"Honeyed" Walnuts

Makes about 2 cups nuts


In China, most kinds of nuts, such as cashews, pinenuts or even walnuts, are very expensive and are reserved for special occasions. Only peanuts are affordable and are used on a daily basis. Walnuts are usually served as a starter at the beginning of a banquet or puréed in a dessert soup at the end.

In 1982, Chinese cookbook author Eileen Yin-Fei Lo shared with me her version of this classic dish. They were the best honeyed walnuts I had ever eaten. The following recipe was inspired by Eileen.

  1. Wash the walnuts in lots of running water. Soak them for 10 to 15 minutes in water to cover; drain well.
  2. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add the nuts and cook for 10 minutes, or until the water turns dark and the nuts are beige-white in color. Drain and rinse under cool water until the water runs clear; drain.
  3. Bring the sugar and the 1-1/2 cups water to boil in a medium pot over medium high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the walnuts, reduce the heat to low and stir well with a wooden spoon. Simmer the nuts in the syrup for about 15 minutes, stirring often until they are well coated with the syrup. Add l/4 cup hot water if the syrup becomes too sticky. Turn off the heat and let the nuts cool in the syrup for another 10 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  5. Strain off the excess syrup and toss the nuts with the oil. Spread the nuts on a large nonstick baking sheet.
  6. Bake the nuts for 30 to 35 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until they are crisp and dry. If they are not yet crisp, bake them a little longer.

Note:The nuts can be stored in a tightly closed container at room temperature for 1 to 2 days or frozen in a sealed plastic bag for up to 3 months.

Susanna Foo Chinese Cuisine
The Fabulous Flavors and Innovative Recipes of
North America's Finest Chinese Cook

by Susanna Foo
Photography by Louis B. Wallach
Chapters Publishing
October 15, 1995
30 full-color photographs throughout
ISBN: 1-881527-94-8


Susanna Foo Recipes

Chinese and Lunar New Year Handbook

This Archived Page created between 1994 and 2001. Modified August 2007