The edible tuber of a water plant indigenous to Southeast Asia. The water chestnut’s brownish-black skin resembles that of a true chestnut, but its flesh is white, crunchy and juicy. The flavor is bland with a hint of sweetness. Water 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. Choose those that are firm with no sign of shriveling. Refrigerate, tightly 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.

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