- 1 pound walnut halves
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 quart vegetable oil, for frying
- 3 tablespoons sesame seeds
- In a large saucepan, cover the walnuts with water. Simmer over moderately low heat until soft, about 50 minutes; drain. Spread the nuts on a rack to dry.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar with the 1/2 cup of water. Bring to a boil and simmer over moderately high heat until the syrup reaches 230° on a candy thermometer, about 15 minutes. Add the walnuts and stir to coat them completely. Transfer the walnuts to a baking sheet in an even layer and let cool.
- In a large saucepan, heat the oil until it reaches 350°. Fry the walnuts in 4 batches: for each batch, carefully lower the nuts into the hot oil and when it bubbles up, stir well. Fry the nuts until shiny and crisp, about 4 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the nuts to a rack set over a baking sheet and sprinkle with some of the sesame seeds. Repeat with the remaining walnuts, reducing the heat if the oil gets too hot.
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Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.