pickled lotus root

Recently being in the odd position of having two leftover nodules of lotus root lurking in my fridge (H-Mart sells them in large packs, as it turns out), I looked through all my books for something to do with them besides just tossing them into a stirfry.  A recipe in China Moon
for pickled lotus root jumped out at me, as China Moon recipes tend to do.

Lotus root is a wonderful vegetable – like water chestnut, it stays crunchy no matter how much you cook it, and it has a very mild flavor that works with all sorts of things. Plus it’s really cool looking. I don’t get to cook with it very often, so I definitely didn’t want to let any of this batch go to waste. Pickling seemed like the perfect solution.

It was a huge success. Jon shaved the lotus into thin wheels on a mandoline, and I blanched them and doused them in a pickling liquid flavored with lemon peel, chile flakes and fresh ginger. After two days in the fridge we pulled the pickles out and ate them with red-cooked pork and tofu. They were intensely lemony, with a bit of heat from the chile, and it was easy to just keep eating them. Now I have a reason to buy extra lotus root whenever we’re visiting the Asian grocery.

Pickled Lotus Root

from China Moon
by Barbara Tropp

I only had about 2/3 pound of lotus root so I more-or-less halved the recipe, which wasn’t a problem at all. This is the recipe as written, but it’s very forgiving.

  • 1 pound lotus root, peeled and sliced about 1/8″ thick (put the slices in a bowl of water with a little vinegar to keep them from discoloring)
  • 3 cups vinegar (the recipe calls for rice vinegar but I ran out and had to substitute mostly white vinegar, which worked fine)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp lemon peel, julienned
  • 1 Tbsp ginger root, julienned
  • 1/2 tsp chile flakes
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • a few grinds of black pepper

Blanch the lotus root slices in boiling water for 8-10 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water, set aside.

Combine all the other ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a simmer for one minute, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Cover and let stand for five minutes.

Put the lotus root in a clean jar or bowl and pour the hot liquid over. Let stand until cool. Refrigerate for a couple of days before eating.

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