Done properly, these nuts look lacquered and are not overly sweet. The key to success here is moderation. If the sugar syrup becomes too thick, the nuts will have a frosted rather than a glazed look; if the frying oil is too hot, they will darken and burn.
Litchi honey, usually available in the summer, is carried at H Mart in Wheaton.
The nuts will keep for several days in an airtight container.
Servings: 8 - 10
- 1/4 cup white sesame seeds
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons honey, preferably litchi honey (see headnote)
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 cups pecan halves
- 6 cups peanut oil, for deep-frying
Toast the sesame seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring or shaking them frequently, just until fragrant and lightly browned. Remove from the heat.
Combine the sugar, honey and water in a medium saucepan over medium to medium-high heat. After it starts to bubble, cook for about 5 minutes, until slightly syrupy. Add the nuts and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes, then pour into a metal or heatproof colander to drain.
Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a wok or deep skillet until very hot but not smoking (about 350 degrees). Carefully add the nuts, then stir to separate. Cook for 2 minutes, then use a slotted spoon or Chinese spider (long-handled metal basket spoon) to quickly transfer the nuts to a colander to drain.
Immediately transfer the nuts to a medium stainless-steel bowl. Add the sesame seeds and stir to coat evenly. Pour the nuts onto a baking sheet and spread to cool completely; when cooled, transfer to an airtight container.
Adapted from "Bruce Cost's Asian Ingredients" (William Morrow, 1988).
Tested by Jane Touzalin.
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