I was so impressed with myself after making fried lotus root chips. To me, these are the be-all, end-all of exotic vegetables. How disappointing (and slightly embarrassing) to read later in the raw epicurean that lotus root can be a potato-substitute and on serious eats all the myriad ways one might prepare them. Well, in my defense I grew up in the suburbs in Virginia. In the Eighties, this was not lotus-root country. But armed with my new knowledge, it only makes me want to experiment more with this delightful rhizome.
Serious eats has an incredibly thorough description of the lotus root, including how it grows, its meaning in Asian cultures and various preparations. I knew about lotus roots and lotus flowers all this time but somehow never put two-and-two together. They’re from the same plant. I suppose that I’d always imagined all those images of the Buddah meditating on a lotus flower as part of a mystical theology that had no clear relationship to my dinner plate. Turns out that the flower, the younger leaves and the lotus root are all edible. Hmm.
I got my lotus root pre-peeled from Nijiya Market, which saved a little time.
fried lotus root chips
2 lotus roots, peeled and sliced thin
Vegetable oil to fry
Splash of olive oil
Kosher salt to taste
Pinch of cayenne pepper
All I did was slice it thinly, fry it in some vegetable oil mixed with a splash of olive oil, let it drain for a bit on paper towels and sprinkled the chips with salt and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Yum!
Next time, I’m going to try something a bit more ambitions.