many people are eager to recreate this dish for themselves.
Panda Express’s Other Shrimp Dishes
While the Honey Walnut Shrimp may be the most well-known shrimp dish at Panda Express, there are actually several other shrimp dishes on their menu. One of their newer limited-time offerings is the Wok-Fired Shrimp, which is inspired by the flavors of Hunan cuisine. This dish features shrimp wok-tossed with red bell peppers, yellow onions, and sugar snap peas in a sweet and spicy sauce.
Another popular shrimp dish at Panda Express is the Kung Pao Shrimp. This dish features tender shrimp stir-fried with peanuts, red bell peppers, and zucchini in a spicy sauce. It’s a great option for those who like a little kick in their food.
For those who prefer a milder flavor, the Garlic Shrimp is another great option. This dish features tender shrimp stir-fried with garlic and green onions in a light sauce. It’s a simple yet delicious dish that showcases the natural flavor of the shrimp.
Lastly, there is the classic Shrimp with Mixed Vegetables. This dish features wok-seared shrimp with broccoli, carrots, and snow peas in a light sauce. It’s a great option for those who want a healthier meal that still satisfies their craving for shrimp.
How To Make Your Own Honey Walnut Shrimp At Home
If you’re a fan of Panda Express’s Honey Walnut Shrimp but don’t want to rely on the restaurant to satisfy your cravings, you can make your own version at home. Here’s how to do it:
For the Candied Walnuts:
– Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
– Melt 3 tablespoons of salted butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.
– Add 1/2 cup of walnuts to the pan and cook, stirring frequently, until the liquid in the butter has cooked off (about 5-8 minutes).
– Remove the walnuts from the pan and place them on a nearby plate.
– Wipe the saucepan clean, then return it to the burner.
– Over medium heat, whisk together 1/3 cup of water and 1/3 cup of light brown sugar until hot.
– Add the walnuts back to the pan and cook, stirring frequently, until the brown sugar mixture starts to thicken and stick to the walnuts (about another 5-8 minutes).
– Remove the walnuts from the pan and place them on the parchment paper-lined baking sheet, spacing them out so they don’t stick together.
– Set aside to cool.
For the Honey Shrimp:
– In a small bowl, whisk together 1/3 cup of mayonnaise, 2 1/2 tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk, 2 1/2 tablespoons of honey, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of lemon juice until smooth.
– Taste test the sauce and adjust to your liking. For a sweeter sauce, add more honey. For a milder sauce, add more mayonnaise. Once the sauce is finished, set it aside.
– When ready to fry, add 1 inch of vegetable oil to a large skillet and heat it to 350 degrees F (using a candy thermometer helps!).
– While the oil heats up, prepare three bowls: one for flour, one for eggs + cold water whisked together, and another for tempura.
– Line a large plate with a paper towel and set it nearby.
– Pat dry about 1 pound of shrimp with paper towels and season lightly with salt and pepper.
– Dip each shrimp in flour, then egg mixture, then press into tempura.
– Add shrimp to hot oil and cook until coating is golden brown on both sides (about 2-4 minutes). Turn if needed.
– Set cooked shrimp on the paper towel-lined plate. Repeat this step until all shrimp have been fried.
Putting It All Together:
– In a large bowl, add fried shrimp and candied walnuts.
– Pour honey sauce on top and gently toss to coat.
– Turning the shrimp too hard or too fast may make the tempura fall off, so go slowly.
With these easy-to-follow steps, you can now enjoy your very own homemade Honey Walnut Shrimp that tastes just like Panda Express’s version!