There are 2 types of lotus root. One has 7 holes and the other has 9 holes. The one with the 7-hole is 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.
This cooking video compares the two. You can clearly see the difference.
Here are a couple of lotus root soup recipes for your consideration.
Lotus Root Pork Soup
This recipe contains only a handful of red dates and pork ribs to help sweeten the soup.
600g lotus root
300g pork ribs
5 red dates 红枣 (hong zao)
1.5 litre water
Salt to taste
Wash and clean the lotus root of any mud and dirt. Peel it or scrub thoroughly
Slice the root cross-wise about 1 inch thick so that they look like wheels
Add a tbsp of rice vinegar into a basin of water and soak the roots
Parboil the pork ribs for about 2 minutes
Rinse to remove any blood and grit and trim off excess fat
Bring the 1.5 litre water to a boil in a soup pot. If using a slow cooker or instant pot, use boiling water
Add the pork ribs, lotus roots and red dates
Bring the water back to a boil then lower the heat to simmer for about 1.5 hours or until the pork ribs are soft. For the slow cooker, put on high and cook for 2 to 3 hours. Adjust the amount of water for the slow cooker. It should be enough to cover all the ingredients but not more than 80% full
Add salt to taste
The chef in cooking video below uses a deep claypot to simmer the pork bones and lotus root.
This lotus root pork soup is traditionally cooked with pork ribs, but if you do not eat pork, you may substitute with chicken.
To this basic soup recipe, you can add the next 2 ingredients commonly found in lotus root soup of Southern Chinese influence: dried cuttlefish and peanuts.
The cooking video below uses broiled dried cuttlefish. The colour of the soup is a little darker and sweeter. The full recipe is available at malaysianchinesekitchen.com
You will notice that the lotus root is sliced differently in the 2 cooking videos. Folks in Southeast Asia prefers the cross-section cut because it is prettier.
Lotus Root Peanut Soup
This recipe uses ready-made stock to replace the need to use pork ribs. It shortens the cooking time and simplify the process too. Besides red dates, goji berries works as well.
300g lotus root, washed and peeled
1 small (about 75g) dried cuttlefish, rinse and clean (optional)
6 cups chicken or pork or bone stock
100g raw peanuts, skins removed
8-10 Chinese dried red dates, piths removed
Salt to taste
Slice the lotus root into thick slices
Slice or trim the dried squid into smaller pieces
Bring the stock to a boil in a soup pot
Add all the ingredients
Lower the heat to a simmer and simmer for about 1 hour or until the lotus root is done. If you want softer lotus root, lengthen the cooking time.
Lotus Root Chicken Soup
This recipe uses chicken feet, peanuts and a pressure cooker. If you do not like or cannot find chicken feet, do substitute with chicken thighs.
1 section of lotus root
300g raw peanuts
1kg chicken feet
2 pieces of dried cuttlefish
2 chicken stock cubes
Sufficient water to cover all the ingredients
Watch the cooking video for the technique.
Vegetarian Lotus Root Soup
This vegetarian recipe features several Chinese herbs.
450g lotus root
75g fresh lotus seeds 莲子 (lian zi)
40g dried lily bulbs 百合干 (ban he gan)
38g euryale seeds 芡实 (qian shi)
Pinch of salt
1.5 litre of vegetable soup stock
Wash and slice the lotus root
Wash the lotus seeds, lily bulbs and euryale seeds
If you are uncomfortable using or cannot find Chinese herbs, check out this cooking video. It features a vegan lotus root soup cooked using an instant pot.
Japanese Lotus Root Soup
Another vegetarian recipe but with a Japanese twist. The combination of red miso, leek, lotus root slices, shiitake mushrooms, and silken tofu made it a great winter soup. Imagine digging into this big pot of steamy goodness with the winter winds howling outside.
Not all lotus root soups have to take long. If the root is thinly sliced, it can cook quite quickly.
4 cups kombu broth
1 large leek thinly sliced
1 carrot, thinly sliced
5 dried shiitake mushrooms
16 thin slices lotus root
1/4 pound tofu
2-3 tbsp red miso
2 green onions, thinly sliced
Bring the kombu broth to a boil in a pot
Soak the dried shiitake mushrooms in warm water for 30 minutes
Drain, remove the stems and slice thinly
Slice the leek and carrot into thin slices
Add the leek, carrot, mushrooms and lotus root slices to the broth and simmer for about 3 minutes
Cut the tofu into small bite-sized cubes
Add the tofu to the simmering broth
Dissolve the miso paste using a few spoonful of the broth
Add the miso liquid to the broth
Remove from heat and serve with the green onions as garnish
Sweet Lotus Root Red Bean Soup
I saw this lotus root soup recipe in a magazine. It is appropriate for pregnant ladies. It contains red beans and honey dates. The recipe serves 6.
1 section lotus root
200g red beans
4 honey dates
2 litres chicken stock
Salt and pepper
Wash and soak the red beans overnight. Drain before use
Clean lotus root and rinse well. Slice and soak in water with a splash of vinegar to prevent browning
Bring the chicken stock to a boil in a soup pot. Add the red beans and cook at high heat for 15 minutes
Lower the heat and simmer for 1 hour
Add lotus root and honey dates. Continue to simmer until the lotus root is done
Add salt and pepper to taste
Lotus Root Congee
Another soupy way of using lotus root is in rice porridge or congee.
Congee is made up of rice. It resembles a thin rice soup and is a good base for a lot of ingredients and lotus root is one of these ingredients. I've got 2 simple recipes here that I hope you will try.
Vegetarian Lotus Root Porridge with Goji
Goji berries are sweet and the lotus root is crunchy. A nice contrast.
It is also a very nice gentle nourishing dish for the elderly. Make sure the lotus root is cooked till it is very soft so that it is not too hard on the teeth and gums.
200g lotus root
1 cup of rice
8 cups of water
1 tbsp goji berries
1/2 tsp salt
Wash and soak the goji berries till soft
Wash and peel the lotus root
Cut the lotus root into thin slices (cross-section)
Wash and soak the rice for 30 minutes
Place the rice in a pot and add the water
Bring to a boil and lower heat to a simmer
When the porridge is done, add the lotus root and cook till soft
Add the goji berries and salt
Lotus Root Congee with Pork
225g fresh lotus root
150g lean pork
10 goji berries
12 cups of water
1 cup of rice
Pinch of corn starch
Pinch of salt
Dash of vinegar
Wash and peel the lotus root. Slice cross section and soak in cold water with a little vinegar
Clean the pork, slice thinly and coat sparingly with corn starch
Flatten the pork slices with a rolling pin (see cooking video below for how to do this)
Bring the water to a boil and add the rice
Lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes
Add the lotus root and cook for 30 minutes
Add the pork, goji berries and salt
Cook for a further 10 minutes
The recipes here feature a couple of Chinese herbs. You can find them near you on Amazon and Shopee.
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