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When I was young, my parents would put a vegetable in our stir fry that they called a Worchester. I recently found out that this doesn't actually exist so I've been trying to determine what they were feeding me. My girlfriend thinks they might have been a variety of radish.

I unfortunately don't remember the raw vegetable, by when stir fried it was a white disc about the size of a quarter. It had a very uniform size and color, there was no core like you would see in a parsnip. They were a little crunchy, like a raw apple. The taste was quite unique, I can't compare it to anything, but it was a very mild flavour.

Any ideas what they were?

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  • 1
    When you say "worchester" do you mean "worcester", pronounced "wuss-ter", or with the ch pronounced, "wor-chest-er"?
    – Cascabel
    Jan 19, 2014 at 19:41
  • 1
    They pronounced it the second way, with the ch.
    – Drew
    Jan 19, 2014 at 21:30

4 Answers 4

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Sounds like sliced water chestnuts to me, especially with the name similarity.

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  • 4
    I vote for this, since it fits the description and is a very common ingredient in stir fries.
    – Aaronut
    Jan 19, 2014 at 18:50
  • Water chestnut ... that fits the description well. Good one. Jan 19, 2014 at 19:11
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    I agree... and now I'm wondering whether they really did call it a "worchester" or whether you just mis-heard them saying "water chestnut"!
    – Vicky
    Jan 20, 2014 at 13:06
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Intriguing =)

Although it probably is water chestnut, I will still go ahead and try this one ;-)
(can not hurt to have a bit of a choice here, right)

My first thought from the description was salsify ( could refer to black salsify Scorzonera hispanica or to purple salsify Tragopogon porrifolius ).

enter image description here

I mostly know the black one, and it has a quite unique but mild flavor, and it is usually quite evenly thick (like a quarter, could be right).

... and I fond this article where it says:

Traditionally it is called “oyster plant”, ...

which sounds similar to "worcester" (wuus-tər see here).

Even though the texture is usually not so crunchy and it is not normally found in stirfries, it seems like an almost convincing candidate to me =)
Unless you did't mean to pronounce it like Worcester ... then I would go with water chestnut too ;-)

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Maybe they used radish, they are round and crunch. Some are the size of a quarter and some smaller. Usually eaten raw, but I suppose they can be used in stir fries.

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Worcestershire sauce is commonly used in stir fry's but the vegetable is definitely the water chestnut. I first had them in Cantonese Chow Main and you can find it at most North American/Asian restaurants. If you want to cook with them they are located in the Asian cuisine section and they come in cans at any grocery store.

They also make an amazing sweet and savory Hors d'oeuvre which is called Rumaki by some and they customarily include a piece of duck liver with the water chestnut and then its wrapped up with half a piece of bacon and held in place with a toothpick. You then cook it in the oven for 10-15 min at 375°F. After the first cook its removed from the oven and you have to carefully drain off the excess grease off of cookie sheet. Then it's typically covered with a sauce made from ketchup, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce. But you can also use a nice gooey honey garlic sauce made for wings. Some just like them dipped in soya sauce or you can be creative and use your imagination, maybe some kinda Dijon mustard sauce. The possibilities are numerous. After covering them with sauce they're put back into the oven for another 30-35 minutes or until the bacon crisps up and the sauce thickens.

I've only had them without the duck liver, just water chestnuts wrapped in bacon, and for me, that's how I'd prefer them. They are amazing.

Its quite likely that because of the sauce containing Worcestershire sauce is the reason your parents called them that, or why that is what you remember them being called.

Anyways, I would highly recommend making them for your next outdoor bonfire party or pig roast just make sure to make a double or triple batch because they will go fast and you'll be the hit of the party guaranteed!

Hope this helped. Enjoy!

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