Water chestnuts are a mainstay in Chinese recipes. This crisp vegetable adds crunch and texture to other dishes and easily absorbs surrounding flavors. Start off with a few of the easy, traditional recipes, and then experiment with adding water chestnuts to other recipes.
Where To Find Water Chestnuts
Chinese water chestnuts are available in many grocery stores. You can use canned water chestnuts in your food creations; just make sure to rinse and dry them off before using them. If you're looking for the fresh kind, check out Chinese markets or ethnic specialty food shops. The fresh ones will stay for about a week if you refrigerate them, but try purchasing them a day or two before you're planning to cook with them to ensure their freshness.
Bacon-Wrapped Water Chestnuts
For your next cocktail party, try this simple appetizer. Just take about 10 fresh Chinese water chestnuts. If you'd like, you can soak them in soy sauce for two hours in the refrigerator. Then take a piece of raw bacon about ¼ inch wide, and wrap it around each water chestnut. Stick them in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit on a baking sheet, and let them cook for about 30 minutes. Be sure to turn them over about halfway through. When the bacon looks crispy, it's time to take them out of the oven. Stick toothpicks in them so guests can pick them up and nosh on them easily.
Water Chestnuts Stir Fry
Water chestnuts are the perfect addition to a tasty stir fry meal. If you're whipping up some chicken with soy sauce and teriyaki seasonings, add in the water chestnuts alongside some other veggies, like snow peas. Serve the stir fry with a side of white rice for a delicious, fresh meal.
String Beans and Water Chestnuts
Water chestnuts work well in healthy Chinese recipes. They're also perfect to toss into a side bowl of string beans. Take a pound of freshly washed green beans, and remove the ends. Then mix them in with 2 cloves of minced garlic, a can of chopped water chestnuts, 2 teaspoons soy sauce, salt and pepper to taste and a ½ cup of white wine. Bring the wine and garlic to a boil, and add in the string beans. Lower the heat, and add in the soy sauce and salt and pepper. Let simmer for about 8 minutes covered.
If you have little to no experience in the world of Dim Sum and don't speak Chinese, the menu can be intimidating. This guide is exactly what you need to figure out what to order.