This recipe for Sesame Shrimp with Honey Mustard Sauce is from the legendary Cecilia Chang 江孫芸, best known for her Chinese restaurant in San Francisco, called the Mandarin Restaurant. Through her restaurant, she introduced America to authentic regional Mandarin-style, Chinese food.
Recipe reprinted with permission from: The Seventh Daughter: My Culinary Journey from Beijing to San Francisco by Cecilia Chiang Ten Speed Press (c) 2007
Cocktail parties were a regular occurrence at The Mandarin in Beverly Hills, and these shrimp, along with our Pork Ruble’s in Sweet-and-Sour Sauce, were perennial best sellers. I had one chef who did nothing by fry shrimp, sometimes for hours. In fact, guests loved the shrimp so much that we eventually put them on the menu.
One of the nice things about this recipe, other than the fact that the shrimp are incredibly delicious, is that you can easily prepare them almost entirely ahead of time and do the final frying at the last minute. The recipe can be doubled or tripled, which is a good thing since they seem to disappear rapidly. If you prefer, use Sweet and Sour Sauce instead of the dipping sauce recipe given here. -L.W.
Tips for successful Sesame Shrimp Recipe
- To cut down prep time, buy tail-on raw shrimp that is already shelled and deveined. The tail-on is not absolutely essential, but it does give your guest a little “handle” to hold onto while dipping into the honey mustard sauce.
- The recipe includes homemade (and super simple) honey mustard sauce, but you can also use store-bought sweet and sour sauce, or store-bought “duck sauce” or store-bought sweet Thai chile sauce (my favorite). The sweet Thai chile sauce is not spicy at all…it’s very sweet and a pretty, bright red.
- The recipe calls for Chinese rice wine (substitute with dry sherry), or just leave it out if you don’t want to use alcohol or just don’t have it on hand.
- Sesame seeds are expensive if you buy them from the spice aisle. Instead, head over to the “international” section of the market. Sometimes, in the Asian or Hispanic foods section, they’ll have cheaper sesame seeds. If you’re anywhere near an Asian market, you can pick up a bag for a fraction of the cost.
- The original recipe calls for a lot of cooking oil. I’ve cut the amount down, as I’ve found it doesn’t affect the end result one bit.
Sesame Shrimp Recipe with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce
1 pound medium shrimp, shelled and deveined, with tails attached
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
2 cups white sesame seeds
1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine (or dry sherry)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons cooking oil (like vegetable, canola or peanut), 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 Chinese Honey-Mustard Dipping Sauce – whisk together the mustard, honey, oil and soy sauce until well combined. Set aside until ready to serve.
Line up 3 shallow bowls: In the first bowl, add only 1 cup of the flour. In the second bowl, whisk together sesame oil, wine, eggs, cornstarch, baking soda and the remaining 1/2 cup of flour, cooking oil and the 1 cup of water until well combined. In the third bowl, add sesame seeds.
Heat a wok or large pot with cooking 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.
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 I´ve coated them??? and then fry them (frozen) right before serving??
Your recipe looks great and I can´t wait to try them out!!
Yes – just manage your heat well. If your first shrimp starts to burn too fast (before the shrimp inside is cooked), lower the heat.
sorry to comment on these two years after you posted them! These look incredible. I just got inspired.
I needed an appetizer for tonight…. thanks Jaden 😉
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.
Restaurant or no, can’t wait to make this for me & the boys! thanks for yet another inspired dish.
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!
Oh!!! Looks so yummy. I would love to go to your restaurant when you open. 🙂
Running a restaurant is hard work but you can do it! Your food looks absolutely delicious and I literally cannot wait to try them out.
looks soooo yummy… will definitely try it soon for hubby and kids… thanks for sharing…
Never had sesame shrimp! I hope to prepare this dish in the near future. And if/when you open a restaurant… I’m there!
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!
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. !
I dont eat prawns, but gosh I feel like having some of these… very interesting.. and as always, i love your photos! 🙂
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!
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!
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. 🙂
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. 🙂
Those sesame coated shrimp look great and the sauce sounds tasty!
Agreed! If I owned a restaurant I’d cry every time a perfect dish went out that I couldn’t photograph! 🙂
Yum, I looooove prawns. Boo hoo for Sydney Winter – I want BBQ weather!
Wow, this looks so delicious! I love the look of it too!
That shrimp couldn’t possibly look more amazing! Awesome!
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!
watch out, coconut shrimp – there’s a new fried sea cockroach on the block. those look great!
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.
Your sesame shrimp is so unique and looks fabulous!
You’re damn right restaurants are hard work. At least when you’re recipe testing for cookbooks you can still wear your heels and not kitchen clogs. 🙂
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 http://www.etsy.com? That’ll kill some time.
Wow what a simple recipe. It sounds quite nice. The dipping sauce is also a nice touch.
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
i make these with black and white sesame seeds both mixed together. Love your dipping sauce though 🙂
Looks amazing!!! great food and photography.
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!
Those shrimps look fab. I have worked over the years part time with restaurants and caterers. It is hard work .
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.
mmm, sesame shrimp! all the other food you sampled looks great too!
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.
I’m glad you described the cranberry chicken. I barely had “WTF” out of my mouth when I got to it.
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!
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 ;).
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.
btw, congrats on your victory!
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?
WOw it looks DELICIOUS.
I have bookmarked it to make them.
That sesame shrimp looks yummy! And I think my favorite from the Forks and Corks is the little chicken salads in phyllo. Very pretty!