All recipes are for 2 servings unless noted. Oil is canola oil and salt is kosher salt.


Ginnan gingko nut prep

Gingko nut shells can easily be cracked open with a tool, ranging from a hammer to a heavy knife handle or bottle opener. Something slightly heavy usually works better. Kitchen scissors and pliers could smash shells, and require some practice for effective use.

Opening shell
Hold a gingko nut with one of the side ridges straight up, and quickly hit the ridge with a hammer, heavy bottle opener or a tool of your choice.

The shell will crack open, usually halfway.

(I mostly use an iron bottle opener for this task. -->)

Removing skin
To remove the thin light brown skin, you can either blanch or roast in a frying pan.

A. Blanching to remove skin
If you choose to blanch, first remove the cracked shells.

Blanch gingko nuts in a small amount of water for 1-2 minutes. 
While blanching, roll gingko nuts with a spoon or ladle to remove skin.
Drain, and cool with water.
Once gingko nuts are cool enough to touch, remove remaining skin. 

B. Roast to remove skin
If you choose to roast in a frying pan, put gingko nuts in their cracked shells, and roast (without oil) until shells get slightly burned, 5-plus minutes.

Once cool enough to handle, remove shell and skin.
The skin needs to be removed while gingko nuts are still warm. Once cool, skin will stick to the endosperm and become difficult to remove.

Blanching is a more common prep method before gingko nuts are used in dishes. Roasted gingko nuts are often eaten as is with a small amount of salt as a snack (often while drinking).

Microwaving is another way to remove shell and skin. Place gingko nuts (with or without cracked shells) in a paper bag or envelope, close opening (fold it a couple of times) and microwave for 1-2 minutes. The bag expands like a balloon and makes a loud popping sound, like when making popcorn. If there are unopened shells, use a tool to open, as above. This seems to work best when your gingko nuts are fresh or new. You might get mixed results with those that have sat at the shop or on your kitchen counter for some time, with some bursting open and others staying closed. Microwaving too long also causes shells to burst.

You should not eat too many gingko nuts, as they could cause toxic reactions. See “Ginnan ginko nuts” for more details.

No comments: