The Water chestnut or Chinese water chestnut is a grass-like sedge native to Asia, Australia, tropical Africa and various islands of the Pacific and Indian Oceans. It is widely grown in many countries for its edible corms. The water chestnut is actually not a nut at all, but an aquatic vegetable that grows in marshes, underwater in the mud. It has tube-shaped, leafless green stems that grow to about 1.5 metres. The small, rounded corms have a crisp white flesh and can be eaten raw, slightly boiled or grilled, and are often pickled or tinned.
They are a popular ingredient in Chinese dishes. In China, they are most often eaten raw, sometimes sweetened. Raw water chestnuts are slightly sweet and very crunchy. Boiled water chestnuts have a firm and slightly crunchy texture with a flavor that is very mild and slightly nutty. Water chestnuts are often combined with bamboo shoots, coriander, ginger, sesame oil and snow peas. They are often used in noodle or rice dishes.