- 12 ounces walnut halves (about 4 cups)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 4 cups peanut oil
- In a medium saucepan, bring 4 to 5 cups of water to a boil over high heat. Add the walnuts and boil for 5 minutes to remove any bitterness. Drain, rinse under cold running water and drain again. Pour 5 cups of fresh cold water into the saucepan and bring to a boil. Again, add the nuts, cook for five minutes, drain, rinse and drain well. Let the nuts drain thoroughly on paper towels.
- In a wok, bring 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of water to a boil over high heat. Add the sugar and cook, stirring constantly to dissolve the sugar. Boil for 1 minute. Add the walnuts. Stir until the walnuts are coated with syrup and the remaining liquid in the wok is evaporated, about 4 minutes. Remove the walnuts and set them aside. Rinse the wok out with extremely hot water to remove the sugar. Dry it well.
- Heat the oil in the wok over high until it begins to smoke, 350° to 375°. Add the walnuts and fry, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon or chopsticks to keep the nuts separate, until golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain in a strainer and spread out on a plate to cool completely. Separate, if necessary, as soon as they are cool enough to handle.
The nuts can be made ahead and kept in a tightly closed container in the refrigerator for up to 10 days or frozen for 3 to 4 weeks. Let return to room temperature before serving.