Arrowhead Chips – Whip It UP!

Arrowhead Chips – Whip It UP!

Arrowhead chips

Arrowhead chips are a traditional Chinese New Year snack. The plants are usually used as indoor decoration during the festive period. It has long, arrow-shaped to elliptical leaves resembling arrowheads, hence its name. The edible tubers or corms are extremely popular as chips, deep fried until golden resembling gold coins to symbolise prosperity. These gluten-free munchies are extremely addictive!

Total Time: 3 hours

Difficulty: 2/5

Cost: $9.00

Yields: 3-4 tubs

A: To Prepare Arrowhead

4kg arrowhead roots, washed & peeled, keeping stems intact
1 tablespoon salt
1kg cooking oil


1. Place arrowhead tubers into a deep plate or bowl (See Tip). Allow them to air-dry for 30 minutes. Pat dry using kitchen towels.

2. Using a mandoline, slice tubers. This ensures paper-thin slices.


Spread slices on tea towels to dry before frying.

3. Heat up oil in a wok or deep saucepan over medium heat. Add salt in.

4. Gently drop arrowhead slice by slice into oil. This prevents them from sticking together.

5. Fry until they form a light golden crust, then flip them. Keep flipping to ensure they turn golden brown evenly.

Arrowhead chips

6. Remove chips. Spread them onto a wire tray to drain off excess oil. Allow chips to cool down completely.

Arrowhead chips

7. Store chips in air-tight tins or containers. Watch them disappear in a flash soon as they are served.

Arrowhead chips

NOTES: Resembling water chestnuts, arrowheads are slightly bitter and starchier than potatoes. The edible bulb or corm used to be served as tea to treat indigestion, and when turned into a paste, it is used to treating snake bites and cure skin diseases.


TIP: After peeling arrowhead tubers, rinse in running water to remove excess starch.


This prevents uneven colouring along the edges of the chips. Slice away the bottom of the tubers but keep stems intact. Position arrowhead on mandoline slicer, hold tuber lightly using the grip knob, then start slicing.

TECHNIQUE: Oil must not be too hot or chips curl up at the edges as they drop into the wok. Don’t overcrowd wok, or chips will stick to each other. Fry them until they turn golden brown, or chips will not crisp up if removed too early.

Lay See grew up enveloped by the aromas and flavours of home-cooking in Penang, Malaysia. A 3rd-generation home-cook, her passion for cooking did not blossom until her retirement years began at 52, six years ago. Her collection of treasured hand-me-down recipes from family, friends as well as from cooking shows and other media are featured in her blog. Laysee’s Kitchen

Photos:  Yeoh Lay See

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