Peking Walnuts

How to make Peking Walnuts

In the spirit of DIY deliciousness, why not start off the Chinese New Year with something sweet and savory? Peking Walnuts are an impressive affair – the glossy walnuts appear lacquered, but it’s really just a simple sugar coating that’s been dunked in a vat of hot vegetable oil. While the walnuts cook, the sugar caramelizes onto the crust and takes on a reddish hue – just like Peking Duck.

The red color makes Peking Walnuts lucky.

What’s the story with the color red and Chinese New Year?

Legend has it that a Chinese beast called Nian lives under the sea and mountains. He is afraid of the color red. Chinese families use lots of red during the New Year to scare him away.Today, red signifies both luck and joy in Chinese culture.

"Central Dragon" by J Bar. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Central_Dragon.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Central_Dragon.jpg

“Central Dragon” by J Bar.

How to make Peking Walnuts (and impress all your friends):

Grab a bunch of walnuts.

How to make Peking Walnuts

Boil them until their skins fall off.

How to make Peking Walnuts

Dry well.

How to make Peking Walnuts

Toss with sugar and let dry for a couple of hours in a sunny spot (or overnight).

How to make Peking Walnuts

 

Meanwhile, go watch some fireworks!

"Kung Hei Fat Choi! (6834861529)" by Michael Elleray from England, United Kingdom - Kung Hei Fat Choi!Uploaded by russavia. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kung_Hei_Fat_Choi!_(6834861529).jpg#mediaviewer/File:Kung_Hei_Fat_Choi!_(6834861529).jpg

“Kung Hei Fat Choi!” The traditional, and famous, Chinese New Year Firework Display over Victoria Harbor in 2012. Tens of thousands of people lined the shores of Kowloon and Hong Kong Island up to 4-hours early in order to get the best views. By Michael Elleray.

When you return, deep fry the walnuts until caramelized and sticky!

How to make Peking Walnuts

Sprinkle with sesame seeds and let cool completely.

How to make Peking Walnuts

 

Chinese Candy Box

If you want to amp up the cuteness, add Peking Walnuts to a Chinese Candy Box. This red and black box has 6-8 compartments to hold candy, dried fruits, or nuts and seeds. Here’s an example:

"Candy Box" by Denise Chan - Flickr. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Candy_Box.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Candy_Box.jpg

“Candy Box” by Denise Chan.

Note: Peking walnuts are a great gift idea unless, like me, you have a husband that eats them all in one sitting, in which case you may want to make a double batch. Ahem.

Enjoy with luck and …

"Chinese paper cuttings" by ProjectManhattan - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Chinese_paper_cuttings.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Chinese_paper_cuttings.jpg

“Chinese paper cuttings with lucky words for the Chinese New Year” by ProjectManhattan.

… love in your heart.

"World City. World Party. (6822307599)" by Michael Elleray from England, United Kingdom - World City. World Party.Uploaded by russavia. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:World_City._World_Party._(6822307599).jpg#mediaviewer/File:World_City._World_Party._(6822307599).jpg

“World City. World Party. Hong Kong 2012” by Michael Elleray.

Makes 3 cups

Ingredients:

3 cups walnuts
1 cup sugar

2 cups vegetable or peanut oil
sesame seeds

Method:

Add to boiling water and cook about 8 minutes, or until pale and softened (most of the skin will have come  off).

Dry well with towels. Toss completely with sugar on a cookie sheet and let dry in a warm sunny spot for about 2 1/2 hours. The sugar will cling to the seemingly dry walnuts since there will be traces of moisture. You may want to turn once or twice early on to make sure they’re coated well. The walnut and sugar mixture is done drying when the sugar hardens into a crust around the walnuts (it’ll be hard to the touch).

To cook:

Add oil to a wok or small pot and heat to 350F. Add the walnuts in batches and fry until golden brown – 1-2 minutes (I like them best after 1 minute). Use a slotted spoon or similar to remove. Place on a clean baking sheet and spread apart with the spoon. Sprinkle liberally with sesame seeds. Let cool completely, then store in an airtight container for a couple of weeks.

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The glossy walnuts appear lacquered, but it's really just a simple sugar coating that's been dunked in a vat of hot vegetable oil. While the walnuts cook, the sugar caramelizes onto the crust and takes on a reddish hue - just like Peking Duck.Peking Walnuts
Servings
4-6
Servings
4-6
Ingredients
Instructions
To prepare
  1. Add to boiling water and cook about 8 minutes, or until pale and softened (most of the skin will have come off).
  2. Dry well with towels. Toss completely with sugar on a cookie sheet and let dry in a warm sunny spot for about 2 1/2 hours.
To cook
  1. Add oil to a wok or small pot and heat to 350F.
  2. Fry until golden brown - 1-2 minutes
  3. Place on a clean baking sheet, spread apart, and sprinkle liberally with sesame seeds.
Source:

Recipe Copyright Sasha Martin, Global Table Adventure. For personal or educational use only.

2 Comments

  1. Nance says

    This would be great made with pecans, too! (since I live in GA, a major pecan-growing area.)

  2. Julie says

    I just discovered your blog, and I love it! I can’t wait to try the recipes with my family (hubby and 3 girls). Now where to start, where to start! BTW, the interactive map is so helpful and makes your blog one of the easiest I’ve traversed.

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