12 Best Substitutes For Water Chestnut (With Photos)

substitutes for water chestnut
13 min reading time

Are you looking for the best substitutes for water chestnuts for your recipe? If you are, then you’re in the right place. Here, you will find 12 amazing water chestnut substitutes worth trying.

What Are Water Chestnuts?

If you’ve ever been to a Chinese restaurant, you’ve probably seen water chestnuts on the menu. But what exactly are they? Water chestnuts are a type of aquatic plant that grows in marshes and wetlands.

The plant has long, slender leaves that float on the surface of the water. The edible part of the plant is the nut, which is found at the base of the leaves.

Water chestnuts taste crunchy and slightly sweet, making them a popular ingredient in salads and stir-fries. They are also a good source of vitamins and minerals, including potassium and magnesium.

So next time you see water chestnuts on a menu, don’t be afraid to try them!

What Are The Uses of Water Chestnuts?

Water chestnuts are a type of freshwater plant that is native to Asia. The edible part of the plant is the nut-like swollen root, which can be eaten raw or cooked.

Water chestnuts are often used in Asian cuisine, and they have a crunchy texture and a slightly sweet flavor. In addition to being a tasty food ingredient, water chestnuts also have a number of other uses.

The roots of the plant are high in starch and can be ground into flour, or they can be boiled and mashed to make a type of paste. Water chestnuts can also be used as a natural dye for fabric, and the plants can be used for landscaping purposes.

Whether you’re looking to add a new flavor to your cooking or you need a natural dye for your next craft project, water chestnuts may be the perfect solution.

12 Best Substitutes for Water Chestnut

The best water chestnuts substitutes are – White Turnips, Canned Water Chestnuts, Jerusalem Artichokes, Jicama Slices, Almond Flour, Hazelnut Flour, Cassava Flour, Celery, Bamboo shoots, Fresh Ginger, Daikon, Radish slices. They are discussed in detail here –

1. White Turnips

White turnips - substitutes for water chestnut

While water chestnuts are a delicious and crunchy addition to any dish, they can be difficult to find in stores. Fortunately, white turnips make an excellent substitute.

Turnips are similarly crunchy and have a mild, slightly sweet flavor that pairs well with many ingredients. They can be used in stir-fries, salads, or even baked goods. Best of all, turnips are widely available and relatively inexpensive.

So next time you’re looking for a crunchy addition to your meal, don’t forget the humble turnip. It may not be as exotic as the water chestnut, but it’s just as delicious.

2. Canned Water Chestnuts

Canned water chestnuts - substitutes for water chestnut

What if you can’t find fresh water chestnuts at your local grocery store? Not to worry – canned water chestnuts make an excellent substitute.

Although they’re not quite as crisp as fresh water chestnuts, they’re still packed with flavor and make a great addition to any dish. Plus, they’re super easy to prepare – just open up the can and give them a quick rinse before adding them to your recipe.

So next time you’re in a pinch, don’t hesitate to reach for the canned water chestnuts!

3. Jerusalem Artichokes

Jerusalem Artichokes - substitutes for water chestnut

The Jerusalem artichoke is often called a water chestnut, but it’s actually a type of sunflower. These tubers are native to North America and were a staple food of Native Americans. They have a crisp texture and a nutty flavor that makes them a popular ingredient in stir-fries, soups, and salads.

Jerusalem artichokes are an excellent source of fiber and are a good source of vitamins C and B6. They also contain iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium.

When shopping for Jerusalem artichokes, look for firm tubers with smooth skin. Avoid those that are shrivelled or have blemishes. Store them in a cool, dark place, and use them within a week or two for the best flavor.

4. Jicama Slices

Jicama Slices - substitutes for water chestnut

Jicama is a crunchy, refreshing vegetable that makes a great addition to any dish. And, it turns out, jicama is also a perfect substitute for water chestnuts. Both vegetables have a similar texture and taste, so they can be used interchangeably in any recipe.

