Welcome to the slightly different fruity Friday…It’s Tropical Friday and today’s incredible #veggie is the Lotus Root…
A very popular vegetable through Thailand, China and the rest of Asia…I often see it drying outside houses as I walk to market the sun is so hot here we don’t need a dehydrator…
It is also a regular sight fresh on the local markets…
Mild tasting with a pleasant slightly sweet taste eaten raw in a salad it is crunchy like celery…when cooked in a soup or stew it becomes softer but still retains a bite like a just cooked potato…it also lends itself to stir-frying, steaming to boiling a versatile vegetable.
It is also low in calories and high in fibre which is always a plus.
Dried and ground it is used in traditional medicine to soothe the stomach…even when temperatures rise the lotus maintains a precise temperature which is maybe why the Chinese refer to the lotus root as ” a cooling food” it is consumed to maintain the balance of the body.
About 15km from my home is The Red Lotus Sea(Lake)
A beautiful place with lots of birds and plants, water buffaloes graze on the small outcrops it is peaceful and it even had a tiny Buddist temple where some monks lived and prayed…so very beautiful to see all the images from our first visit please click the link.
The Red Lotus Sea( Lake) is where we first saw and learnt about this beautiful flower/vegetable and its properties and meaning. The lotus root is actually the stem of the plant and grows as long as 4ft…the stems arise from the water and are topped by the most beautiful of flowers which are highly revered in the Buddhist and Hindu cultures.
We were also allowed to pick a couple of the Lotus seed heads
Lotus Seeds which we learnt were edible and used when dried and ground in the making of moon cakes to read more please click the link above…
The lotus flower certainly provides much…now for how to cook with it…
If you have dried lotus then dried lotus roots must be soaked before using. Reconstituted lotus roots can be sliced thin for stir-frying or sliced into half-inch pieces for Chinese soups and stews. Boiled in sugar, lotus root makes a popular dessert. They are somewhat similar to a potato in texture and flavour.
Fresh lotus root once peeled must be soaked in vinegar or a water and salt solution to stop discolouration …when stir-frying it pairs well with sugar snap or snow peas, asparagus or celery.
Pork and lotus Root Stir Fry:
- 8 oz lotus root
- 8 oz loin or fillet of pork
- 1 tbsp of soy sauce
- I tbsp Oyster sauce
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- 1inch piece fresh ginger minced
- 1 red chilli sliced
- 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup honey
- 5 green onions cut into 2 in pieces
- 1 tbsp canola oil
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Blanch the lotus root slices for about 2 mins then drain well. In Chinese, this process is called Duan Sheng/断生 meaning “break the rawness”.
Season the pork with salt and pepper then heat the oil in a pan and cook the pork you may need to cook in two batches once cooked remove the pork from the pan and add the ginger and garlic to the pan and cook until fragrant about 30 seconds then raise the heat and add the chilli, rice wine and honey cook until thickened slightly add the lotus roots and cook 2 mins and then add the pork and cook for I min then add the green onions cook 1 min …Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary… It’s now ready to serve.
I served this with roasted broccoli with parmesan and breadcrumbs and rice.
Did you know?
It can also be pickled…those who know me just know how happy that makes me…
Lotus roots pickled in vinegar” go with sweet wine, sake. It is the King of Japanese food. The drinker drinks several cups with it.
And if you love anything pink then just add a slice or two of beetroot to the pickling vinegar and watch it turn pink…
You should be able to find lotus root in most Chinese or Asian stores. They are sold fresh or in vacuum plastic bags and sometimes dried.
Thank you for joining me today I hope you have enjoyed learning about the lotus root or maybe you are familiar with it and cook with it already.
Until tomorrow when I will be back with Saturday Snippets …x