In less than 10 minutes, these spicy, savory, and crunchy Korean-style roasted walnuts can be ready to snack on or to give as a gift this holiday season.
A big chapter in my life officially closed its doors this past Thursday. After 3 ½ grueling years, I've finally gained 4 letters that I shall proudly flaunt at the end of my name - Min, MS, RD. I got a bit nostalgic reflecting on my journey that has been filled with excitement, hope as well as frustration and downright exhaustion. Now that I think about it, the most challenging period was at the very beginning when my footsteps were timid and uncertain, careful not to make a wrong move. As I had absolutely no background and zero knowledge in nutrition, laying out the groundwork - starting with taking care of the prerequisites - seemed very daunting. However, once I took those initial steps, turning back was no longer an option. Keep going forward, I told myself. You can read about my journey to becoming a Registered Dietitian here.
As is the nature of life, when one door closes a new one opens up. It's now time to get a big girl job and proactively develop my career, one that continues to blossom. While the majority of my colleagues have taken jobs in the hospital setting, WIC, or foodservice, my aspirations are quite different. Blogging for the past two years has really taught me a lot of things I otherwise would have been oblivious to, such as social media and nutrition communication. And after attending the first annual Blog Brûlée Conference, it solidified my desire to continue growing in this area.
I'm currently trying to knock out my "Work With Me" page that will include ways MJ and Hungryman can partner up with companies and brands as well as provide private nutrition counseling. While blogging is always a juggling act, not being a student frees up an incredible amount of time that I can devote to recipe development, food photography, writing, social media engagement, and on and on. 2015 is going to a big year for MJ and Hungryman. I can feel it! But knowing that nothing in life is just handed to you on a silver platter, I'm prepared to give it my all.
But for now, I'd like to slow things down just a tiny bit ;). This past weekend, I celebrated by doing tons of grocery shopping (yes, that's how I live it up), eating good food (Hello, The Peached Tortilla! Review to come soon), going on a day trip to the quaint town of Salado with my fav ladies from church....
* A big THANK YOU to everyone who congratulated me on Instagram! *
...and taking a mini break from cooking. But roasting walnuts I can do, no matter how lazy I'm feeling.
Cozying up with a blanket and catching up on all my missed episodes of Parenthood (with a huge box of kleenex next to me) while these Korean-style spiced California walnuts were roasting in the oven = a picture perfect Sunday. Soy sauce, gochugaru (or Korean red chili flakes), sugar, and garlic are must ingredients when it comes to Korean dressings/sauces. Instead of sugar, though, I opted for maple syrup for even more richness and complexity.
I didn't want to turn on the oven, so I thought toasting them in a pan would suffice. However, they weren't as crunchy as I'd hoped they would be. Thus, I decided to finish them off in the oven. Be sure to keep a close eye on them as they can easily burn. I found 5 minutes was ample time. These would make for a perfect DIY holiday gift, too ;). Just store in an airtight container, tie up in some ribbon and you're all set! If you're looking for a more herbilicious version, check out my rosemary and thyme roasted walnuts.
Do you roast your own nuts? With all the possibilities, I'd love to know what your favorite flavors are! Leave me a link to your recipe if desired ;).
- 2 cups walnuts
- 2 Tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon "gochugaru" or Korean red chili flakes
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheet with Silpat or parchment paper.
- To prepare sauce, mix together soy sauce, maple syrup, gochuagaru, and garlic powder in a small bowl and set aside.
- Heat a pan over medium heat. Add walnuts and stir frequently for a minute or two. Lower heat and add sauce. Mix until well incorporated and sauce on walnuts becomes sticky, 2-3 minutes.
- Spread coated walnuts evenly on prepared baking sheet. Roast for about 5-7 minutes, stirring halfway, until they become light brown. Remove from heat and cool completely.