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January 05, 2007

Ginkgo seeds/nuts/leaves in the kitchen

At the website of Recipe Zaar I discovered the following text, followed by recipes:

The ginkgo nut is a hard shelled kernel/nut from the maidenhair tree commonly known as the ginkgo biloba, which is an ancient plant. Traditionally a Chinese food. It is said that this nut brings good luck. Added to most sweet and savory dishes. Often sold as an alternative to the lotus seeds in “eight treasure dishes”. They are very popular in Japan and Korea. They are threaded onto pine needles then grilled and salted. The ginkgo nut has high starch content, and a low fat content. Widely used in Asian cooking. Their texture is that of a soybean. They have a slightly sweet flavor. They are often used in stuffing, soups, desserts, meat and poultry dishes as well as many vegetarian dishes. The ginkgo trees are considered scarce in China. The seeds are available canned, sold as "White Nuts", and can be found in many Asian food stores in the West, they also sold dried, or shelled and canned in brine. If purchased in the dry form, they must be shelled at home and then blanched. When buying the canned form, they should be rinsed of their brine before use. The nuts are seasonal and not easy to find in their fresh form year round. A fresh variety is available in the fall and winter months. Popularity is growing in the United States but is not too widespread because Americans are not very familiar with the culinary uses of this particular nut.. May be found in special markets, or your regular grocery store, year round.
Season: available year-round
How to store: These nuts will keep well unshelled; once they are shelled they only keep a short time refrigerated.
How to prepare: To use the nuts; soak the kernels in hot water to loosen the skins off. Cook till they are a delicate shade of green.


At 1/11/2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Greetings Cor,
I am from New Zealand and have only just found this site..I do not know how to post properly but I have a question I would like to ask you. I have a little gingko sapling in its first year with leaves..I do not know whether it is male or female ..I do not know properly how to look after the moment it is in the ground..would it be better to pot it for a few years..I would also like to know how to use the leaves..either medicinally or in the kitchen. Do you need both male and female trees in order to have a nut harvest? I am interested generally in Gingko Biloba but am really interested in the possibility of using the bounty of my tree to improve my circulation. It is summer here and the weather is very good.Thank you for your help.

At 6/27/2012, Anonymous Michael said...

I have scoured the web and There is a piece of info i havent yet found documented or referenced yet, which is ginkgo leaves used for culinary purposes. I'm well aware that the ginkgo nuts/seeds are used for culinary purposes, and I'm well aware that ginkgo leaves are used medicinally. However, for a product I'm seeking government approval on, I'm required to show some kind of scholarly reference of ginkgo leaves used for culinary purposes (teas & supplements do not count- I must tie it in to taste, not health benefit).

For example, I've heard that ginkgo leaves were used for quite some time in northern Europe as a meat seasoning, but I can find no documentation for this. Perhaps there are other examples of ginkgo leaves used in the kitchen?

Any help or direction you can provide would REALLY be appreciated. If anyone can help me, hopefully someone with your knowledge can.

Thank you,

San Luis Obispo, CA.


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