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Water chestnuts are delightfully sweet and crisp--if you buy them fresh. Though canned water chestnuts are more easily available, they're not nearly as good. Look for fresh water chestnuts in Asian markets. You need to peel off their brown jackets and simmer them for five minutes before stir-frying. If you must use canned water chestnuts, blanch them first in boiling water for thirty seconds.

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Also known as

  • Chinese water chestnut


jicama (less expensive, but less flavorful) OR Jerusalem artichokes OR lotus roots (especially if you don't have access to fresh water chestnuts; canned lotus roots are more crisp and flavorful than canned water chestnuts)
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