Peeling Chinese water chestnuts easily

Did you know that you can peel water chestnuts easily with a fruit peeler? Well, I didn’t and only found out after I peeled at least 9 using my finger nails and a small knife.

This is how it all began. I was tasked to peel the water chestnuts for this Chinese New Year eve’s reunion dinner. My mom gave me instructions but I forgot them when she left.

Bunch of water chestnut hanging around

So I went online and searched: “how to peel water chestnuts”. Maybe I should have used Baidu to search because it’s really a Chinese fruit.

I tried the first method which promised that I can peel it as easily as an orange or grapefruit. I tried and decided that my water chestnuts had developed a  mutant shell that made it less peelable with my fingers.

The second method showed a bowl of nicely peeled water chestnuts so I followed the instructions and peeled my water chestnuts carefully with a knife. I was more than half way through the fruits when my dad came into the kitchen. He then said: Isn’t it easier with a fruit peeler?

I wanted to facepalm myself but I had a knife in my right hand and a water chestnut in my left.

Maybe my knife skill is terrible. The left was peeled with a knife and the right with a peeler.

Left: Fail. Right: Success.

Here’s a step by step guide of how to peel water chestnuts, the easy way.

Step 1: Cut off the top and bottom

Chop chop
Bottom and top cut off

Step 2: Peel with fruit peeler

Fruit peeler to the rescue

Step 3: Done

Ta da!

I was wondering if this post should be on the travel blog or on my personal one. In the end I chose this blog because you might come across a pile of water chestnuts in an Asian market. Remember to grab a fruit peeler and and chomp your way through the crunchy, juicy, sweet fruit.

Peeled water chestnuts

More about Liau Yun Qing

Yun Qing is a writer, improviser and curious person. She loves finding little adventures in life. In 2013, she went on a 130-day round-the-world trip. She wrote a book to help those who also want to go on a career break.

3 Comments

    1. Thank you. You’re a life saver. The fruit peeler makes short work of the water chestnuts.

    1. I started with a veg peeler. Then to a knife. Then to a larger very sharp knife. Then I was using all 3. I even practiced different ways to cut them. Since I was going to use them in strips, I found that if you cut straight thru on either side of the where the pointy thing is, top to bottom, trim both ends of the middle piece, it’s much easier to peel and there is a lot less waste. I figured this out when there were only 2 left to peel. Got it now, though! Still think there must be any easier way!!

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