In the morning, when I step out of the hotel, the air is so fresh, mixed with a slightly chili breeze, but the sun is super bright, I have to put on my sun glasses; the streets are busy, people and cars are knitting an interweaved web — the whole city is awake from brief sleep. It all feels so familiar, if it is not because of the skin tone and facial structures of the people passing by on the street, and the buildings standing on the sides of the road, just that feeling — the feeling of early summer morning, I would think I was back home, where I had felt the similar freshness and joy as summer was coming for over 20 years…
—- But this is Spain, another place where I lay my dream life on, where I gradually understand why Spanish people are so much attached to the olive trees, where I find myself now attached to its air, sun, as well.
Almost every single town/ city in Spain gives me utter surprises and excitement, no matter how many time I have visited. Like here, Granada, how can I not be driven to the unique mixture culture, food, architectures of Arabic, Jewish and Spanish? The houses from hundreds years ago have changed their owners for many times, left the history of different cultures happiness and struggles … The pavements with small rocks have been carrying so many people’s foot steps… It is different to Italy where it brought me back to the history, but, here, it makes me travel through time — you see the past, you see the modern, you see the mixed culture keeping on its mixed traditions…
I really need to stop talking about this, otherwise, I could go on forever.
This recipe is not a proper dish, but rather, just a snack or side dish, if you like. As I mentioned before, traditional Chinese snacks are mainly nuts and dried fruits, there are also non-sweet cakes, oh, and dried meat and fish. Nuts in China are rarely served raw, they are always prepared with some spices, and have either savory or sweet taste (for example, the five spiced monkey nuts). So till now, I still find difficult to take raw nuts. Whenever I buy nuts, I always tend to get the ones with ‘flavor’ and are crispy already, if not, I have to ‘re-make’ them.
Walnuts in China are considered as brain and ‘hair’ food. Pregnant women are always advised to have walnuts for helping the baby’s brain development. Also in Chinese medicine, having walnuts is thought to help with hair growth and dryness. Of course you can just have the walnuts ‘fresh’ after cracking it from the shells, but also make it with some sweet taste.
I completely forgot about this recipe until a few months ago, in a Chinese restaurant, we were served it as complimentary small dish — we could not stop eating it.
Here is roughly how to make it. I say ‘roughly’ it is because there are many alternative ways of making it, especially in terms of using different ingredients, so the portion of each ingredient are not very precise, which is really depending how much you like it.
Walnuts, oil, sugar, honey, (toasted) sesame seeds
1) In a heated wok, pour in oil, which is enough to cover the walnuts.
2) When the oil is around 80% hot, add in walnuts, quickly fry it.
3) When the walnuts get crispy, it takes around 3-5 mins, (I did a bit too long in the picture), remove them from the oil.
4) Remain around 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil in the wok, remove the excess oil.
5) Add in 4-5 tablespoons white sugar, stir it well in the oil, allow it melt well. You could see the sugar and oil makes a ‘sticky’ thin paste in the wok.
6) Add in 2 tablespoons of honey, then 2 full teaspoons of toasted sesame seeds.
After the walnuts are cool down, the sesame seeds and walnuts look like they are wrapped in the amber. It tastes sweet, but not too much. It can be taken as normal snack or side dish or ‘dessert’ after meal. Hope you like it.
- Toasted sesame seeds
- In a heated wok, pour just enough oil to cover the walnuts.
- When the oil is hot, add in walnuts and quickly fry it.
- When the walnuts get crispy (it takes around 3-5 mins), take them out.
- Keep 1 or ½ tablespoons of oil in the wok (remove the rest).
- Add in 4-5 tablespoons of white sugar, stir it well in the oil until you can see the sugar and oil form a ‘sticky’ thin paste in the wok.
- Add in 2 tablespoons of honey, then 2 full teaspoons of toasted sesame seeds.
- Add in fried walnuts, mix the walnuts in the sugar paste well.
- Remove the walnuts from the wok, and leave them to cool down.