Lotus root “莲藕” is a very popular ingredient in Chinese cuisine, all cross the country. It is the rhizome of the lotus plant, a magic vegetable with beautiful appearances. The lotus plant is grown in mud but it give use very treasure lotus root, lotus seeds and beautiful lotus flower. Lotus root has win the popular as a vegetable on the table. Louts seeds, wither eat freshly or dried to make dried louts seeds, which can be further used to make lotus root paste. It may have several small tubes adjacent to each other. For the convenience of transportation, the small tubes are broken to form two or three tubes together.
Traditionally, lake lotus root is harvested by hand. So the prices of lotus root is more expensive than other vegetables in China. Even so, it is one of the most popular ingredients in daily Chinese cooking.
They are two different varieties, one is with 7 holes (7孔莲藕) on the cross section and the other one has 9 holes. 7 hole lotus root is best for soups or lotus root powder because it is softer. 9 lotus root (9孔莲藕) is best for stir-fries, and salad. But the two types can be interchangeable for common home cooking .
How to buy
- Watching the joining node. Shorter joining node indicates the lotus root is easy to eat.
- Watching the appearance, short and fat lotus root with smooth surface.
- Lotus root with soil can kept for a longer time.
- Natural lotus root, I mean without special blanching process has a light brownish color.
How to avoid getter darker in cooking process
Soak lotus root slices with rice vinegar can avoid oxidation and getting darker. Which is the same with eggplants.
How to keep lotus root
Lotus root with soil can be kept for 1 week. If they are washed, keep them in fridge up up to 3-5 days. You may find the peeled lotus root package in vacuum package.
How to use lotus root in daily cooking
- Lotus root can be sliced or chopped for stir-frying recipes or salad. When cooked with a short time, lotus root is crunchy with a faint sweet flavor.
- Lotus root can be also stewed or cooked in sups. Vie long time cooking, lotus root can be quite soft and waxy.
- As a side ingredient, lotus root can be added in dumpling fillings or wonton fillings to add some crunchiest texture.