Jicama is also a healthier choice than water chestnuts, as it is lower in calories and fat. So, if you are looking for a crunchy addition to your meal, reach for some jicama slices instead of water chestnuts. You (and your waistline) will be glad you did!

5. Almond Flour

Almond Flour - substitutes for water chestnut

Looking for a tasty and healthy way to add some extra crunch to your stir-fry? Say hello to almond flour! This versatile ingredient can be used as a substitute for water chestnuts in any recipe.

Not only does it add a delicious nutty flavor, but it also provides a good source of protein, fiber and essential nutrients. Plus, it’s gluten-free and easy to find in most supermarkets.

So if you’re in the mood for Chinese takeout, why not ditch the water chestnuts and give almond flour a try? Your taste buds will thank you!

6. Hazelnut Flour

Hazelnut Flour - substitutes for water chestnut

Did you know that hazelnut flour makes an excellent substitute for water chestnuts? Water chestnuts are a type of nut that grows in water, and they have a crisp, crunchy texture that is often used in Asian cuisine.

However, water chestnuts can be difficult to find, and they can be quite expensive. Hazelnut flour is a delicious and budget-friendly alternative. It has a similar flavor and texture to water chestnuts, making it a perfect addition to stir-fries, soups, and salads.

So give hazelnut flour a try! You might just be surprised at how well it works as a substitute for water chestnuts.

7. Cassava Flour

Cassava Flour - substitutes for water chestnut

Try cassava flour! Cassava flour is made from the root of the cassava plant, and it has a similar crispy texture to water chestnuts. Additionally, it is a great source of dietary fiber and essential vitamins and minerals.

So if you’re looking for a fun and nutritious way to add some crunch to your next meal, reach for the cassava flour!

8. Celery

Celery -  substitutes for water chestnut

Celery is a great substitute for water chestnuts. Both are crunchy and have a slightly sweet taste, making them perfect for adding to salads or stir-fries.

Celery is also a good source of vitamins and minerals, including calcium, potassium and vitamin C. Water chestnuts, on the other hand, are relatively low in nutrients. They are also much higher in calories, fat and sugar.

So, if you’re looking for a healthier option, celery is the way to go. Plus, it’s more affordable than water chestnuts, so you can save some money too.

9. Bamboo shoots

Bamboo shoots - substitutes for water chestnut

Bamboo shoots are a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes, from soups and stir-fries to curries and rice dishes. They have a crunchy texture and a mild, nutty flavor that is similar to water chestnuts.

While they are commonly used in Asian cuisine, bamboo shoots can also be found in many other cuisines around the world.

In addition to being a delicious and versatile ingredient, bamboo shoots are also a good source of fiber and vitamins. So the next time you’re looking for a unique ingredient to add to your dish, consider using bamboo shoots as a substitute for water chestnuts.

10. Fresh Ginger

Fresh Ginger - substitutes for water chestnut

If you’re looking for a cheaper, easier to find option, why not try fresh ginger? It may seem like an odd substitution, but trust us, it works! Fresh ginger has a similar crunch to water chestnuts, and its slightly spicy flavor is a great complement to many Asian dishes. So next time your recipe calls for water chestnuts, give fresh ginger a try – you might be surprised at how well it works!

11. Daikon

Daikon - substitutes for water chestnut

Sometimes you need to get creative. Enter the daikon radish! This versatile vegetable can be used as a stand-in for water chestnuts in many recipes.

Simply slice it into thin discs and enjoy the same satisfying crunch. Plus, daikons are easy to find (and relatively inexpensive) so you can have your crunchy fix without breaking the bank.

So if you’re craving water chestnuts, reach for daikon instead – your taste buds will thank you!

12. Radish slices

Radish slices - substitutes for water chestnut

Radishes are a versatile vegetable that can be used in a variety of dishes. While they are most commonly eaten raw, radishes can also be cooked in a variety of ways.

