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The walnut–sized corm of an aquatic plant native to Southeast Asia. It has a dark– brown skin and a crisp, juicy, white, mildly sweet flesh, which is eaten raw or cooked. Bought fresh or in tins, water chestnuts add texture to Asian cooking, especially in minced meat dishes, stir–fries, wontons or in sweet dishes. They are usually cooked quickly to retain their crisp texture, for which they are prized. In China, water chestnuts are sold by street vendors threaded onto skewers, either cold in summer or warm in winter. Canned chestnuts keep in a jar covered with water for up to 1 week (change the water daily). They can also be frozen. Water chestnut powder or flour is dried chestnut used as a thickener in Asian cooking. Not to be confused with the Chinese water chestnut is another water chestnut but from a different family. Called bull’s head or ling kok in Chinese, this starchy nut is similar to a potato in flavour and is cooked as a vegetable or used in pickles. Also related are the water caltrope of southern Europe and the singhara nut of Kashmir.
Also known as — Chinese water chestnut