A sweet, buff-colored, olive sized nut that is obtained from the center of the inedible fruit of the maidenhair tree, which is native to China. The hard shell of the nut is removed and the nutmeat inside is soaked in hot water to loosen the skin, which is discarded. Ginkgo nuts, which are available in Asian markets, are sold dried or canned in brine. The brine must be rinsed from the nuts before they can be used. Ginkgo nuts turn bright green when they are cooked and have a resinous flavor. They are very popular in Asian cooking, especially in Japanese recipes.
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