While western countries have potatoes chips, in Singapore and Malaysia, we have arrowhead chips which is as crispy and tasty. In recent years, this snack have become a very common Chinese New Year item to serve visiting house guest and commercially, it was sold at quite a steep price.
There is actually no recipe for this snack, it is just deep frying some thinly sliced arrowhead and what I am sharing will be some pointers during the preparation of this snack.
As this is a rather uncommon root during the year round, it will be interesting to know a bit more about arrowhead. As per Wikipedia:
“Sagittaria sagittifolia (also called arrowhead due to the shape of its leaves) is a flowering plant in the family Alismataceae, native towetlands most of Europe from Ireland and Portugal to Finland and Bulgaria, as and in Russia, Ukraine, Siberia, Turkey, China, Australia,Vietnam and the Caucasus. It is also cultivated as a food crop in some other countries. The round tuber is edible. In China, it is known as cigu (Chinese: 慈菇; pinyin: cígū; literally: “benevolent mushroom”), and its tuber is eaten particularly on the Chinese New Year. It tastes bland, with a starchy texture, similar to a potato but somewhat crunchier, even when cooked. ”（source： http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sagittaria_sagittifolia）
As per Chinese Baidu Baike, it was written that:
“茨菰 – 慈姑属（Sagittaria）淡水植物，约20种，广布全球。多年生，草本，生长于浅湖、池塘和溪流。叶似箭头，有肉质球茎，可食。花有3枚圆形花瓣。北美最常见种是宽叶慈姑（S. latifolia），叶箭形至禾草状，被广泛引种以扩大禽类食源。慈姑（S. sagittifolia）分布于欧洲大部分地区，在中国则栽培以食用其球茎。一年生植物《本草纲目》说：“慈姑一株多产十二子，如慈姑之乳诸子，故以名之。燕尾，其叶之象燕尾分叉，故有此名也”。《本草纲目》称其“达肾气、健脾胃、止泻痢、化痰、润皮毛”，是无公害绿色保健食品中的上等珍品。中医认为茨菇性味甘平、生津润肺、补中益气，对劳伤、咳喘等病有独特疗效。茨菇每年处暑开始种植，元旦春节期间收获上市，为冬春补缺蔬菜种类之一，其营养价值较高，主要成份为淀粉、蛋白质和多种维生素，富含铁、钙、锌、磷、硼等多种活性物所需的微量元素，对人体肌能有调节促进作用，具有较好的药用价值。” (Source: http://baike.baidu.com/view/1421405.htm?fromtitle=%E6%85%88%E5%A7%91&fromid=1128865&type=syn)
From Chinese definition, it was written that this root was planted during summer and was harvested usually during winter those provide a source of vegetable during Spring festival. That possibly explains for the common consumption of this root during Chinese New Year.
I have to be frank that this is the first year I am preparing it and I am still not good at slicing using the mandolin. So pardon me for the big and small pieces of the chips..
WHAT IS REQUIRED
Some arrowhead bulbs
Some cooking oil for deep frying
Some salt for tossing.
STEPS OF PREPARATION
Peel the arrowhead bulb. Clean and slice using a mandolin or a knife with even thickness. Place the sliced arrowhead on top of some kitchen towel to absorb the moisture. However, this is optional.
Heat a pot of cooking oil under medium heat. The oil is considered as ready when the tip of a chopstick is placed in the hot oil, bubbles starts to come out. Put the sliced arrowheads, use a chopstick to stir the arrowheads to avoid sticking. Use low to medium heat to deep fry the chips until golden brown and there is no visible bubbles emitted from the chips. 1-2 minutes before dishing up for draining, turn the heat to high. Drain and toss with some salt if desired. Once completely cooled, stored in an air tight container.
If your chips become burnt but not crispy, your heat is too high. Only medium to low heat is needed in the earlier part such that the interior part of the arrowhead can be cooked properly and it is very important that before dishing up, the heat has to be as strong as possible to avoid oil chips.
If you chips are oily, it is likely that you did not turn the heat to high for the last few minutes before dishing up for draining.
If your chips have brown colour rings at the outermost part, you have not peel deep enough and any skin component remain will show up dark brownish colour. In addition, arrowhead that are not fresh will also have this dark brownish colour.
The thickness of each chip will have to be as even as possible. Otherwise, some chips may be ready whereas some are not, some are burnt but some are soggy.
- You can also directly peel or slice the arrowhead into the hot oil without pre-cutting in this example . If you are interested of how other are doing, you can refer to: Frying arrowhead corms chips – YouTube
The cost of this illustration is SGD1.oo and what I get is a medium bottle of arrowhead chips that is fresh and crispy. If you are concerned about deep frying, I honestly believed that it can be deep fried using air fryer. However, it may lack the aroma of deep drying using hot oil. As what I said earlier, I am still new in this preparation, let’s learn together to prepare this. Why not invest S$1 and find out the best way to do the snack?
Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.
This recipe was included in Page 50 and Page 51 of the above E-book.
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