Water Caltrops
November 15th, 2006 19 Comments

Water Caltrops

Water CaltropsNo, I am not a sorcerer and I do not practise black magic. These creepy looking “creatures” with two horns and a monstrous face are not my “sacrifice” or offerings; nor are they skeletons in the closet. As a matter of fact, they are a type of aquatic plant and totally edible (only if you dare!).

Called water caltrops, these nut-like plants are in the same family as water chestnuts. Measuring about 2 inches in diameter, water caltrops are commonly referred to as “Bull’s Horn” (菱角) due to their resemblance to–bull’s horn.

Water CaltropsIn Malaysia, water caltrops are usually available in the autumn/fall season and when the Chinese celebrates the Mid Autumn Festival. It’s during that time of the year that they can be found in the market.

Water caltrops grow chiefly in tropical and subtropical regions of Asia and Africa. Do bear in mind that they CANNOT be eaten raw because they contain a harmful parasite. If you want to try them out, cooking method for water caltrops is plain and simple. Just steam or boil them in water, add a little salt, and crack the shell to reveal the creamy flesh and just eat them as it is.

P.S.: If you play video games, you’d know that Ninja warriors throw metal caltrops on the ground to stop their enemies from getting close to them. Now, if you want, you can pile up on water caltrops and throw them at your foes whenever you want (*wink*).

T&K Grocery Store
Little Saigon,
Westminster, California.

P.P.S.: Thanks S for telling me the name of these nuts and the essential information.


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19 comments... read them below or add one

  1. Anonymous says:

    Oh man, they are the scariest food I have ever seen!!!!

  2. toniXe says:

    It tastes like jack fruit seed actually. But troublesome to eat !

    good collection 4 kids tho ( bull look ).

    even fruits can imitate animals, or is it the other way round ? hahehe

  3. boo_licious says:

    When my mum was small, they used to play with these during the Mid Autumn Festival – popular choice was to make wheels with them and roll it around.

  4. Gustad says:

    looks cool. i want some. in addiiton to the bulls horns look, the center bottom apears to have a bat’s face

  5. KampungboyCitygal says:

    Awww..i miss home..we used to have it during mid autumn festival

  6. theculinarychase says:

    What does water caltrops taste like? You said it has a creamy flesh which makes me automatically think of durian. Cheers!

  7. Anonymous says:

    wow..a freaky looking thing!! surprised it’s edible! thanks for replying to my email..:) Cheryl C.

  8. Chubbypanda says:

    Lol. My friends and I used to call them Diablos, after the Blizzard video game character, when we passed them in 99 Ranch Market. I’m glad to know we weren’t the only ones with such active imaginations.

    - Chubbypanda

  9. Susila Devi says:

    These are yummy! I’ve always wondered what they are called :)

  10. Rasa Malaysia says:

    theculinarychase – no they don’t taste like durian at all, they taste like roasted chesnuts (kind of) to me.

    Yeah, I just know they are called “Gu Kak” (Bull’s horn in Hokkien). I never know the English name until my friend S told me.

  11. Ana says:

    what a weird, evil nut? something.

  12. PJ says:

    Wow, this one certainly brings back memories. How much is it eh? So its just eaten by itself? I wonder what the insides look like.

  13. PJ says:

    This one certainly brings back memories. How much does it cost? So it’s just eaten by itself eh… I wonder how the insides look like.

  14. lucia says:

    i had seen this weird little thing before but i never know it’s call water caltrops too. er… didn’t know it’s hokkien name too. the shell is very hard, like a stone, right? haven’t eaten it before either.

  15. Rasa Malaysia says:

    Ana – it’s weird looking. I would never think of it as edible if I didn’t know any better.

    PJ – those are very cheap, I bought like 6 or 7 of them from the market and cost me 11 cents (US$)! The inside looks like creamy color.

    Lucia – yes, the shells are quite hard, but not as hard as stone! ;)

  16. Audrey Cooks says:

    I remember them clearly as my mom still manage to get them here in KL. Usually served with those little yam like thingy.

  17. Rasa Malaysia says:

    Audrey Cooks – yes, with sweet sticky yam, correct? Oh boy, all these traditions are slowing disappearing, sad.

  18. HRDQ says:

    tqvm tht finally i got the water caltrops’s name. my family are practic must have this water caltrops during moon cake festival…

  19. salma says:

    saw it for the first time at Giant Pandan Capital yesterday…look so weird…thanks for the info…i might buy it since its very easy to cook…just need to boil it :-)

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