Euryale Ferox (or Fox Nuts)
Euryale Ferox, Fox Nuts, Fox Nut Seeds, Foxnuts, Makhana, or Gorgon Plant
Traditional Chinese Name:
芡實 (qiàn shí )
Taste: Sweet, slightly sour
Here’s how to build your “Basic Chinese Soup Pantry“
These white starchy seeds are produced from a flowering plant in the water lily family. The plant grows in water, with large, round leaves and purple flowers. Each flower pod contains around 8-12 seeds and grow in either hot, dry weather or cold winters. Euryale seeds are dry and powdery, round seeds, usually cut in half and chalky white on the inside, with a brown outer covering. The seeds can be eaten raw or cooked, but usually cooked in either desserts, soups, or stews in Chinese cooking.
When cooked, these seeds puff up and absorb the flavours of the soup or dish. You’ll common find them in herbal soups, but also complimentary with barley, beans, peanuts, cashews, or apricot kernals. I like their crunchy and textured feel when you have them with soup!
How do I prepare it?
- You should wash and soak the seeds prior to usage (this is because sulphur is used to process the seeds)
- Since the seeds are relatively hard, some will soak it overnight, but you don’t need to because they will soften if boiled long enough
- The great thing about these seeds is that they don’t really disintegrate, so can withstand intense heat and duration of boil
Where can I buy it and cost?
- You can purchase these from most Asian supermarkets prepackaged
- This is also available by bulk from Chinese herbal shops
- You can also purchase this in bulk from specialty stores (online herbal shops)
- Be sure that you’re buying from a reputable source!
- They vary in prices, but average $5 USD for 50g (varies by Region, location, organic or not, etc…), not too expensive
- This neutral ingredient can be used in soups, stews, or desserts in Chinese cuisine
- It tonifies the spleen and strengthens the kidneys
- This is a key ingredient in dispelling dampness and is a great diuretic, often used in combination with barley or apricot kernals for Spring soups
Be sure you are buying these from a reputable source
- Also be sure to soak or rinse them in cool water first due to the sulphur residue from how they are processed
Looking to build your basic Chinese Soup Pantry?
Check it out in my video to learn more!
I was in the local Asian Grocer this week and I saw fox nuts there. I was really interested in them. I asked the woman behind the counter what they were used for, since I’d never seen them before. She mentioned that they were a chinese medicine. I asked how they were cooked, she said they were made into a soup with chicken, dates, and lotus seeds. I was wondering what kind of quantities of these would be used in a soup, and if there were any other seasonings? Since I would really like to try this out, the fox nuts looked so interesting:)
Many thanks for any assistance you can offer.
True about the seeds in combination with a few other Chinese herbs (most common are dates, lotus seeds) with chicken. All to be used (if you’re making a 2-3 L soup) about 15-20 seeds is sufficient. No seasoning required, but you can also add Chinese Yam (both fresh or dried), dried longan meat, and definitely wolfberries. Try this recipe: http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/sea-snail-chicken-soup/
Another recipe in which you can use these seeds are: http://www.thechinesesouplady.com/pork-bone-with-watercress-soup/
In general, don’t use too many of any herbs – a handful is sufficient. And because these are processed in sulphur, wash and rinse a few times and soak if necessary to remove any residue. Hope this helps.
I`ve read that these are good for clearing up “damp“ conditions like high cholesterol and eczema in adults.
I from India and can supply qiàn shí (Euryale Ferox, Fox Nuts, Foxnuts, Makhana, or Gorgon Plant). I am looking for importer of qiàn shi in china. If you can help me out with the details, i will be great full.