These top the list of scary looking things to eat. Yea, they look like freaky black horns and if you look closely, there’s a little bit of hair on top. Eww.

ling jow 3

So when Jen found some at the Chinese supermarket, she bought some and asked me, “what the hell are these things?” I remembered seeing my mom with these and so I asked mom.

ling jow standing

Mom: ling jow
me: What is it in English?
Mom: There’s no English. Americans don’t eat this.
me: Well, there’s still some scientific name right? Can you look it up in the Chinese-English dictionary?
Mom: (after looking) It’s not in there.
me: What is it?
Mom: It grows in water, at the bottom of something like lily pads.
me: How do you eat it?
Mom: Just boil it.
me: For how long?
Mom: 20 minutes
me: Ok, thanks, bye.

I boil it for 20 minutes. Then I try to cut into it and can’t so I call mom.

me: Mom, how do you cut it?
Mom: We used to just bite it with out teeth. If you don’t want to, just cut it down the middle and then get the white stuff out.
me: But, I can’t even cut it.
Mom: After you boiled it, did you rest it?
me: No, you didn’t tell me to. Do I rest it in the cooking water?
Mom: No, dry, leave it dry.
me: Ok. so boil it for 20 minutes, then rest for how long?
Mom: I don’t know, another 20 minutes.
me: Ok, thanks, bye.

While still hard to cut, they now do slice in half, and then the easiest way to get the inside out is to bite down and squeeze it out.

ling jow cut in half 3

ling jow cut in half

inside ling jow

They taste like a cross between chestnuts and water chestnuts, both in taste and texture. While I love chestnuts, I don’t like water chestnuts, which leave these at ehh for me, but I will serve them at Halloween, just cause they look nice and scary to eat.

*updated at 9:47pm: we found out that they’re called Water Caltrop.

posted by jessica at 03:21 PM Filed under Basics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.