Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a saucepan over high. Add walnuts, a few at a time; cook until slightly softened, 30 to 45 seconds. Drain and spread on paper towels; cool.
Heat oil in a large saucepan to 325°F. Place walnuts in a large ziplock plastic freezer bag. Add sugar; seal bag, and shake well to coat. Carefully sprinkle walnuts into hot oil; fry until nuts float and are golden, about 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels; sprinkle with salt. Cool and store in an airtight container up to 5 days.
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