Sesame Shrimp with Honey Mustard Sauce

Sesame Shrimp with Honey Mustard Sauce

from Steamy Kitchen food column in Tampa Tribune

It never fails that at least twice a day, I’m asked, “so when are you gonna start your own restaurant?” My reply is always the same, “only when I have an extra million in the bank and I don’t have to worry about making money.”

I know a restaurant is just too much for to handle for my delicate psyche. How would I ever explain to the IRS why “weekly psychotherapy” is part of operating expenses? And the only way I’d be able to handle the long hours and hard work is with back to back shots of double espressos followed by a Red Bull chaser. But really, with that regimen, I’d scare off innocent, unsuspecting people with, “DUDE! YOU! NEED! TO! TRY! MY! SESAME! SHRIMP!” leaping out of the doorway and shoving a sample in any open mouth passing by. Yeah, maybe hyperactive, assertive marketing wouldn’t work well.

Which is why I have so much respect for anyone working in the industry. I just spent the afternoon at a food and wine festival called Forks and Corks in Sarasota, and I’ve gotta say, it was simply fantastic. The festival was sponsored by the Sarasota Originals, a group of 50 independently owned restaurants in the area, and held in the exquisite, palatial courtyard of the Ringling Museum of Art. It was very Sarasota-esque, I felt under-accessorized without a boob job and lip plump.

Behind every restaurant’s sample booth was the owner, generously dishing out sample portions of their signature menu item. Despite being on their feet with only 4 hours of sleep in 90F heat, they rocked on with graciousness.

Independent restaurant owners: I bow down to you

If I ever find that extra million in the bank, you can bet that I’ll be out there thrusting a deep fried sesame shrimp pierced by cocktail sword atcha’. Aya! that sounded naughty.

Chinese Sesame Shrimp with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

Adapted from The Seventh Daughter, Cecilia Chiang

Sesame Shrimp with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

Serves 6-8

1 pound medium shrimp, shelled and deveined, with tails attached
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups white sesame seeds
1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine
2 large eggs
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup peanut oil, plus additional for deep frying
1 cup water

Chinese Honey-Mustard Dipping Sauce
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons peanut oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce

To make sauce – whisk together the mustard, honey, oil and soy sauce until well combined. Set aside until ready to serve.

In a bowl, gently mix the shrimp with salt to coat salt. Cover with cold water, slosh around a few times, drain the shrimp well, and then transfer to a cutting board. Line up 3 shallow bowls and put flour in one, in the second, whisk together sesame oil, wine, eggs, cornstarch, baking soda and the remaining 1/2 cup of flour, 1/2 cup of the peanut oil and the 1 cup of water until well combined. In the third bowl, add sesame seeds.

Heat a wok or large pot with peanut oil for deep frying over high heat until 360F. Work in batches of 4-5 shrimp at a time. For each shrimp, hold by tail, dip in flour, then batter, then sesame seeds. Deep fry in batches of 4-5 shrimp until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Serve with dipping sauce.


You might also like these other Chinese dishes:

Firecracker Shrimp with Sweet Chili Sauce – Super easy, always a crowd favorite. Here is also a video of me making the Firecracker Shrimp.

Steamed Spareribs in Black Bean Sauce – a dim sum dish! Video here.

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Comments 43

  1. Andrea

    That sesame shrimp looks yummy! And I think my favorite from the Forks and Corks is the little chicken salads in phyllo. Very pretty!

  2. Kalyn

    I worked in a restaurant all through college, and have no desire to ever own one! Too much work for too little money.

    The shrimp looks just fantastic! If I come to Tampa will you make this for me?

  3. Wookie

    My husband adores sesame oil and seeds. The instant I pour sesame oil, he’ll come into the kitchen and say “mmmmm, that smells so good!” Never fails.

    I’ll have to make this for him. It’s funny bc I was actually planning on making the rocket shrimp for him tonight…hmm, maybe I’ll make both. Might as well, two dishes, one batch of oil.

    Thanks Jaden

    btw, congrats on your victory!

  4. Sowjanya

    I don’t know about restauran but I am hoping I can see your own cooking show on HBO. Yes, I said HBO and not food tv because food tv won’t allow you to curse that damn chicken when it flies off from your hand ;).

  5. Ann

    Oh, baby! GORG-OSITY! Wow, do those look ridiculously delicious. I really adore sesame (anything w/ sesame) and actually love honey mustard as well – so this is Bookmarked, capital B. Actually, I’m printing it immediately. Think I’ll attempt to schedule this one in this weekend – if I do, I’ll loop back and let you know how it went. Great pics, J!

  6. Mal Carne

    You have made a wise, wise choice. No need to worry about that IRS stuff, you’d never have time to see a therapist…

    Looks great, I might just have to get over my irrational fear of Asian cooking.

  7. GCS

    Jaden, I enjoy what you are doing now! It showcases your skills, cooking, photography, writing, relating to people, etc. No need to think about a restaurant….and you can work while you travel and fit things in around your busy family life. Try that with a restaurant.

  8. RecipeGirl

    This sounds great to me. My husband fears sesame seeds (they apparently get stuck in his teeth.) So I’d have to feed this to someone else!