One surprising use for radishes is as a substitute for water chestnuts. When sliced thinly, radishes have a crunchy texture that is similar to water chestnuts. In addition, radishes have a slightly sweet flavor that compliments other ingredients in a dish.

As a result, radishes are an excellent way to add crunch and flavor to stir-fries, salads, and other Asian-inspired dishes.

Benefits of Water Chestnuts

Along with the amounts of disease-fighting antioxidants, Water Chestnuts have lots of benefits that minimize the risks of heart disease and promote weight loss. Let’s see some major benefits of Water Chestnuts.

1. Nutritious and Low in Calories

With a high amount of fiber, water chestnuts have a high nutritious profile and are also a good source of fiber. Consuming enough fiber helps to increase bowel movements and control cholesterol levels. In every 3.5 ounces of raw Water Chestnuts, we found the following nutritious facts.

  • Calories: 97
  • Fat: 0.1 grams
  • Carbs: 23.9 grams
  • Fiber: 3 grams
  • Protein: 2 of the RDI
  • Potassium: 17% of the RDI
  • Manganese: 17% of the RDI
  • Copper: 16% of the RDI
  • Vitamin: B6 16% of the RDI
  • Riboflavin: 12% of the RDI

2. Enriched Disease Fighting Antioxidants

Water chestnuts have disease-fighting antioxidants that fight against harmful free radicals. These also have gallocatechin gallate, epicatechin gallate, catechin gallate, and ferulic acid that help to reduce many chronic diseases such as heart diseases, type 2 diabetes, etc.

3. Minimize the Risk of Heart Disease and Control Blood Pressure

Water chestnuts control the blood pressure which reduces the sudden attack from high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol (LDL cholesterol), strokes, high blood triglycerides, etc. Water chestnuts also have potassium that helps to control heart stroke and high blood pressure.

4. Helps to Lose Weight

As water chestnut is a high-volume food, it contains a lot of air and water. So, it will help you to get full for a long time without consuming higher calories. Water chestnuts have 74% water and help to keep hydrated as well.

5. Fight against the Growth of Cancer

Water chestnuts help to fight against cancer, especially breast cancer. Water chestnuts have Ferulic acid antioxidants which help to minimize the growth of cancer cells and promote the death of the cancer cells.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the Distinction Between Chestnuts and Water Chestnuts?

The main difference between chestnuts and water chestnuts is that chestnuts are sweet, while water chestnuts are savory. Both chestnuts and water chestnuts are popular ingredients in Asian cuisine.

Chestnuts are the fruits of the species Castanea sativa and Castanea crenata. They have a smooth, brown exterior and a white, starchy interior. Chestnuts are usually roasted before being eaten.

Water chestnuts are the fruits of several species of aquatic plant in the family Cyperaceae. They have a hard, dark brown exterior and a white, crunchy interior. Water chestnuts are often used in stir-fries or as an ingredient in soup.

Is Water Chestnut the Same as Buckwheat?

No, water chestnut and buckwheat are not the same. Buckwheat is a grain, while water chestnut is a tuber.

What is the Difference Between Water Chestnut and Jicama?

Water chestnut and jicama are both root vegetables that are high in fiber and low in calories. Jicama is a bit sweeter than water chestnut, and its skin is thicker and more difficult to peel. Additionally, jicama is less starchy than water chestnut.

Can I Use Chestnuts in Place of Water Chestnuts?

Yes, you can use chestnuts in place of water chestnuts. Chestnuts have a sweet and nutty taste that goes well with many dishes. They are a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, and potassium.

What Can I Substitute for Water Chestnuts Flour?

Water chestnut flour can be substituted with other types of flour, depending on the recipe. For example, if a recipe calls for all-purpose flour, you can use wheat flour or rice flour. If a recipe calls for gluten-free flour, you can use almond meal or coconut flour. Experiment with different types of flours to find the one that works best in your recipe.

How to Store Water Chestnuts?

