Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Lotus Root (Renkon) Stir-Fry, 清炒莲藕

A widely seen Chinese home-cooked dish utilizing lotus root must be this classic Chinese soup of lotus root with pork/spare ribs. Since I seldom cook pork at home, it also explains why it took me longer than usual to cook lotus root.

As I have said, I was overwhelmed by the sudden urge to buy all the vegetables I could set eyes on after returning from my recent vacation. So I bought some lotus root from the Asian grocery store (a case of not knowing what to do with it - just buy first) and now....need to find more ways with lotus root. How do you usually cook Lotus Root?

To make a refreshing light and flavorsome dish that is vegetarian: a combination of thin slices of celery, carrots and kabocha squash/pumpkin, stir-fried with shallots and garlic, finished off with a little sea salt and white pepper; garnished with finely chopped cilantro and fried shallots.

Lotus Root, Celery and Squash Stir-Fry - 清炒莲藕
Ingredients: 1 small lotus root, peeled and thinly sliced; 2 stalks celery hearts, thinly sliced at bias; 1/2 carrot, thinly sliced; some pumpkin or kabocha squash thinly sliced; 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced; 1 shallot, thinly sliced; 1 cm knob ginger, bruised; sea salt and white pepper to taste; cilantro leaves

Directions: Deep fry half the shallots - dish out and set aside. With remaining oil in the pan, fry the ginger, and remaining shallots, then add carrots, celery and garlic. Fry the mixture for about 3 minutes till carrots and celery are slightly tender. Add the slices of squash and continue to fry for about 2-3 minutes, add the lotus root, and fry briskly. Add some water/stock, allow the mixture to simmer low heat till squash softens. When the water reduces, salt and pepper to taste, then add cilantro leaves, mix well in the pan, turn off heat and serve.

Lotus root (莲藕 in Chinese; known as renkon in Japan) is the rhizome of the lotus plant. It is usually used as a vegetable in soups, braised dishes and stir-fries. Relatively high in medicinal value, lotus root helps to detox the body by cleansing of the blood; and being mucilaginous, combines with cholesterol and triglycerides in food which is then excreted out from the body, reducing the absorption of lipids into the body. Lotus root also contains tannic acid and can be used to stop bleeding. Lotus root is rich in dietary fiber, vitamins, potassium, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, phosphorus, copper, and

I am sharing Lotus Root with Weekend Herb Blogging hosted at Almond Corner.

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