A delicious blend of crunchy California walnuts and fresh prawns make this an all-time family favorite. Thanks to Lina Fat of California Fat's in Sacramento you can make this wonderful dish at home!
For the glazed walnuts:
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 1/2 cups California walnuts, in halves and/or large pieces
- 3 or more cups canola oil
For the honey mayonnaise sauce:
- 1 cup light mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 1 tablespoon dry mustard
- 1 tablespoon sugar
For marinating and serving the prawns:
- 1 pound large prawns, thawed if frozen, peeled and deveined
- Pinch of ground white pepper
- 4 drops sesame oil
- 1 egg white
- 5–6 cups canola oil*
- 1 cup cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, if desired for garnish
*Note: If you are reusing the oil from frying the walnuts, first strain it through cheesecloth, or a fine mesh strainer, to remove any burnt or dark bits.
- To prepare the glazed walnuts, combine the sugar and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add the walnuts. Return to a boil, and cook the walnuts for 3–5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the syrup thickens slightly. With a skimmer or slotted spoon, lift out the walnuts and place them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Cool completely.
- Pour the oil into a dry, medium saucepan; the oil should be about 2 inches deep. Add the walnuts and place over medium high heat. In about 3 minutes the oil will begin to bubble. Cook the nuts in bubbling oil for 6–8 minutes, until they are lightly browned. Again using a skimmer or slotted spoon, rapidly remove the nuts from the oil and spread them in a single layer on a baking sheet to cool thoroughly before storing. If they stick together, break them apart, and store in a tightly capped jar. They will keep several days.
- To make the honey mayonnaise sauce, in a bowl combine the mayonnaise, honey, sweetened condensed milk, mustard and sugar, whisk until smooth and blended. The sauce will keep, covered and refrigerated, up to two days.
- To marinate the prawns, stir them together in a large bowl with the pepper, sesame oil and egg white, until the prawns are evenly coated. Let sit, refrigerated, for about 2 hours, tossing occasionally.
- When you are ready to serve, if the honey sauce is chilled, remove it from the refrigerator. To fry the prawns, heat about 2 inches of oil in a large pan over medium-high heat, to 375ºF. While the oil heats, place the cornstarch in a large bowl. Remove the prawns from the marinade, leaving just the egg white that clings to them. Toss them, 8–10 at a time, in the cornstarch, until they are evenly coated. As the prawns are coated, set them aside on a baking sheet or large plate. Fry the prawns, 8–10 at a time, in the hot oil (they should not be crowded), for about 3 minutes, until the coating is lightly browned. Drain on paper towels as you remove them.
- Add all the cooked prawns to the honey mayonnaise sauce and stir until the prawns are evenly coated. Mound on a serving platter, sprinkle with the glazed walnuts, and the toasted sesame seeds, if desired.