    I was watching Next Food Network Star the other day and decided that you should be the next Food Network Star. “Modern Asian’ is a nice culinary point of view, don’t you think?

    I’m sad that I can’t participate in recipe testing… we’re headed off on vacation for the month of July. Best of luck- can’t wait to see the final product!

  9. kate

    i make these with black and white sesame seeds both mixed together. Love your dipping sauce though πŸ™‚

  10. mochachocolata rita

    i’d be munching on these curled little bad boys…with a pile of toothpicks and rolls and rolls of floss at the ready hehe…enjoy first, floss later

    the closest i am to restaurant business is trying to avoid having to wash the dishes at an establishment to pay for the food. falalalala lalalala

  11. Barry

    That sounds tasty!

    Btw, your quote under the twitter banner – “done all i could to procrastinate and stall. running out of ideas. 3 piles of laundry are waiting.”

    Have you been to That’ll kill some time.

  12. Elle

    I love shrimp in any form. Covered in sesame seeds, fried and served with honey mustard sauce just shot to the top of the list!

    And oh my gosh, the cranberry chicken salad looks so good. And pretty! I’d have gone back for more, too.

  13. Dave Harralson

    In Sarasota–you are so right–you simply ARE NOT prepared to go out of the house without a top-notch boob job, lip plump, and outta sight clothes. And,obviously, ya gotta have “resources.” Da dish (what you hear about the local cast of characters) is almost always as good as the dish (what you eat). But the sesame shrimp sounds stupdendous!

  14. Christie @ fig&cherry

    Agreed! If I owned a restaurant I’d cry every time a perfect dish went out that I couldn’t photograph! πŸ™‚

    Yum, I looooove prawns. Boo hoo for Sydney Winter – I want BBQ weather!

  15. Donald

    That shrimp looks deliciously amazing! Put it on the menu now!

    You know, you could always grab a few bloggers from the blogosphere who have disposal income and partner a restaurant. I always get that, “when you gonna open…” question when it comes to barbecue, so we could partner and Asian fusion, southern barbecu…never mind. πŸ™‚

  16. Donald

    That shrimp looks deliciously amazing! Put it on the menu now!

    You know, you could always grab a few bloggers from the blogosphere who have disposal income and partner a restaurant. I always get that, “when you gonna open…” question when it comes to barbecue, so we could partner an Asian fusion, southern barbecu…never mind. πŸ™‚

  17. Mike

    I’ve heard the same thing about opening a restaurant and I always ask if they’ve ever seen Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares (the BBC version, not the Fox version). As entertaining as it is, it also scares the hell out of me, lol! Plus, talk about having the worst hours…looks like a nice place you visited though and I would totally visit the steamy kitchen, even if you thrusted deep fried sesame shrimp pierced by cocktail swords at me (ooo! lol). Looks delicious!

  18. meeso

    Dang, that shrimp sounds good!!!! I almost never cook shrimp for some reason… Now maybe I need to just to get a taste of this!

  19. Myf

    I dont eat prawns, but gosh I feel like having some of these… very interesting.. and as always, i love your photos! πŸ™‚

  20. Cakebrain

    My response to people telling me that I ought to open up a bakery or change careers and become a pastry chef: the work hours are nuts! It’s already crazy hours waking up at 2a.m. to help one kid go back to sleep after a nightmare and another at 4a.m. with a double-nostril nosebleed. If I were at the pastry shop in the wee hours, who’d take them to the potty?
    I concur with others that you ought to be in “pictures”…i.e. the Food Network. Get a show, woman. With your personality and energy, you’d give Rachael Ray a run for the money!
    Yummy looking prawns. I’d like to see you make that on t.v. !

  21. Zenchef

    I had a small restaurant in NY for a while. Started from scratch. And boy! Fun and successful for a while until hungry sharks went at it. I’m still recovering! Loong story! I think a restaurant is great if you can control every aspects of it. Your sesame shrimp would be a killer!

  22. Joseph

    Never had sesame shrimp! I hope to prepare this dish in the near future. And if/when you open a restaurant… I’m there!

  23. Mikky

    looks soooo yummy… will definitely try it soon for hubby and kids… thanks for sharing…

  24. Jimmy Redox

    The recipe sounds absolutely delicious but 2 to 3 CUPS of sesame seeds must be a typo. 2 to 3 Tbs, maybe 1/4 Cup seems right. Am I wrong?

    JADEN: Just double cked her book and it does call for 2-3 cups. I think I only used about a cup or so. Maybe a little more. I’ll modify recipe to 2 cups….1 lb of shrimp is a lot of shrimp to coat!

  25. Andrea in the kitchen

    Finally got around to making these (now the cookbook recipe testing is over). Oh dear they are good. Sesame totally works for me but a popular variation here is with shredded coconut. I needed about a cup of sesame seeds. I started with about a half cup and added from there. I think the sprinkle over the top method worked the best once the egg wash made the seeds a bit sticky. Thanks for sharing.

  26. belu

    Hello!! I was thinking of doing these in advanced for a friend birthday, do you think they will hold up if I freeze them after IΒ΄ve coated them??? and then fry them (frozen) right before serving??

    Your recipe looks great and I canΒ΄t wait to try them out!!

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