There are 2 types of lotus root. One has 7 holes and the other has 9 holes. The one with the smaller, denser and contains a higher starch content. According to this cooking video, the 7-hole root is more suitable for soup and long cooking.
The 9-hole lotus root is larger, paler and has a higher water content. It is better for salad and stir-frying. The cooking video compares the two. You can clearly see the difference.
Lotus root salad
The Northern Chinese likes to make cold side dishes 凉拌菜 (liang ban cai) as starters. Here is a recipe for a side dish made with lotus root.
1 section lotus root
1 stalk spring onion, chopped
1 small piece of ginger, julienned
1 dried chilli, cut into 2 or 3 pieces
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp sugar
Slice the root thinly. I suggest using a mandoline or peeler to do this.
Blanch them for about 1 or 2 minutes to cook
Place the ginger, chilli, spring onion into a mixing bowl
Heat up 2 tbsp cooking oil, add to the mixing bowl
Add the rice vinegar, sugar, salt and mix well
Toss the blanched lotus root slices with the hot oil mixture
It is refreshing and appetizing. See the cooking video below for the techniques.
Stuffed lotus root
I did not know that lotus root can be stuffed using ground pork or fish paste, like a sandwich cookie. Imagine the crunch of the lotus root and the juicy mixture. They can be steamed or fried.
The chef in the cooking vide below slices the lotus root in a way the forms a pocket. I think this requires good knife skills and is not necessary. Just slice thinly and use 2 pieces to sandwich the pork mixture. His recipe is not precise. Just watch him for the technique.
Another cooking video features another way to "stuff" the lotus root. I thought this is quite pretty. The lotus root is thinly sliced and blanched first.
Stuffed lotus root can also be fried. A batter is used to coat them before frying.
1 section lotus root, thinly sliced
Ingredients for ground pork mixture
300g ground pork
1 stalk green onion
1 small section ginger
2 tsp light soy sauce
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp cooking wine
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tbsp corn starch solution
Ingredients for batter
120g or 1 cup cake flour (or low gluten flour)
20g or 2 tbsp corn starch
12g or 1.5 tbsp glutinous rice flour
1/2 tsp salt
1.5 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup water
See this cooking video below for the technique.
I am pleasantly surprised to find a stuffed lotus root recipe from Cooking with Dog. She is one of the most popular Youtube chefs from Japan. Her cooking video contains precise quantities of the ingredients.
Lotus root meat balls
This is a recipe that is great for kids and the elderly. The lotus root is finely chopped and mixed with ground pork, finely chopped carrot and shaped into meat balls. It is then coated with a layer of glutinous rice and steamed. Yummy! Check out the technique below.
Braised lotus root
The Hakka 客家 (ke jia), a dialect group in China, has a Chinese New Year dish called Braised Lotus root with pork and fermented red bean curd 南乳蓮藕炆排骨 (nan ru lian ou men pai gu).
I think it is quite easy except trying to find the fermented red bean curd. If you have always been curious about this bizarre condiment, this recipe is a great opportunity to try it. Choose a pork cut that is suitable for braising like pork belly or pork ribs.
300g lotus root
400g pork belly
1.5 piece fermented red bean curd
4 to 5 tbsp braised peanuts
1 tbsp cooking wine
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp tapioca flour
3 to 4 tbsp cooking oil
500ml warm water
Dash of soy sauce, black soy sauce, sugar
Check out the cooking video below for the technique.
Stir-fry lotus root
Lotus root can be stir-fried with many different ingredients. I like this one as it contains mushrooms. The ingredients are blanched quickly first to partially cook them. This reduces the time needed to stir-fry everything together.
Lotus root chips
People who have eaten lotus root chips say it taste like fancy potato chips. Perhaps it is. Prettier, I believe. It is also a healthier snack.
To make them crispy, it is important to slice them thinly. Use a mandoline for consistenly thin slices. Once sliced, they should be soaked in water with a dash of vinegar. Before frying, drain and pat dry.
Some season the chips before frying, some after. However, if you are planning to use an air-fryer, do coat the chips with oil first. The cooking video shows you how to deep-fry
Lotus root powder
Powder made from lotus root starch is considered precious. It was part of the royal tribute in ancient China 皇家贡品 (wang jia gong pin). I think it is a lot of work. What do you think?
It is, of course, not necessary to make your own if you are interested to try it. They should be available in the local Asian grocery shops.
Lotus root dessert
Do you know that the lotus root can be made into dessert? The Osmanthus lotus root stuffed with glutinous rice 桂花檽米藕 (gui hua nou mi ou) is a popular Northern Chinese dessert. It requires some skills so just watch how it is done for now.
The recipes here mentioned some ingredients that are more notable. You can get them at Amazon and Shopee
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