Life in China: A Picture A Day, March 24, 2016

One thing I will definitely miss when we leave China is fresh water chestnuts, called 马蹄 mǎtí, literally translated as “horse’s hoof”! There is absolutely NO comparison between fresh ones and the canned ones you get in the USA. The fresh ones are one of my favorite snacks. I prefer to buy them unpeeled and peel them when I’m ready to eat them, although you can peel them ahead and keep refrigerated in water for a couple days. They have a nice crispy, crunchy texture and a delicious sweet taste. I also like to cook with them: Chop them and add to stir-fries, make water chestnut cake (a popular Chinese dim sum dish, my version is pictured), or bacon wrapped water chestnuts with bbq sauce for a western style treat. For the water chestnut cake, you use a powder made from dried, crushed water chestnuts. They are also made into a juice. The best places to buy them here are the Chinese fresh markets or from street vendors on the Chinese shopping streets, and you can also usually find them in supermarkets.