The water chestnut is a fruit that grows on a plant called the water chestnut tree.
It’s native to China and Japan, but it has been grown in other places since then.
What are water chestnuts?
Water chestnuts are a type of edible tuber or root vegetable.
They look like little white-skinned potatoes, but their texture is different.
Water chestnuts have a crisp and crunchy texture similar to a potato, but they also have a creamy, sweet flavor.
You can eat them raw, steamed, boiled, sautéed, deep fried, baked, roasted, or even pickled (as long as they aren’t too salty).
What are they used for?
You might not know what water chestnuts are until you try them, but you probably use them every day without knowing it.
They’re often added to stir fries, soups, salads, and desserts because of their unique texture and sweet, nutty flavor.
They’re also great in savory dishes such as egg rolls, spring rolls, and meatballs as well as sweet ones such as cakes, cookies, and pies.
You can even drink them!
Where do they come from?
Water chestnuts grow all over the world, including the United States, Russia, Spain, Italy, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand, and many more countries.
They are especially common in Southeast Asian cuisine, where they are known as kangkong, konnyaku, and kontu.
In Chinese cuisine, they’re known as mung bean sprouts, which is why they are sometimes referred to as “mung beans.”
Are they an ingredient in any popular dishes?
They’re most commonly found in Asian cuisine, so you’ll find them in Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Thai, Malaysian, Filipino, Indonesian, and Indian food.
You can also find them in Western dishes such as pizza, pasta, salads, and sandwiches.
If you want to add water chestnuts to your favorite dish, make sure you check out these delicious recipes.
What do they taste like?
Water chestnuts have a slightly sweet, nutty flavor.
Some people think they taste like white potatoes or bamboo shoots, while others say they taste like sweet corn.
Either way, it’s hard to describe exactly how they taste because there is no single flavor that defines them.
You just need to give them a try to find out for yourself.
Are they good for you?
Water chestnuts are high in fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and manganese.
They contain less than one gram of fat per 100 grams, which makes them a healthy snack.
Their nutritional value doesn’t change much depending on whether or not they are peeled, so eating them whole will provide you with all the nutrients you need.
How should they be prepared?
If you buy fresh water chestnuts, you can peel them before cooking.
Once you remove the skin, you can slice them into thin strips or chop them up for stir fry or soup.
You can also boil them with salt and sugar to make a simple syrup.
The easiest way to prepare them is to steam them.
What are some interesting facts about water chestnuts?
There are actually two types of water chestnuts: fresh and dried.
Fresh water chestnuts are harvested when they are immature, while dried water chestnuts are harvested when they are mature.
Dried water chestnuts are usually sold at Asian markets.
Fresh water chestnuts are available year round, but they tend to be harder to find compared to dried water chestnuts.
Are water chestnuts canned?
Yes, water chestnuts are often canned.
There are several ways to preserve them:
- Raw: These are simply unpeeled water chestnuts that haven’t been cooked. Raw water chestnuts are often labeled as “raw” or “uncooked” on packaging.
- Cooked: These water chestnuts have been cooked, either by boiling or steaming. Cooked water chestnuts are often labeled as “steamed,” “boiled,” or “parboiled.”
- Pressed: These water chestnuts have been pressed. This process removes excess moisture from the water chestnuts, making them easier to pack and transport.
- Sealed: These water chestnuts have been packed in airtight containers. This preserves the water chestnuts’ color and prevents bacteria growth.
Where can I find them in the grocery store?
You can find fresh water chestnuts in Asian markets year round.
They are typically sold in plastic bags.
You may also find them frozen in the produce section of supermarkets during winter months.
Most grocery stores carry both raw and cooked water chestnuts, but only a few sell pressed water chestnuts.
To find them, search for “water chestnuts” under the produce section.
- 1 microwave
- 10 Chestnuts
- Firstly wash the chestnuts and then use a knife to cut to make the incisions on the rounded side of the chestnuts shell in the form of an X (Cross).
- Then lay your chestnuts flat on a paper towel or plate in a microwave dish.
- Then microwave your chestnuts for 3 to 4 minutes at high temperature and keep stirring these chestnuts each minute.
- Cook chestnuts for five minutes if your microwave may not power up beyond 750 W.
- Then allow sitting the chestnuts for five minutes earlier than peeling off the skin. You would know that the chestnuts are ready when the skin turns out to be softer, and the chestnuts easily slip out of the skin.