I went to Shop and Save Supermarket to buy some stuffs so I can cook soup for my husband. He requested something different and extraordinary. He said that the common soups I prepared for him are repetitious already and his taste bud is clamouring for something different. On the shelf over there, I noticed something different and as the label stated they are water chest nuts. With its extraordinary look, I asked myself how to cook them? As I was keen to know how, I asked the sales staff which is a Chinese and she told me how. So, look at my water chestnuts.
By the way, you want to know what a water chestnut is? According to www.about.com the knobby vegetable with the papery brown skin is a staple in Chinese cooking. The water chestnut is actually not a nut at all, but an aquatic vegetable that grows in marshes. (This is why the ones that you purchase in the store may have a muddy coating.) The name "water chestnut" comes from the fact that it resembles a chestnut in shape and coloring. Indigenous to Southeast Asia, it has been cultivated in China since ancient times.
Availibility: Water chestnuts require a long frost-free growing season (7 months) which means that they are only grown in semi-tropical areas, including a few States such as California and Florida. Fresh water chestnuts are available year-round in Asian markets, either packaged or in bins. Unless you live in an area where they are grown locally, they are generally not available in local groceries and supermarkets. Canned water chestnuts are available year round at most groceries and supermarkets.
Selecting Water Chestnuts: When choosing fresh water chestnuts, look for firm ones with an unwrinkled skin and no soft spots - otherwise when you peel the water chestnut you may find it has softened and turned mushy. Generally, it's best to buy a few more chestnuts than needed, just in case a few have spoiled.
Nutritional Information: Nutritionally, water chestnuts are a good source of potassium and fiber. They are low in sodium, and fat is virtually non-existent. Caloriewise, one cup of water chestnut slices contains about one hundred-thirty calories. Low carb dieters, beware: water chestnuts are high in carbohydrates. You may try replacing them with low carb bamboo shoots.