Thursday, September 23, 2010

September 12, 2010: Caramelised lotus root

I have eaten some tasty lotus root dishes this year but I didn't consider preparing it at home until I saw a recipe on Soupurban, with a note that the root can be found frozen in many Asian supermarkets.  A month or so later I did come across it and resolved to give that recipe a go.

I made some alterations to suit my pantry and preferences and these worked fine.  My only blunder was to get hungry and cooking before the lotus root had completely thawed - this meant prodding at the root pieces with my spatula, trying to wrench the frozen chunks apart, and then having a lot of extra water to cook off.  I hope that if I show some patience next time the lotus roots might look a little more crunchy and brown like Gem's.  Actually if I do show some patience next time, there's a good chance that Michael will take charge of the wok; he was a huge fan even of this first attempt.

Caramelised lotus root
(adapted from Soupurban, where it's credited to Kylie Kwong)

2 tablespoons peanut oil
3 large cloves garlic, finely sliced
1 generous tablespoon minced ginger
454g packet frozen sliced lotus root, thawed
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons tamari
1 large red chilli, finely sliced

Let the lotus root thaw.  Let the lotus root thaw.  Only then should you heat the oil in a wok, adding the garlic and ginger.  Stir-fry them for a minute or so, add the lotus root and stir-fry for a few more minutes.  Stir through the sugar, vinegar and tamari.  When the root pieces have a nice thick caramel coating, add the chilli and stir-fry for a final minute before serving.


  1. Ahh thanks for the tip on where to get these slices; I often had lotus root soup as a kid, it's actually pretty good like that! Deep fried lotus root was also very common road-side treat, but a very greasy regret afterwards...

  2. Ooooh! I've wanted to try lotus root for years and had no idea it could be procured frozen from Asian stores! Thanks Cindy and Michael - I have a plan for the holidays now ;)

  3. And if you are lucky, you can find the fresh ones in Footscray. I love to add these in soups. :)

  4. Vee - we loved the deep-fried lotus root we tried in Japan! Wouldn't dare make it at home though. :-P

    Good luck on your lotus root quest, Hannah!

    Thanks for the tip, Penny! I will have to give fresh lotus root a try in my own kitchen. :-)

  5. Wow, I'll have to try this, as long as I can acquire the lotus root, I have all the rest :)

  6. Keep an eye out for it, Kate. It's quite a unique vegetable. :-)

  7. I've seen fresh lotus root many a time at Fruits on Coventry at South Melbourne Market. Always been tempted to buy it, but slightly daunted. I will have to give it a go now!