Gingko Nuts: Hard to Do, but Limit to Ten

Posted on Oct 24, 2017 in Hiroko's Blog

When something is delicious it is hard for us to stop eating. When it comes to gingko nuts, we should limit consumption to about ten nuts at a sitting. Over-eating can bring a reaction to methyl pyridoxine, a chemical found in the nuts.  This can cause a stomach ache and, in extreme, vomiting. On other hand, gingko nuts has been used as a constituent of Chinese medicine to cure some illness for centuries, so limiting to about ten nuts a day seems to be a good idea.  This way you can enjoy the delicious flavor without risking stomach distress.

When you break the shell to reveal the inside nuts – there is a special tool to do it (see the photo) – a whitish beige nuts appears. When you cook the nuts they turn bright, deep green color in few minutes. The texture of cooked nuts is slight soft and the flavor, sweet-nutty and pleasantly bitter. Have you ever tasted gingko nuts? This is the season to try it!

Here are two ways to cook them:

  • Salt roasting: In this preparation half-shelled nuts are cooked in salt added skillet (no oil), leaving thin skin of the nuts attached to the surface of the nuts.
  1. Crack the nuts with the tool and break off the top half of the shell, exposing the top half part of the nuts with thin skin, discarding the removed shells.
  2. Heat the skillet (no oil) with some salt. When the salt is heated, add the nuts and cook, shaking the skillet from time to time and rolling the nuts over. When the exposed part of the nuts turns deep, bright green, turn off the heat. Serve them as they are with a glass of beer!


  • Boiling: In this preparation fully shelled nuts are cooked in salted water that removes the thin skins attached to the nuts
  1. Crack the nuts with a tool and remove the nuts from the shells.
  2. Bring shallow water in a pot to a boil and add the gingko nuts. While cooking the nuts, with a flat spatula gently press and roll the surface of gingko nuts so that the thin skin detaches from the nuts. When the nuts turns deep, bright green, turn off the heat. Drain and rinse the beans, discarding thin skins. Serve them as they are, toss them with cooked rice, or use them as a garnish for prepared dishes.

Remember about ten nuts a day and don’t eat them raw!