Ingredient Name: Water chestnuts also known as Chinese water chestnuts
Traditional Chinese Name: 馬蹄 (mǎtí)
What is this?
- The edible corn (or root) portion of the water chestnut plant
- It is a small round corn with crispy white flesh
- It can be consumed raw, boiled, steamed, grilled, pickled, and used in a variety of Chinese desserts, dishes and soups
- It is slightly sweet and retains its crispiness (even after being cooked)
How do I prepare it?
- Fresh water chestnuts contain a high amount of dirt because they grow submerged in water
- Rinse well under warm water
- Peel with a knife of peeler (like you would an apple) the skin of the water chestnut
- Some people like to soak in slightly salted water (to prevent browning of the root)
Where can I buy this?
- You can purchase fresh water chestnuts from most Asian supermarkets and wet marts in Hong Kong
- You can also purchase frozen water chestnuts
- Canned water chestnuts are also available
What is the cost?
- Water chestnuts are relatively affordable and costs around $5 HKD for 10 medium sized water chestnuts
- Water chestnuts are an excellent source of dietary fiber, riboflavin, Vitamin B6, potassium, copper and manganese
- They contain a high amount of carbohydrates and starch
- It is a relatively cooling food and is said to help relieve coughs
- Due to its relatively cooling effect, pregnant women (especially those who have not yet reached 3 months to term) should consume with caution
- Raw water chestnuts contain a disease called Fasciolopsiasis, in which a parasite infects the plant (the water chestnut) being eaten. This can cause in extreme cases diarrhea, fever, stomach pains and fever – so be sure to boil and cook water chestnuts thoroughly before consumption
- Depending on the soup you’re making, you can substitute with fresh apples, but then you may be better off making another soup instead and not use arrowroots
- Fresh water chestnuts can keep in the fridge for up to 1-2 weeks if sealed
- Frozen water chestnuts can keep for up to 6 months in the freezer
- You can also purchase canned water chestnuts