A knobby edible tuber of a water plant indigenous to Southeast Asia. The water chestnut's brownish-black paper-like skin resembles that of a true chestnut, but its flesh is white, crunchy and juicy. The flavor is bland with a hint of sweetness. These are a staple in Chinese cooking. Although the name refers to them as a nut, they are not a nut at all; they are a vegetable that is grown in the marshes. The reason they are called water chestnuts is because they resemble the chestnut in shape and color.
Plural: Water chestnuts
Season: available year-round
How to select: Choose fresh chestnuts that are firm with no sign of shriveling. htly wrapped in a plastic bag, for up to a week. Peel before using raw or in cooked preparations. Water chestnuts are also available canned, either whole or sliced in most supermarkets, but the fresh are far superior.
How to store: Refrigerate, tightly wrapped in a plastic bag, for up to a week. Peel before using raw or in cooked preparations.
How to prepare: ater chestnuts are very popular in Asian cooking, especially in stir-fried dishes where their crunchy texture is a standout. Water chestnuts are available fresh in most Chinese markets.