Home » Serving Time » Snacks » Candied Walnuts {Chinese Style}

Candied Walnuts {Chinese Style}

Chinese Hu Po Tao Ren {琥珀桃仁}

by HomeNaturallyMade
Published: Last Updated on
Candied Walnuts {Easy Yummy Chinese Style}

Candied Walnuts Chinese style “Hu Po Tao Ren” {琥珀桃仁) is a well-liked traditional Chinese nut candy. Hu Po {琥珀} translates as amber in Chinese, referring to the sheer layer of burnt candy that is wrapped around the roasted walnuts. Tao Ren {桃仁} means walnut. Hu Po Tao Ren {琥珀桃仁) using simple ingredients is naturally yummy, satisfying, and healthy. It can be made easily at home as long as you know a few tips and tricks.

Candied walnuts {Easy Yummy Chinese Style}
Candied walnuts {Easy Yummy Chinese Style}

Should I wash the walnuts or any nuts before roasting?

There are two schools of opinion regarding whether you should or should not wash/blanch walnuts or any nuts before roasting. I have tried both ways. At this point, I am leaning toward not for a more crunchy bite texture and nutty flavor. If you wash or blanch the nuts, you may run into the risk of having soggy nuts.

How to make candied walnuts easy, yummy and healthy way?

Tip No.1 is to roast walnuts beforehand for tastier candied walnuts

My favorite way of roasting nuts, seeds, and grains is in a cast iron wok via stovetop. The inverted dome shape offers maximum space for the nuts to get in contact with the direct fire. Cast iron also has superb capabilities of retaining heat which makes cooking evenly and faster.

You can surely roast the nuts in the oven in a baking pan. Personally, I think the nuts taste much better when roasting via stovetop in a cast iron Wok. In addition, it is much faster and more energy efficient when you do it via stovetop, which takes only about 5 minutes.

The process is quite straightforward too. Heat cast iron wok for 2 minutes on high heat and then turn the heat to medium, and spread the nuts along the inside sides of the wok. Simply let it cook for 2 minutes. Following that, use a pair of bamboo or wooden spatulas to frequently mix and toss the nuts for another 3 minutes, or till some parts of the nuts start to show light burnt marks.

Read here to learn all about how to roast walnuts quickly and easily using a wok via stovetop. You can make this in advance.

Roasted Walnuts {Quick Easy Stovetop via Wok}
Roasted Walnuts {Quick Easy Stovetop via Wok}

Tip No.2 is to burn sugar properly for candied nuts

Homemade sugar syrup for candied walnuts ingredients

An optimally burnt sugar is absolutely the key to tasty and appealing candied walnuts. You might be wondering, what kind of sugar do I need? How much water is required? What temperature should I use? How to get a beautiful sheer amber-looking candy?

Well, in terms of sugar, we need something that is substantial, the less refined, the better. Turbinado sugar, also known as “sugar in the raw” is my go-to sugar for candied nuts. They are minimally processed sugar in larger particles that have a pleasant golden hue. The fact that turbinado sugar has the highest burning point and caramelizes beautifully also makes it an excellent sugar choice for candied nuts.

You will need a bit of water, about one-quarter of the sugar portion, to jump-start the melting process. Spread out the turbinado sugar evenly into a thin layer in a hard anodized fry pan and carefully drop the water in the middle. Just let the water slowly flow to the edge of the sugar.

Use medium heat all the way through and remember not to touch the sugar during the cooking process. When the sugar is bubbling and you notice the edge of the sugar syrup turns amber or dark brown looking, it is an indication that the sugar is properly burnt.

Burn the sugar for Candied Nuts

How much sugar do I need for candied walnuts?

Well, it depends on what you are trying to accomplish. For 2 cups of walnuts, if you like the walnuts wrapped around with sheer amber-looking candy, then you will need approximately 1 cup of sugar. If you just want a hint of candy and make the candied walnuts as a topping for dishes such as Honey Walnut Shrimp, then you will need approximately 1/2 cup of sugar.

Warm up walnuts if you are using previously roasted walnuts

If you are using previously roasted walnuts, let’s warm up the walnuts before candying them. Heat up a wok for 2 minutes using medium-high heat. Turn the heat to medium and add the roasted walnuts to the wok. Then mix and turn for 3 minutes.

Roasting Walnuts Using a Wok
Roasting Walnuts Using a Wok

Wrap toasted walnuts with burnt sugar

As soon as the sugar is properly burnt, add the freshly warmed-up roasted walnuts into the pan, quickly turn and fold for about 15 seconds.

Wrap roasted walnuts with homemade sugar syrup
Wrap roasted walnuts with homemade sugar syrup

Turn the heat to simmer, sprinkle roasted white sesame seeds over walnuts, and continue to toss, turn and fold for about 15 seconds.

