Chinese New Year is just a month away. Nothing much for us to do this year as we have strict orders not to celebrate due to the demise of my father-in-law. No visiting, no ang pow, etc.
However, my parents have given us the green light to go to their place for reunion dinner. "Just having dinner together with the family. You got to eat, don't you? Not celebrating what." That was what my father said to me =D It's going the first time since I got married to go back home for reunion dinner and I'm looking forward to it. I can hear your "Huhs?!!". Haiz! It's a long story. Not going into that story. :P
Anyway, other than all the food (捞鱼生!!) and the people we get to meet (sometimes really only during Chinese New Year), what I like about Chinese New Year are the assorted plants, flowers, fruits and vegetables that we get to see sometimes only during this period.
Arrowhead (慈菇) or Ngaku is one of them. You can only get them during Chinese New Year period. Last year, they were all sold out by the eve of Chinese New Year at my place.
Arrowhead Plant, taken from my parents' place during last year's Chinese New Year
I see my parents growing these water-chestnut look alike in a deep dish decorated with pebbles each year. It grows arrow shaped leaves which I guess is how it gets its name. The 'arrow' points upwards which symbolised continuous improvement (步步高升). So start growing them for your family members if you want their careers or studies to have continuous improvement. ;)
I remembered my mother-in-law cooking it years ago but she stop cooking it as noone eats it as it has a strong smells when it's cooked. I never would have know that it tasted so much different as a chips if a friend hasn't gave me some to try. In fact, it tasted so much better than potato chips!
Now, arrowhead chips is a must for me to make every year. They are super addictive and are eaten almost as soon as they are fried. :P
To make these chips, you just need to slice the top and bottom off and skin it. Soak it in salt water for an hour (longer if you like) before setting it aside to dry. Then slice it thinly and deep fry them. Don't put them in all at once as they will stick together. You have to put them into the oil, slice by slice.
Remove the chips when they are lightly golden brown. Drain the chips from excess oil and cool them completely before storing in airtight container. You can sprinkle some salt while draining the chips from oil.
If you don't find it troublesome, you can soak them in salt water after slicing them. This was what my friend did. However, you will need a bigger area to dry the sliced arrowhead. The fried chips has a slight salty taste which doesn't need further seasoning with salt.
Go get some arrowhead before they are gone. Once you miss it, you will have to wait for a year before you can see it again.