Sunday, November 23, 2014

Spicy Lotus Root (香炒莲藕)

I have seen lotus root in the Asian grocery stores for several years, and always wondered what it was. It wasn't until my mother in-law came to visit last summer that I had the chance to try it. She prepared it this way, and in a pork soup as well. This is when my love affair with this amazing tasting tuber started. I've almost totally dropped potato out of my life since I've met lotus. Depending on how you prepare lotus, depends on it's texture. Stir fried like this, it has a texture to me that is reminiscent of a water chestnut, but hints of a potato that's undercooked a bit. Even though this is an odd looking vegetable to many westerners, I'm sure if you try this easy recipe you will fall in love as well if you like fried potatoes.

Lotus root is a very common vegetable throughout most of Asia, but most are harvested in China in the autumn, just before the plants go dormant, and when lots of starch has been stored. They are usually about 2-3 inches in diameter and 8-12 inches long between the nodes. Select the smoother skinned tubers without splits or cracks. Because they are harvested from the mud, make sure to wash them thoroughly with soap and water even before you peel them. Soaking them in salt water takes some of the starch out, and personally makes me feel that they are cleaner. 

Spicy Lotus Root


1 whole lotus root

2 Tbsp salt

4 Tbsp of vegetable oil

6 dried red chili peppers

10 numbing peppers

5 slices of ginger

5 cloves of garlic

3 tsp sesame oil

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp chicken bouillon granules

1 green onion diced


1. Slice the lotus into thin slices.

2. Soak the lotus slices in room temperature salt water for 20 minutes.

3. Heat the vegetable oil in the wok, and add the numbing peppers. Break the dried red chili peppers, and add them to the oil as well, and stir fry until the are a deep red.

4. Add the garlic, and ginger, and fry until the edges start to darken.

5. Add the lotus slices, and stir fry until they start to become tender.

6. Add the sugar, chicken bouillon, green onions, and finish with a drizzle of sesame oil.

7. Plate and serve.

Cooks Helpful Hints:

You can also add bean paste if you want a more spicy, full flavor.


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