Boiled Water Caltrops

This hideous and menacing looking ‘thingy’ that resembled bat or bull’s head and horns is called water caltrop or water chestnut. In Korean it’s called 물 마름쇠 (mul mareumsoe) or 菱角 ling jiao (caltrop horn) in Mandarin and ling kok in Cantonese. From what I saw in a Korean documentary, these water caltrops are aquatic plants and Koreans eat them too!

Water Caltrops
Looks like a bull head and horns. Right?

Water Caltrops
It looks like a bat too!

Both sis and me think they look more like bat than bull’s horn. I don’t why. Haha Anyway we ate plenty of these when we were little. I take no fancy in cracking ’em apart for they are more troublesome than chestnut. Water caltrops are widely available during Mid-autumn season (which ended yesterday) which also explained why my Mom could get hold of these from the local market.

I’m going to share with you how we eat these water caltrops by boiling them.

Note: Be careful when handling water caltrops, the ‘horns’ are very sharp!

Add Water & Salt
Rinse water caltrops to clear them from dirt. Place water caltrops in a saucepan and add water until they are covered. Add some salt. Boil for 20-25 minutes.

Once cooked, drain the water and place water caltrops in a plate.

Crack Open The Shell
To get the ‘meat’, use a kitchen scissors to crack open the shell.

Dig Out The Meat Using A Knife
Water caltrops are white in color. Their texture resemble chestnut a little. Use a knife to dig out the ‘meat’.

Water Caltrops White Meat
The meat’ from half piece of water caltrop is so little. So you gotta be hardworking in order to get a substantial amount.

Water caltrops are a perfect snack for they are rather enjoyable when shared around with friends. They taste a little like chestnut and are quite addictive. Give them a try! 😉

Boiled Water Caltrops

Water caltrops

1. Rinse water caltrops to clean them.

2. Place water caltrops in a saucepan and fill water until it covers them.

3. Add some salt.

4. Boil for 20~25 minutes.

5. Once cooked, drain the water and transfer water caltrops to a plate.

6. Use a pair of scissors to crack open the shell and dig the meat out with a knife.


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  • Reply Dina September 26, 2013 at 12:54 am

    I love water chestnuts. who would know something so yummy was inside that ugly-looking thing?

    • Reply Che-Cheh September 26, 2013 at 10:15 am

      Hi Dina, you’re so right about it. 🙂

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