Earthy pu-erh tea adds a woodsy flavor to these crunchy and sweet nuts.
8 oz. walnut halves
5 1/2 oz. granulated sugar
1/3 oz. pu-erh tea, either un-brewed leaves or compressed cake
Vegetable oil for deep-frying
In a sauté pan, lightly toast the tea over low heat until fragrant. Pulse to a powder in a food processor. In a saucepan filled with boiling water, blanch the walnuts for one minute and strain. Toss with sugar while hot. In a saucepan, heat the oil to 430 degrees F. Line a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Deep fry the walnuts until the sugar caramelizes, about 4-5 minutes, then transfer to the baking sheet. While hot, sprinkle with the tea powder and toss well. Separate the nuts and let them cool. Store in an airtight container.
From Izakaya: The Japanese Pub Cookbook by Mark Robinson (Kodansha International, 2008)