Add roasted sesame to candied walnuts
Add Roasted Sesame Seeds

Cooldown the freshly made candied walnuts on parchment paper

Remove the freshly made candied walnuts from the frypan and lay them flat on non-bleached parchment paper to let them cool down. The sugar syrup shall quickly harden.

cool off freshly made candied walnuts on a non-bleach wax paper
Cool down freshly made candied walnuts on a non-bleach wax paper

Store the room temperature candied walnuts in a glass jar. Enjoy a yummy & healthy treat!

Candied Walnuts {Easy Yummy Chinese Style}
Candied Walnuts {Easy Yummy Chinese Style}
Candied walnuts {Easy Yummy Chinese Style}

Candied Walnuts Recipe {Chinese Style}

Yield: 8 servings
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Candied Walnuts Chinese style using simple ingredients is yummy and healthy. It features roasted walnuts wrapped with sheer amber-looking candy and topped with toasted white sesame seeds. Enjoy this as a healthy snack or treat, or add this as a topping to your favorite food.

Ingredients

For Roasted Walnuts:

  • 165 g raw walnut haves, about 2 cups
  • 1/8 tsp Himalayan Pink Salt, or salt of your choice
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper, freshly ground

For Candy the Walnuts

  • 1/2 cup to 1 cup turbinado sugar, also known as "Sugar in the Raw", see notes
  • 2 tbsp to 1/4 cup of water, depending on how much sugar you use
  • 1 tbsp white sesame seeds, toasted

Instructions

Roast Walnuts and Sesame:

  • Turn the heat to medium-high and heat a cast iron wok for 2 minutes and add the walnut to the wok. Sprinkle the salt and black pepper in a circular motion on top of the walnuts. Spread out the walnut in a thin layer along the inside of the wok and let it cook for 2 minutes.
  • Following that, turn the heat to medium and use a pair of bamboo or wooden spatulas and frequently tossing and mixing for another 3 or 4 minutes, or till you notice some walnuts start to show burn marks.
    Roasting Walnuts Using a Wok
  • Turn off the heat and remove the wok and set aside. Read here to learn more about how to roast walnuts quickly and easily quickly and easily using a wok via stovetop. You can make this in advance.
    Roasted Walnuts {Quick Easy Way}
  • You can roast walnuts the day before to save time. If you do, remember to roast the walnut for a couple of fo minutes to warm them up first before making candied walnuts.
  • Wipe the wok clean with a paper towel and turn the heat to medium and add the sesame seeds. Frequently toss and mix the sesame seeds using a pair of bamboo or wooden spatulas for about 4-5 minutes, or till the seeds start to make a popping sound. Turn off the heat, remove the toasted sesame seeds, and set aside.
    toasted/roasted sesame seeds
  • If you toast the sesame seeds, it might make sense to toast 1 cup at a time and store them in an air-tight glass jar to use in the next three months.

Make Candied Walnuts:

  • Add turbinado sugar to the hard anodized fry pan, spread it out evenly in a thin layer, and then add the water slowly in the middle and let the water slowly flow to the edge. Do not touch or disturb the sugar from this point on.
    a thin layer of sugar and drops of water in the hard anodized pan
  • Turn the heat to medium and let it cook for about 5-6 minutes. Remember not to touch the sugar at all during the process. It is the key to having a crystal sheer appearance of the candy. Otherwise, sugar might turn sandy looking.
  • While waiting, line a wooden cutting board or stainless steel baking pan with unbleached parchment paper.
  • When the sugar is bubbling and you notice the edge of the sugar syrup turns amber or dark brown, indicating the sugar is properly burnt and ready to coat the roasted walnuts.
    Burn the sugar for Candied Nuts
  • Quickly add the roasted walnuts to the pan, and immediately use a pair of wooden spatulas to fold, mix and wrap the walnut with the sugar syrup in the pan. Sprinkle the roasted/toasted sesame seeds in a circular motion on top of the walnuts and continue to wrap and fold, till the walnut and sesame seeds have picked up almost all the burnt sugar in the pan.
  • Turn off the heat, remove the candied walnuts with sesame from the pan, and place them on the parchment paper. Spread out and separate the walnuts and let them cool to room temperature.
  • Once they cool to room temperature, store the candied walnuts in a glass jar. Enjoy a yummy & healthy treat!
    Candied Walnuts {Easy Yummy Chinese Style}

Notes

  • If you make candied walnuts as a topping for dishes such as Honey Walnut Shrimp, then use 1/2 cup of turbinado sugar. If you aim for Chinese traditional nut candy Pu Po Tao Ren {琥珀桃仁), then use 1 cup of sugar. Use 2 tbsp water and 1/4 cup (4 tbsp) of water respectively and accordingly.
  • So what types of sugar are best for candied nuts? Something that is substantial, the less refined, the better. I typically use turbinado sugar, also known as "Sugar in the Raw"
  • It is very important not to touch or disturb the sugar during the cooking process.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 526Total Fat: 35gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 30gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 207mgCarbohydrates: 52gFiber: 4gSugar: 46gProtein: 8g

Nutrition calculation is provided by Nutritionix to the best knowledge per ingredients description and isn't always accurate.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Facebook

Leave a Comment

You may also like

Skip to Recipe