Trader Joe’s Honey Walnut Shrimp. If you’ve been following along with me over the years, you know that I have a real soft spot for Asian food. I lived in Thailand for a couple of years when I was a kid (my parents were in the Foreign Service) and after that, we were all hooked on some serious Asian food.
One of the first places I look at when I go to Trader Joe’s is the frozen section to see if there are any new Asian dishes there. I was lucky today and found this really good looking Honey Walnut Shrimp! I love the Panda Express Honey Walnut Shrimp and I was hoping that Trader Joe’s wouldn’t disappoint me. When I got this and took it to the checkout line, even the checkers hadn’t seen it yet and were super excited to try it!
I decided to try it when I got home. Normally I would use a cookbook on Chinese Takeout that I like to cook something like this. There were two cooking methods listed on the back, bake in the oven or fry in some oil. I decided I didn’t need the extra calories so I opted to bake in the oven. After baking in the oven for a few minutes until they are crispy and crunchy on the outside, you are supposed to toss them with the warmed-up honey sauce and add the walnuts. I wished I had taken a picture of the honey sauce pack and the walnut pack. First of all, you get about 5 tiny walnuts in the bag so if I were you, I would get some more walnuts and toss them in with the shrimp if I were you.
Then we come to the honey sauce. OMG… Can you say sugar overload?!?!? I calculated the sugar from the nutritional information on the back and there are 46 grams of sugar in just the sauce! That’s more than a can of Coke. To be somewhat fair, there are supposed to be 2.5 servings per bag. (Also over 1000 calories per bag). When I put the warmed-up sauce on top of the shrimp, it looked like I was pouring doughnut glaze on top of the shrimp. It had a slightly off-white and opaque look to it and smelled like pineapples which is one of the flavors on the ingredient list. The sauce immediately sank to the bottom of the bowl because there was so much of it. I would use about 1/2 the sauce unless you really want a good sugar high!
So what did it actually taste like? Kind of like you would expect, deep fried shrimp swimming in a super sweet, pineapple sauce with about 4 tiny walnuts. It will be an absolute hit for Trader Joe’s! Actually, this is pretty expensive at $6.99 for a bag (here in the Seattle area). This isn’t really my type of food, but seeing how popular the Mandarin Orange Chicken (Which is basically deep fried chicken in a spicy sweet sauce) is, I have no doubt this will go on to be a hit! But I really didn’t like it all that much.
You know you can go down to your local Panda Express and get a much better version of this for less money. It looks like it should taste good, but it really doesn’t. I really didn’t like the lack of walnuts and the super sweet sauce. I am not probably going to buy this again. In my book, I’m going to rate these 5 Bells!
- BREADED SHRIMP (SHRIMP [SHRIMP, SALT, RICE STARCH], BATTER [WHEAT FLOUR, MODIFIED FOOD STARCH, RICE FLOUR, SALT, LEAVENING (SODIUM ACID PYROPHOSPHATE, SODIUM BICARBONATE), ANNATTO EXTRACT (COLOR)], PREDUST [MODIFIED FOOD STARCH, ENRICHED FLOUR (WHEAT FLOUR, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, THIAMINE MONONITRATE, RIBOFLAVIN, FOLIC ACID), SALT, YEAST, ASCORBIC ACID])
- SAUCE (CREAM [CREAM, CARRAGEENAN], CONDENSED MILK [MILK, SUGAR], HONEY, CANOLA OIL, PINEAPPLE, MAYONNAISE [EXPELLER PRESSED CANOLA OIL, WHOLE EGGS, APPLE CIDER VINEGAR, WATER, EGG YOLKS, SEA SALT, MUSTARD, LEMON JUICE CONCENTRATE], NATURAL BUTTER FLAVOR [WHEY SOLIDS, ENZYME MODIFIED BUTTER, MALTODEXTRIN, SALT, DEHYDRATED BUTTER, GUAR GUM, ANNATTO AND TURMERIC (COLOR)], LEMON JUICE CONCENTRATE, SEA SALT)
- CANDIED WALNUTS (WALNUTS, SUGAR, PEANUT OIL, SALT)
- CONTAINS WHEAT, SHRIMP, MILK, EGG, WALNUT, AND PEANUTS.
- MAY CONTAIN TRACES OF FISH AND SOY.