10 Best Substitutes for Water Chestnuts

Water chestnuts are mainly known for their mild sweetness and crispness. People often mistake this Asian water tuber for nuts, even though it is an entirely different vegetable.

Asian cuisines frequently incorporate water chestnuts, particularly Chinese cuisine. In actuality, China is a significant region for water chestnut cultivation.

You can substitute water chestnuts for various other tubers with a similar flavor that is readily available in fresh, canned, and powdered forms.

Let’s see what works best as a substitute and how to replace water chestnuts.

Best Substitute for Water Chestnuts

If you can’t locate water chestnuts where you live, here are 10 of the best substitutes that you may use in their place.

  1. Canned Water Chestnuts

Water chestnuts in cans are essentially freshwater chestnuts that have been preserved.

They both tasted nutty and earthy. This is the closest thing readily available to a water chestnut alternative.

There are two varieties of water chestnuts in cans: whole and sliced. Even though canned water chestnuts, especially whole ones, have a better flavor than fresh ones, they are still the best alternative to fresh water chestnuts.

  • Turnips

A turnip is an excellent option if you’re seeking a spinach dip alternative to water chestnuts.

We are all familiar with the flavor and texture of this popular tuber. It does not require a lot of quacking and has a texture similar to juicy water chestnuts.

Water chestnuts can be replaced with turnips for far less money and are widely accessible at all vegetable markets.

While they eventually develop a peppery, mustard-like flavor, cooking mellows that flavor.

  • Jicama

Can you use jicama in place of water chestnuts? Of course! Jicama has all the qualities that make it an excellent substitute for water chestnuts.

Additionally, it is a root vegetable with dark, papery skin and starchy flesh. This flesh has a juicy, crunchy texture and a sweet, mellow, and nutty flavor similar to water chestnuts.

  • Jerusalem Artichokes

Jerusalem artichokes are an alternative to water chestnuts that works well. They are similar to a tuber, but their skin is light brown, and they resemble ginger roots more.

They are crisp, sweet, and nutty in flavor like other tubers, which makes them an excellent substitute for water chestnuts.

  • Almond Flour

The dry powder produced after processing almonds is known as almond flour. It works well as an alternative to water chestnut powder.

Almond flour comes in two different varieties: blanched and unblanched. Unblanched almond flour is gritty and more profound in color, while blanched almond flour has a more delicate texture and a lighter color.

Almond flour is an excellent substitute for water chestnut starch because it tastes sweet and nutty.

  • Hazelnut Flour

Since hazelnut flour is made from unroasted nuts, you can use it instead of water chestnut flour because it has a similar nutty flavor. However, because this flour is less granular, you can also use it in baking.

  • Daikon Radish

It is a radish variety with lengthy roots. When it comes to flavor, it has a sweet taste with a light spice.

Daikon is a nutritious alternative to water chestnuts that you can use in salads, stir-fries, and wraps. Daikon is a low-calorie food option as well.

  • Fresh Bamboo Shoots

Bamboo shoots that have just been harvested are an excellent substitute for water chestnuts because of their crispness and crunchiness.

Although raw bamboo shoots have a fibrous and bitter flavor, they can be used in a variety of delectable recipes in place of water chestnuts. Substituting them for water chestnuts will enhance the taste of your food.

  • Pecan

Pecan can be used with water chestnut in several recipes since it has a firmer texture.

Toast the pecans before using them in the recipe to guarantee that everything goes smoothly. Homemade sweet buttermilk pecan pie is another option.

  • Fresh Ginger

Depending on the recipe, ginger can be used in place of water chestnut because it adds a slight spicy kick to your dishes Be sure to use it carefully because most recipe that calls for water chestnuts might not be a good fit.

Given the differences in flavor profiles and culinary applications, fresh ginger is one of the least effective alternatives to water chestnuts compared to other stated substitutes.


Though they might not always be found in supermarkets, water chestnuts are a vital component of traditional Asian dishes.

You can replace water chestnuts with something else that tastes just as crunchy and crispy.

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