Last week I found lotus root in the local Asian grocery store. Chinese New Year is approaching, lotus root is a popular vegetable during this time as it keeps well for quite a long time. I remembered my mom would buy this and chinese leaves to keep at home as during New Year, in the past, people will not go to market for the first 2 days and therefore you will have enough vegetable at home. Lotus root is called “年耦” We have a saying 年藕年藕, 年年都有. Of which the pronunciation of lotus root sounds like you will have it every year, and we meant food and wealth keep coming every year, and therefore you won’t have shortage of food, money, etc. My parents kept reminding me that in their old days, they don’t have as well food supply as we do nowadays, and remind us not to waste food.
Last year I have made panfried lotus root with minced pork and shrimp and a red bean curd dipping sauce. Another common dish to make is Lotus root and pork belly stew with Red bean curd. I have made this last week. The lotus root I bought comes in 4 sections, so I can probably prepare 3-4 different dishes. I wrap each section with kitchen paper and then place them in a ziplock bag, so far they keep well.
Today I made a lotus root green salad, this was inspired by the one I had at Yardbird, Hong Kong recently. The sweetness of the lotus root and the nice patterns of the thinly sliced lotus roots just made me and Annette smile when the salad bowl was brought to the table.
I didn’t have a slicer at home, but I managed with my knife : ) I don’t normally like deep frying but I surrendered for once and you are not using that much, the idea is like using the lotus roots instead of croutons. I actually tried to bake the lotus root slices in the oven at low temperature but they were not as crispy as I hoped. The lotus root shrinked a lot after frying.
Below a little dialogue between Marc and me:
Marc: Mommy, what are you doing?
Me: I am busy in the kitchen.
Marc: Can I help? Marc wants to help.
Me (frying the lotus root): It’s dangerous here, don’t come here!
Ouch, he touched the camera lens with his finger, of course it made me crossed and shouted at him.
Me: Don’t do that, Marc!!! You cannot touch this ! No, no, no! Mommy is working.
Dirty looks from mommy.
Marc: I am sorry! … I am sorry! I already said sorry! And came to give me a hug!
Mommy was melted and laughed again!
My Tribest personal travel blender, perfect for making salad dressings, other than green smoothies, lovin’ it!
They shrinked a lot after frying and like crisps!
Food memory and inspiration in Nov 2013, @Yardbird, Hong Kong
- Carefully thinly sliced lotus root, soak in bowl of water with lemon juice or vinegar to avoid them getting dark.
- little gem lettuce, cut into small pieces, washed and drained
- lamb lettuce, washed and drained
- 1 small pack enoki mushroom, cut out the root parts, washed and drained
Sesame salad dressing:
- 4 tbsp rice vinegar
- 4 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp sugar
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 4 tbsp toasted black and white sesame seeds
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1/4 cup onion
- 1 tbsp mayonnaise
You can use this dressing for Shabu Shabu (Japanese Hotpot) too, for dipping beef and silken tofu !
- Simply put all the ingredients of the dressing into a blender and whiz. You can make the salad dressing in advance and keep in the fridge for later use. I like the sauce so much actually I made double the quantity as described.
- Heat up some cooking oil in a pan and fry the lotus root slices until golden brown and crispy. Place them on a plate, lying with kitchen paper to absorb excess oil. Let them cool down and set aside.
- Cut the enoki mushrooms into halves, put into a bowl and pour boiling water over it for 15 seconds, and discard the water using a colander, let it cool down for a while.
- To assemble, place the salad leaves and enoki mushrooms in a big bowl, toss in some dressing.
- Place the lotus roots on top, serve straight away.
I later found out that better to keep the root parts of the lamb lettuce.
The sesame dressing is also a perfect dip for Japanese shabu shabu (hotpot).
Recipe Type : Salad, Salad Dressings
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