How to Eat Ginkgo Nuts


The ginkgo nut is a round plum-sized brown fruit enclosed in a smooth buff-colored shell which grows on the ginkgo tree and has been around for 165 million years. It is used primarily in Japan and China as an ingredient in some dishes. It can also be boiled or oven roasted. Ginkgo nuts are high in phosphorus, potassium, copper, thiamine and niacin. The traditional way to roast a ginkgo nut in China is to let the fruit rot then roast the remains.

Things You'll Need

  • Ginkgo nuts
  • Sauce pan
  • Water
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • Colander
  • Cutting board
  • Chef's knife
  • Frying pan
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp.


  • Use the saucepan to boil enough water to cover the nuts with an inch of water

  • Add nuts and a tbsp. of salt. Boil 10 minutes, then drain.

  • Rinse with cold water.

  • Put a nut on the cutting board and whack it with the flat of the knife. Remove the shell and outer skin.


  • Heat vegetable oil in a frying pan. Add nuts and 1 tsp. of salt.

  • Cook over medium-high heat until the shell splits.

  • Remove from heat and allow to cool. Remove the shell and outer layer of skin.

Tips & Warnings

  • Children should eat no more than five ginkgo nuts a day, and adults no more than eight. Eating too many can result in ginkgo poisoning. People allergic to mangoes or cashews should not eat them. Wear gloves when handling raw nuts, and do not eat them raw or eat the fruit.

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  • Photo Credit ginkgo nuts image by weim from
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