Crackly sweet walnuts coated with sesame seeds are the best part of a classic Cantonese shrimp stir-fry. Those nuts are hard to make — they’re boiled, then deep-fried, then tossed in bubbling caramel. This version tastes the same but is far easier. A long, slow bake in the oven helps the honeyed glaze and seeds cling to the nuts, which become light and crisp. Just be sure to stir them often as they cool so that they don’t clump together.
Honeyed Sesame Walnuts
1 hour 15 minutes, largely unattended. Makes about 7 cups.
- ¼ cup honey
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup grape seed or other neutral oil
- 1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 ½ pounds walnuts (about 7 cups)
- ¼ cup white sesame seeds
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Heat the oven to 275 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Whisk the honey, sugar, oil, chile powder and 1 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Add the walnuts and sesame seeds and toss to evenly coat. Spread in an even layer in the pan.
- Bake, stirring every 20 minutes, until golden brown and glazed, about 1 hour. Immediately sprinkle evenly with the black pepper and remaining 1 teaspoon salt.
- Slide the parchment off the pan onto a cooling rack and cool, stirring the nuts often to keep them separate, until crunchy and room temperature.
Spicy Honey Sesame Walnuts: Increase the ground ancho chile powder to 1 tablespoon.
The nuts can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.