Lotus Root Poached in Dashi and Vinegar

I worked a catering shift once that required me to chop lotus root into 1/4″ slices, then place the slices neatly in stacks of 10. This kitchen had no mandolin, which meant that an hour and a half (and 4800 lotus root slices) later I had a few large bins worth of slices and a fair-sized pile of poorly-sliced lotus root scraps. Lotus root really hates being cut straight for some reason.

So if the taiko player who prepared this dish for the Shinnenkai New Years Potluck at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre of Montreal last weekend sliced her lotus root by hand, I will be thoroughly impressed with her knife skills.

For such a simple dish I was blown away by how buttery the marinated lotus root tasted (as opposed to how it often tastes – like crunchy nothing). Please let me know where you bought your lotus root so that when I recreate this recipe my version will be as good as yours!

Lotus root Poached in Dashi and Vinegar (from Just Hungry)
Ingredients:
About a 2 inch / 5 cm length of fresh or parboiled lotus root, thinly sliced and cut in half
1 cup dashi stock (you can use water plus 1 tsp. of dashi stock granules)
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. sugar

Combine all the ingredients except the lotus root and bring to a slow boil. Add the lotus root slices and simmer for about 5 minutes. Store in the cooking liquid.

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4 Responses

  1. Ann says:

    Thou shalt be impressed: the lotus root were cut by hand… I personally prefer knife over mandolin for this task to avoid getting caught up in their stringy sap.
    As for lotus root providers, option 1 is to hit Chinatown. The food store closest to the corner of St-Laurent Blvd and de la Gauchetière (it’s on the righthand side of the street when facing the South Shore but I can’t remember the name just now) usually have a cardboard box filled with lotus root hiding in damp kraft paper at the far end of their refrigerated vegetables & herbs counter. Option 2 is to go to Kim Phat Food Store (which is heaven BTW for anyone cooking asian). I usually go to the one located on Jarry (3733 Jarry Est) and they always have a nice load of lotus root.
    The key to choosing a good root is to pick one that is firm, without bruises and of the whitest beige hue possible. Sometimes, the exposed end of a segment turns mushy and dark. No reason to panic. You’ll just chop it off when preparing the root, the following segment of the root should be fine. A vegetable peeler works wonders to get rid of the outer skin of the root but you’ll have to use elbow grease since the root is pretty firm. Keep in mind that cut and peeled lotus root will darken when exposed to air, like raw potatoes would so put your cuttings in water with a dash of white vinegar (1-2 tbsp per large water bowl or use some lemon juice instead) as you go to prevent this.
    Have fun with lotus root!
    Ann

    • admin says:

      Wow! Thanks for all the tips! I’ll check out the food shop in Chinatown but, like you, I’m in LOVE with Kim Phat. I completely agree it’s heaven for anyone cooking Asian. I didn’t know there was a location up on Jarry. I thought it was just on Cote-des-Neiges. Neither location is very convenient for me, but when I need good quality products that’s where I go too.

      I would never have known how to choose a good one or to keep them in water with lemon juice or vinegar. Thanks again!

  2. Under says:

    Thanks for update! By the way do you have a Twitter account, so I can get info about your blog posts there?

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