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!