Thursday, October 16, 2008

Lotus Root

On the never ending quest to try new foods and expand our taste horizons, I picked up some lotus root the last time I was at the Asian Market. 

It turns out that lotus root has a place on honor in the history of Egypt, China and India.  Images of the flower are a symbol of purity, perfection, and beauty.    And, interestingly, all parts of the plant are edible and used in different culinary creations in many Asian countries. 

I decided to try this interesting root in it's simple raw form to get an idea what it was all about.   So last Saturday, I was planning an Asian chicken salad for lunch and thought I'd add some of the lotus root.   Cleaning the skin, then delicately peeling it, the root is ready to be sliced.  I sliced some thin 'discs' of the root and decided it was to pretty and unique to be thrown into the salad, and instead wanted to use it as edible "decoration." 

The texture was very firm, actually hard.  A bit chewy, but in a crunchy way.  I'm not sure I'd buy it for the flavor, because there wasn't a whole lot.  But, it does make a unique addition to the salad doesn't it?

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This was my simple Asian chicken salad.  Basically I take ground chicken, and cook it with about 1-2 tsp fresh grated ginger, a couple teaspoons rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil and a bit of brown sugar.  It tastes close to the filling for lettuce wraps at PF Chang's.

I put the mixture over a bed of mixed greens, added some broccoli slaw, and bean sprouts.  I also added my favorite non-homemade salad dressing.  Galeos Miso Ginger Wasabi. I usually NEVER buy bottled salad dressings, but seriously, this stuff is my crack!  And, know that it is low fat and made with simple natural ingredients makes it even more virtuous to top off a salad. 

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Let me know what you think of Lotus root if you've ever tried it. 

5 comments:

Cookie said...

I've had quite a bit of Lotus Root when I was growing up. (I'm Chinese) I remember having it in soup and it was very soft from stewing for a long time. I've also had it candied during the Chinese New Year. It's REALLY yummy and sweet. They usually come in a platter along with Candied Ginger and Candied Lemon Peel. (yes they actually exist)

Kelly said...

Mmmm that looks so refreshing. I've never tried lotus root, but it looks beautiful on the salad.

LucyinStLou said...

How interesting! I've never used lotus root. Based on appearance, it sort of reminds me of a carrot or parsnip. I'm curious to try cookie's ides of using it in soup.

noble pig said...

I have never tried but have always wondered about it. It sure looks cool on the plate.

joann said...

I love lotus root. I make salad out of it by blanching it and then tossing it with soy, rice vinegar, cilantro, sesame oil and grated carrots. YUMMMY