What Should You Know About Water Chestnut? A Quick Glance
Water chestnuts are a type of plant that has a tube shape. They are commonly seen living in water areas in Australia, Africa, Pacific Islands, and Southeast Asia.
While you might notice their color and shape are pretty similar to chestnuts, they are not the same greens. Water chestnuts do not even belong to the nut family.
The reason for its memorable name might have its root in its living and growing area. It is supposed to be first found in the water in China.
What’s more, water chestnuts offer a high level of nutrients good for our health. Hence, they are popular in a lot of meals and cuisines. Its exquisite crunch is also highly rated by many food lovers.
6 Ways to Best Water Chestnut Substitutes
Despite the water chestnuts’ deliciousness and high-nutrient level, you might be unable to find it in your local grocery store. Then, it would help if you had a substitute for the ingredient to complete your recipe.
That includes the sunroot, white turnip, Mexican turnip, radish slices, canned water chestnuts, and bamboo shoots.
Sunroots, also called wild sunflower, Jerusalem Artichokes, earth apple, or sunchoke, is a kind of sunflower. As you notice, the Sunroot looks like ginger root.
However, cause they live under the ground, they have a delightful and mild flavor like the artichoke heart. After you cook those Sunroots, they get softer than usual.
The reason Sunroots can be a great water chestnut replacement might root from the prominent taste. Plus, they are the best when using raw for the replacing purpose. Blending them with sour, sliced, or fried food would also add extra flavor.
Suppose you do not like the raw sunflowers; use a sharp knife or vegetable peeler to remove the skin before cooking.
Plus, consume a tiny amount of water chestnuts each time. The vegetable includes insulin, which could make you digest harder over time.
Breakfast with Peter Sagan – Sunroot
2. White Turnip
You can find white turnips in any local grocery store worldwide. Not only are they shared, but they are also cheaper than most other options.
They are closely related to potatoes and beets. In the past, they used to grow only in the mild climate. However, nowadays, vegetable has become quite common due to the fast development of farming technology.
Concerning its flavor, white turnip offers a pleasant pepper taste. That is why they are often seen as a water chestnuts substitute in many Asian cuisines. It can combine pretty well with this characteristic food.
Keep in mind to carefully pick up white turnips to give your food the best flavor. For example, you can think about those whose size is under 3 inches.
They tend to be not as bitter as the large white turnips.
The perfectly crispy feature of those small turnips is another plus you can refer to.
More than that, avoid the turnips that have no green leaves left. Cracks and blemishes are signals of spoiled vegetables as well.
How to Cook Turnips
3. Mexican Turnip
Mexican Turnip is a well-known type of vine native to Mexica. It is pretty popular in cooking due to its uniquely crunchy texture and sweet juicy flavor. Plus, Mexican Turnip and water chestnuts are pretty familiar with color, texture, and taste.
For more details, the turnip with a white flash contains a high level of starch. A thin skin combined with the golden brown color is another noticeable fruit feature.
Also, are you worried about your diabetes or angry with the redundant weight going up recently? Using the Mexican turnip instead of the usual water chestnut would help.
When preparing the ingredient, cut them into slices before cooking. That helps the sweet flavor of the turnip mix better with other spices.
You can see the Mexican turnips often used in Asian cuisines. Also, when Asian chefs replace them with water chestnuts, they usually simmer them first. The method makes the greens softer and cleaner to mix with other food.
Besides, the Mexican turnip might give a better result when compared with its white turnips partner simply because its crisp texture can last longer in hot conditions.
How To Cook Mexican Turnip & Pork Stir-fry
4. Radish Slices
When I first looked at the radish, I thought it had colorful root hairs. Those are only a dull color with many root vegetables combined.
As you can see, the radish slices offer a more significant size compared with the standard water chestnuts. But, when you taste them, both have a similar peppery flavor.
A 1:1 ratio of the substitute often brings the desired result concerning the usage.
Besides, remember to peel off the radish to enhance the sharpness level ultimately.
Yummy cooking radish slices recipe – Cooking skill
5. Canned Water Chestnuts
Suppose you have run out of water chestnuts; think about the canned ones that quickly solve the problem.
Both of them have the same texture. But, for some, the canned version tends to offer a more blended flavor than its fresh cousin. Hence, if the taste is a primary factor in choosing the substitute, other options would help.
There are two kinds of canned water chestnuts on the market, namely the sliced and whole versions. To my experience, the full version tends to do a better job for its long-lasting crunchy texture.
Plus, both canned and freshwater chestnuts include a high level of ferulic acid. That means they can keep the crispy texture pretty well, even in cooked condition.
On the other hand, for it is not the new type, you should use the can a few days after opening.
How do you cook canned water chestnuts?
6. Bamboo shoots
The following substitute I suggest is bamboo shoots, a popular ingredient in many Asian broths and dishes.
The bamboo shoots have pretty familiar crispiness and crunch with their counterpart. However, its fibrous and bitter taste might make you confused cause it is different from the sweet water chestnuts.
Plus, keep in mind that the bamboo shoots might produce a few health risks if you cook them wrong. Check the recipe carefully when playing with this guy is my suggestion.
Bamboo shoot in my homeland and cooking soup for my family – Healthy food
FAQs About Water Chestnut Substitutes
What Water Chestnut Substitute Should I Use In Spinach Dip?
I often utilize sunroot, white turnips, Mexican turnips, and celery for replacing the water chestnuts in spinach dip. All of them have a similar crunchy texture and a mild flavor.
That makes them perfect as a replacement.
Do A Few Pieces Of Water Chestnuts Add Extra Flavor For My Dishes?
Of course, they add flavor to your dishes, for it is their primary function. For more details, you can notice that the vegetable has a downright fruity and incredibly flavorful flavor. Not only does the plant have a sweet taste, but they are also tart and nutty.
In comparison, it is like the combination of an apple and a coconut, while its texture belongs to Asian pears.
What do water chestnuts taste like?
To conclude, above is the list of the six best substitutes for water chestnuts.
In a nutshell, I suggest using the canned water chestnuts due to their most similar texture and flavor to the fresh guys.
Besides, finding out the white turnips in any local grocery store would help if you are on a tight budget.