Growing up with lotus root, I have never stopped to appreciate the food from a purely culinary and biological viewpoint. In the mud of the bottom of a river or pond, lotus root is actually the stem of the plant. Growing as long as four feet, the stem emerges from the water before ending in the beautiful flowers that are loved within Buddhist and Hindu religions. In spite of the harsh climate lotus flowers keep an extremely exact temperature range. This could be the reason why the Chinese consider lotus root to be an “cooling” foodconsumed to bring balance back for the human body. Lotus root powder that the Chinese also consume to treat their ailments is essentially lotus roots that have dried and then finely crushed. Boiling water is used to create a gelatinous soup-like paste. When I was a child, I was fed lots of lotus root when I got sick, and this was usually due to being a scrawny, sickly child. While I’m unable to verify its curative properties but the texture of lotus root powder that was reconstituted was always soothing and pleasing on the stomach.
“Whether it’s stir-fried, boiling or braised, steamed and deep-fried. Lotus roots remain soft and crisp.”
This plant can be a tolerant and endless ingredient to play around with culinary-wise. Whether it’s stir-fried or braised, boiled or steamed, and deep-fried leaves are soft and crisp and has a smooth, starchy texture like taro roots. Lotus seed can be cooked and added to soups that are dessert-based or ground into a lotus seed paste. It’s an ingredient commonly used in desserts such as mooncakes and daifuku. Although not as widely accessible in the past, the flowers as well as the leaves can be eaten.
Tips for Buying and Preparing
Lotus root is in bloom in the fall, but it’s available at different times of the year , in either whole or in packaged in a form. You should look for lotus roots that is firm and heavy without bruises or soft spots. After the stem is cut take it to the refrigerator for a few hours to preserve its pale flesh. Sliced and cut packages of lotus roots, which typically contain a solution of salt and water, can be utilized as fresh lotus roots. Lotus seeds are typically offered in dried form in Chinese stores . They resemble chickpeas in appearance and color.
A traditional way of cooking lotus root is stir-frying which emphasizes the crisp yet tender taste of the root. While stir-frying lotus roots make sure to mix it with other veggies that are soft and crisp like sugar snappeas snowpeas asparagus, celery, and. I generally stir-fry lotus roots with lots of oyster sauce and wine which provides much-needed depth to the mild flavor that the root has. As with many stems and tubers lotus root is an excellent ingredient in stews and soups as it absorbs the flavors in the liquid that is simmering.
- One large section of lotus root, ranging from 5-7 8 ounces
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic 1 tablespoon minced
- Select 2 or more Vegetables to Stir-Fry:
- 20 sugar snappeas, or snow peas with string removed
- 5 stalks of asparagus to divided into 1 inch segments
- 2 stalks of celery, divided into sections on an angle
- for The Sauce:
- 2.25 tablespoons rice wine Shao Xing, or sake
- 1 teaspoon of soy sauce 1 teaspoon soy
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon oyster sauce
- for Slurry: Slurry:
- 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch, mixed with 2 teaspoons of water
- A couple of spoons or tablespoons oil to stir fry
- One big section of lotus root, approximately 5-7 pounds
- 1 small daikon of about 10 pounds divided into 1-inch sections
- 6 cups dashi
- 1/2 miso paste (white or red or a mix of all three)
- Wakame seaweed, and thinly cut green onions for garnish
- For preparing the lotus root: cut it into pieces then wash with cold water. Cut your lotus root in rounds of 1/4 inch. Rinse and set in a bowl filled with cold water and a splash vinegar to avoid discoloration.
- Mix all the ingredients for this sauce into a bowl. place aside.
- Pour the sauce into the wok and stir fry for 30 seconds and allow the vegetables to absorb around half the liquid. Reduce the heat to medium-low and then add the cornstarch slurry making sure to mix well to prevent from clumping. Allow the sauce to become thick for around 20 minutes. Serve immediately on a plate.
- Lotus Root and Daikon Miso Soup
- For preparing the lotus root, peel it and rinse it with cold water. Cut lotsus roots into rounds of 1/4 inch. Rinse and set in a bowl filled with cold water and a splash of vinegar to avoid discoloration.
- Bring the dashi to a boil in a soup pan. Add the lotus root and daikon to the pot and cook between 15 and 20 minutes until the daikon as well as lotus root are soft.
- Pour the miso paste into the pot, and press it into the pot to spread the paste. Continue to simmer for 2 minutesbefore tasting it for saltiness. If needed, add more paste. Add wakame seaweed to the mix and thinly cut green onions. Serve immediately.