Honey Walnut Prawns

Honey Walnut Prawns

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!

Ingredients

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.

Directions

  1. 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.
  2. 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. 
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.