Before I started cooking with lotus root, it intimidated me. I assumed it would be a huge pain to prep, and that it would take forever to cook. Not so! It’s about as difficult to prep as a potato, but if you want to ease your way into working with lotus root, many Asian supermarkets sell vacuum sealed bags of pre-cut lotus root in water. And it doesn’t taste much different than fresh lotus root. Maybe a little less crunchy.
I make this dish to go along with stir fried vegetables and awesome tofu. It tastes even better the next day.
Spicy Lotus Root
2-3 lotus roots
1 tablespoon chili oil (substitute light sesame oil if you don’t like spicy food)
1/2 tablespoon minced ginger (if you like garlic, add the same amount of that)
1-2 tablespoons soy sauce
If you are using fresh roots, give them a quick wash. Lotus root grows in the mud, so there is often a bit of dirt residue. Cut off the tough joint between the bulbs, then use a vegetable peeler to peel the bulbs. Slice the bulbs into 1/8″ sections. Lotus root oxidizes like apples, so if you aren’t going to cook them immediately, place them in a bowl with a little vinegar or lemon juice.
Heat a wok or sauté pan on high and add the oil and ginger. When the ginger starts to brown, add the lotus root slices and soy sauce. Stir to coat. Cover and cook for about 10-15 minutes or until the slices are as tender as you like, stirring every 5 minutes. I like my lotus root a bit crispy, but they are also good well cooked.