Arrowhead Chips for Chinese New Year

Happy Chinese New Year!

On February 19th the year of the Ram will begin. Or maybe it’s the sheep or the goat. There’s a debate raging as to whether the english translation of “yang” or “horned animal” is ram, sheep or goat. The issue is so hotly contested that it made the Yahoo news. Well if you plan on being born this year, that’s your Chinese zodiac sign. Let’s call it sheep. Or if you were born on 1967, 1979, 1991 or 2003 this is also your year as the Chinese lunar calendar operates on a 12-year cycle. According to our friends at (we aren’t actually friends, it’s just the first thing that came up when I googled) the year of the sheep is a time to ban together and fight the forces of evil that have grown around us.

But not to worry, “The aura of the 2015 Sheep (Goat) year will gradually radiate its way to all. The most turbulent times will be during the period of the Dragon, which is from the Vernal Equinox on March 20th till April 20th, and especially the period of the Ox where a grave threat will again raise its ugly head. This will be from the Day of the Winter Solstice on the 22nd of December till the 20th of January 2016. But for the moment, allow the calming balms of the Sheep’s vibrations to flow through you, and through you, to touch every heart you meet.”

Feel the sheep vibrations, man.

To get your Chinese astrology predictions for 2015 you need find out what sign you are based on your birth year. I’m a dragon, which is awesome. But according to my astrology chart this is not a great year for Dragons. 2015 is going to be boring and people are going to be talking smack: “The star of Gossip will be a constant threat. That means Dragons will have to be particularly discreet and alert during the year. Sit back and take a bit of a breather during the year of the Sheep. Stick to what you know best and complete whatever it is you’ve been working on but don’t start new ventures.” YIKES.

If you’ve strolled through Chinatown in the past month, you’ve likely seen lots of red and gold sheep decorations. And if you’ve strolled through a Chinese grocery store, it’s likely you’ve seen one of these:

arrowhead root

At first glance it appears to be a very large tulip bulb. Upon further inspection, you’ll find that the arrowhead root is firm and smells like a potato. In February, Chinese markets around the globe fill with thousands of these tubers to help ring in the New Year.


I came across a giant pallet of arrowhead roots at the Fei Long supermarket in Dyker Heights last weekend and well, I just couldn’t resist a vegetable I’d never seen before. The sign in the store read “arrowhead” but it wasn’t till I googled “arrowhead” + “chinese vegetable” that I came across this plant’s true identity as a starchy tuber. It’s called Sagitteria Sagittifolia  and known in China as “sigu.” Arrowhead is an extremely starchy potato so I recommend slicing it very thin and frying it in vegetable oil.

arrowhead root

Arrowhead Chips for Chinese New Year

Serves 4 as a side 


2 medium arrowhead roots

3/4 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon salt


Remove the stem of each root and peel away the rough (and likely dirty or brown) outer layer. Use a very sharp knife or mandolin to slice thin rounds of the root.

Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a small skillet. Drop 5 chips in a single layer and fry for two minutes on each side, using tongs to move them. Remove the chips just as they begin to turn brown and drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat until all the ships are fried and then sprinkle with salt.



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