Water chestnuts can be stored in the fridge, in a sealed container or bag. They will last for around two weeks. You can also freeze them, but they will lose their crunchiness when thawed.

Where Can You Buy Water Chestnuts?

You can buy water chestnuts at most Asian grocery stores. They’re usually in the refrigerated section, near the tofu and other dairy products.

Are Canned Water Chestnuts Just as Good as Fresh?

Are canned water chestnuts just as good as fresh? If you prefer your water chestnuts to be crunchier, then you might not enjoy the canned variety as much. However, if you don’t mind a slightly softer texture, then canned water chestnuts can be just as good as fresh.

The main thing to keep in mind is that canned water chestnuts are typically more affordable than fresh ones, so they’re a great option if you’re looking to save some money.

Can I use Bamboo Shoots Instead of Water Chestnuts?

If you’re looking for a substitution for water chestnuts in a recipe, bamboo shoots are a good option. They have a similar flavor and texture, and can be used in both raw and cooked dishes.

Keep in mind that bamboo shoots can be quite fibrous, so you may need to chop or slice them thinly if you’re using them in a stir-fry or other dish where they’ll be cooked with other ingredients.

How To Cook Water Chestnuts?

Water chestnuts can be boiled, roasted, or stir-fried. To boil water chestnuts, first pierce them a few times with a sharp knife. Bring a pot of water to a boil, then add the pierced water chestnuts and let them cook for about 5 minutes.

Drain the water chestnuts and rinse them with cold water. To roast water chestnuts, preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the pierced water chestnuts on a baking sheet and roast for about 20 minutes.

Let cool before removing the skin. To stir-fry water chestnuts, heat oil in a wok or frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the pierced water chestnuts and cook for about 5 minutes or until

Conclusion

While water chestnuts provide a unique texture and flavor to dishes, there are some viable substitutes that can help you recreate the dish without having to search for this specialty ingredient. We’ve listed some of our favorites below. Have you tried any of these substitutes? Let us know in the comments how they turned out!

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10 Comments

  • Samantha Rhodes

    Jicama as a substitute? Interesting. 🤔

  • Aaliyah Ali

    This article was really enlightening! I’ve always used water chestnuts in my recipes for their unique crunch, but it’s good to know there are alternatives available. Bamboo shoots and celery seem like great options due to their similar texture. However, I’m curious about how the flavor profiles of these substitutes would affect the overall taste of the dish. It would be helpful to have a bit more detail on this aspect. Nonetheless, this is definitely a handy guide for those times when water chestnuts aren’t available.

  • Isabella Carpenter

    This article was really enlightening! I’ve always used water chestnuts in my recipes for their unique crunch, but it’s good to know there are alternatives available. Bamboo shoots and celery seem like great options due to their similar texture. However, I’m curious about how the flavor profiles of these substitutes would affect the overall taste of the dish. It would be helpful to have a bit more detail on this aspect. Nonetheless, this is definitely a handy guide for those times when water chestnuts aren’t available.

  • Kiera Cartwright

    I’ve tried turnips before, works great! 👍

  • Sarah Begum

    I don’t think any of these can truly replace the unique taste and texture of water chestnuts. 🙅‍♀️

  • Bethany Baker

    Celery, really? 🧐

  • Phoebe Hanson

    Guess I’ll be raiding the nut aisle next time I run out of water chestnuts! 🥜😂

  • Abbie Finch

    As someone with a food allergy, it’s always a challenge finding substitutes for common ingredients. I’m allergic to water chestnuts, so this article is a gold mine of information for me. I appreciate the variety of substitutes suggested, from vegetables like celery and turnips to nuts like pecans. It’s also great that the article considers factors like texture and flavor in recommending substitutes. I’m excited to try some of these out in my cooking!

  • Yasmin Sanders

    Artichokes could work… 🤷‍♂️

  • Isobel Hope

    These substitutes are fine for texture, but none of them capture the unique flavor of water chestnuts. Maybe we should just stick to the original ingredient? 🤨

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