Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Fried Arrowhead Chips 炸慈菇脆片

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.



  1. I love this idea!Never had arrow roots before!

  2. Yes a must! I love snacking on this. Much better than potato chips!

  3. Well, now you've got me hankering for fried arrowhead, but I'm not at all sure where (or if) I'll be able to find any! Rest assured I will be looking and hope to try it soon. It looks and sounds delicious.

    Anyway, I found you through TasteSpotting and am writing to say that if you have any photos that aren’t accepted there, I’d love to publish them. Visit my site (below), it’s a lot of fun! I hope you will consider it.


  4. Thanks for the recipe. I'll have to try it and compare them against my favorite potato chips!

    Keep up the good work on you blog. - David

    Aloe Vera 101
    Holistic Health Info.
    Healthy Recipes

  5. well, I am no good in cooking, but love the idea of planting the arrow root to symbolised 步步高升.

  6. last 2 years i bought it and it was bake, not fried... Have you tried baking it?

  7. Yummy! I prefer them without salt as you get to taste the natural sweetness of the arrowroot. Plus it skips a couple of steps when making this. :)

  8. Hi Wokking Mum,

    I'm your anonymous reader till now.
    Thanks for being my inspiration.

    I am passing a blog award to you. Come collect it k?


  9. how long does it takes for the arrowhead to grow in water? do i only need to put one or put many to have many leaves like yours?

  10. Thank you all for your comments.

    Chin nee, it take a month or so. A arrowhead will have 2 to 3 stalks, usually 1 main stalk. So it depends on how many arrowhead you want to grow leaves. What you see here in the photo are 2 arrowheads. You can transfer the arrowhead to a pot and grow them in soil once you see the roots from the arrowhead are long. My parents prefer to grow them in water cos dont need to buy extra pot and soil. ;)

  11. this is really yummy when steamed with lup cheong (chinese sausages)and i like to drizzle a little bit of chilli oil over it when it's still warm. :) don't really get any of that strong smell you mentioned as the fragrance of the lup cheong just covers everything! haha

  12. I only learnt about arrowhead when I read your blog, so suaku. Thx for sharing! Suddenly I see them everywhere! I tried making arrowhead soup and it was quite nice. Hope to make (or buy, haha) those yummy looking arrowhead chips before CNY :)

  13. Hi Wokking Mum,
    Yes, this arrowhead really a couldn't resist thing. Nice to be on snack mode all day long.I had a taste a moment ago this fried arrowhead from a Malay friend of mine. I plan to get a bunch of kilos during my office lunch hour time. Ehmmm.. bloody delicious ... mouthwatering creature.

    Jal Eusope

  14. Arrowhead is something to look forward in the month of Jan and Feb, remind us the CNY festival. My mum makes them almost every week during this time. Other then frying there are several ways of cooking them. The best is when my mum make sweet and sour dishes, my whole family loves it.


  15. hi, why my fried arrowhead is not crispy at all?

  16. Ah Pui, I'm not sure how yu do it hence I do not know how to help you. But here's a few points to take note of to make your arrowhead crispy,
    1. the slices must thin.
    2. they must be dry before you fry them. Do not fry them after removing them from the water.
    3. the oil must be hot but not smoking.
    4. deep fry them on medium high fire.
    5. keep them air tight once they are cooled and drained from oil.

    Hope it helps. :)

  17. Hi

    How did u manage to slice it so thinly? You used knife? Or a veg peeler?


  18. Hi, I fried mine immediately after soaking it... It became soft once it's not hot~~~ will try it again!! Maybe I'll skip the soaking step :) thanks for sharing :) :)