Walnut 核桃 / 胡桃   Over 2000 years ago walnuts were brought to China from central Asia, and given the name hutao (胡桃), meaning "foreign peach" because of their similarity in shape to the fruit.  The Chinese regard walnuts more as a medicine than as a food because their oil is said to strengthen the muscles and increase the blackness of the hair.  Chinese people also believe that walnuts are good for the brain because they resemble the shape of the brain.  Walnuts are used in desserts and soups,  as well as being eaten as snacks. 


Water Caltrop = Ling Kok 菱角  A water plant which has been cultivated in China and India for at least 3,000 years for its starchy seeds.  In China, it was an important food in worship and was used as prayer offerings in the Zhou Dynasty; medicinally it was used to help fever and drunkenness.  In Chinese cooking it is usually braised with meat.


Water Chestnuts 馬蹄 / 荸薺  A sweet root vegetable about the size of a walnut, these are eaten as a snack in China.   Water chestnuts are delightfully sweet and crisp if you buy them fresh.   Though canned water chestnuts are more easily available, they're not nearly as good.  You need to peel off the brown jackets of fresh water chestnuts and simmer them for five minutes before stir-frying.  If you must use canned water chestnuts, blanch them first in boiling water for thirty seconds.


Wind-Dried Pork 臘肉  Belly pork that has been dried.  Usually steamed before eating.

Winter Melon 冬瓜  A marrow or a gourd, not a fruit.


Wok 鑊  A most useful and versatile piece of equipment, the wok may be used for stir frying, blanching, deep-frying and steaming foods.

wok1    wok2   woks

Wood Ears = Black Fungus 木耳 Chinese markets carry this tree mushroom in both fresh and dried forms.  It has a mild but subtle flavour, an interesting texture and is believed to have medicinal benefits.  The dried black fungus must be soaked before use.     


Wonton Skins 雲吞皮  These are made from egg and flour and can be bought fresh or frozen. They can be stuffed with minced meat and fried, steamed or used in soups to make won tons.