I went to a party a while back, and the hostess served lotus root chips. I had never heard of them, but being an adventurous eater, I was more than willing to give them a try. They were so delicious that I just knew I had to learn to make them.
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After I got home, I studied up on them, and I discovered that they are extremely good for me. The great news is that they are much more nutritious for me than most snack foods that I currently consume. To say that I am addicted to this vegetable might be an understatement, and I would love to share my knowledge with you.
What is Lotus?
Lotus is the flowering plant that you see in many Asian gardens. The part that you normally see is a pink, yellow or white flower that sits on the water’s surface. Under that, however, is the root. This long tubular rhizome is located under the water and is harvested. If you do not live in an area where you can harvest your own, then you will find it in the Asian section or the produce section of most grocery stores.
What Does Lotus Root Taste Like?
Lotus root has a flavor all its own but from your first bite, you will probably fall in love with its fibrous vegetable that tastes someone like a water chestnut. The chips have a crispy texture that is a little stringy. Yet, you will have no problem eating them. The wonderful thing about lotus root is that it takes on the flavor of whatever it is cooked with, so it is useful in many different ways. In my week of testing it, my favorite, however, is to eat it like potato chips.
Whenever possible, buy fresh root, but it also comes in a can. When shopping for this vegetable, avoid any that has black spots on them. Furthermore, put back any that have bruises on the rind. Instead, look for roots that are heavy and firm. They should be a vibrant brown color. The ones that are short and fat usually have the best flavor.
Lotus Root Calories and Nutrition
Lotus root has just 39 calories per half cup. This vegetable is packed full of carbohydrates. Remember that good carbohydrate like those found in this vegetable should be your main source of energy throughout the day.
Your brain needs carbohydrates to function properly. Carbs help to reduce the bloated feeling and help you stay happy. They also keep your heart healthier. A single half-cup serving contains more than 27 percent of the Vitamin C that you need each day making eating it a great way to boost your immune system.
In traditional Chinese medicine, it is considered a yin vegetable. Many believe that it has the ability to cool the blood. Some believe that dining on the lotus is a great way to break up blood clots. You can eat this vegetable raw, but it can be hard to chew. Therefore, it is usually served cooked.
How to Cook Lotus Root
There are several ways that lotus root can be cooked. In order to make chips, many people to fry it. The root, however, can also be baked to make root chips.
Fried Lotus Root
The great news is that lotus root easily picks up the flavors of other foods while giving them a deeper complexity that I dearly love. They can be fixed in many different ways. In fact, my husband has gotten to laughing about how we are going to eat them this week, but he never complains about how great they taste.
Garlic Chili Fried Root
I love the taste of these chips as they have just the right amount of heat for me. You can easily adjust the seasonings so that you and your family will enjoy them.
- 1/4 lemon
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 1/2 inch fresh ginger
- 1 segments lotus root
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon minced red pepper
- 2/3 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/16 teaspoon salt
- 1/16 teaspoon pepper
- Combine one cup water and the juice from the lemon.
- Put the fresh ginger in it, and set it aside to soak.
- Wash the lotus root very well. Then, peel and wash again.
- Slice the root into 12 thin pieces.
- Place the pieces in the water with the ginger.
- Combine the olive oil, minced red peppers and the garlic powder to make a paste.
- Grate the ginger
- Place the mixture and the ginger into a wok and cook until fragrant.
- Add the lotus root to the skillet.
- Add the soy sauce and remaining water.
- Cover the wok and cook for two minutes.
- Remove the cover and cook until all moisture has evaporated.
- Add the sesame oil, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
- Toss until well coated.
- Remove and let drain. Use a paper towel to blot up excess oil and enjoy.
While it is traditional to make these chips in a wok, they can also be baked in the oven resulting in a healthier chip.
- 1 large lotus roots
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Combine ¾ tablespoon olive oil and remaining ingredients in a bowl.
- Wash the lotus root and then peel it like it was a potato.
- Slice the root into pieces 1/4-inch thick.
- Put the root in the bowl with the oils and toss until well coated. You may have to use your hands as it is essential that the oil is on every part of each slice.
- Use the remaining oil to grease a baking sheet. Place the slices on the baking sheet.
- Bake them in the oven for 25 minutes.
- Remove brown ones and return rest to the oven. Check and repeat every five minutes.
- Serve and enjoy.
Cumin Lotus Chips
My husband likes to help in the kitchen. In fact, I hate to admit it, but he is a better cook than I am. He also likes things with more spice than I do, so he made these cumin lotus chips. I have to admit that they were very delicious, but I may never tell him.
- 1 lotus root
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/16 teaspoon cinnamon
- Cooking spray
- Wash and slice lotus root very thin. Then, wash again and pat dry.
- Soak lotus root in cold water for 30 minutes.
- Remove and pat dry again.
- Put oils in a bowl and add lotus root. Toss until the root is well coated.
- Add seasonings and toss to coat lotus root.
- Spray baking sheet with cooking spray.
- Lay lotus root slices on baking sheet.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Remove brown ones to serving tray. Return remainder to the oven.
- Check and remove those that are brown every five minutes.
Whether you choose to fry lotus root or make them n the oven, lotus root chips are a tasty alternative that I am sure you will fall in love with instantly. Try them at your home today.