Water Chestnut
  • Cultivated for its corm (tuber).
  • A grass-like plant growing to a height of 1.5m.
  • Tuber covered in brown skin with white flesh.
  • Chestnut flavour of sugar cane, sweet corn and coconut.
  • Crisp texture similar to potatoes.
  • 3-5cm in diameter.

Wet or saturated conditions are necessary for the crop with loose, sandy soil. Chinese water chestnut is normally planted from corms in the spring.

It grows and spreads quickly during the warm summer months, forming new plants from underground rhizomes until all available space is filled.

With the onset of cool weather, the rhizomes stop producing new plants. They produce ingrained corms instead and the top growth dies away. With the return of warm weather, the corms shoot. Newly formed corms are white, becoming scaly and brown as they mature. Mature corms are a round, flattened shape and harvesting size is a diameter of 3-5cm.

Originating in the tropics from Africa, Asia and Australia. Aborigines in Northern Australia gather corms from wild water chestnuts. Chinese water chestnuts have been grown and used in China both for medicinal and culinary use for thousands of years.

Botanical Name: Eleocharis dulcis (Cyperaceae)

Alternative Names: ma taai, Chinese water chestnut, haeo jin

Health Benefits

Excellent source of vitamin C, dietary fibre and complex carbohydrates.

100g of Water Chestnut yields the following:

  • Calories – 50
  • Total Carbs – 4% of DV
  • Protein – 0.88g
  • Dietary Fibre – 10% of DV
  • Vitamin C – 2% of DV
  • Iron – 5% of DV

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Selecting tips

Select fresh, clean looking corms 3-5cm in diameter. Look for water chestnuts with healthy fresh skins.

Can be eaten raw or cooked in stir-fry soups and casseroles. Slice and peel to prepare. Can be used shredded in a variety of Chinese dishes.

Storage: Store in an airtight plastic bag in the refrigerator crisper.

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