Stir-fried lotus root

30 Jul

My newest culinary crush is lotus root.  Late to discovering the delectable taste and consistency of this crunchy, starchy, watery vegetable, I have gone lotus-root crazy recently.  I put it in a channa masala curry dish last week, and this week I adapted this recipe from the web to make a savory stir-fry I couldn’t stop picking at as I cooked some other dishes on my menu for the evening.  Here’s a picture of the lotus flower I took in Dali, Yunnan Province:

Lotus root is actually the stem of the lotus plant, and it stays in the water.  Large, strong plants, lotus are very important in the Chinese diet.  Even the petals are a common part of dishes, pickled, steamed, or stir-fried.  You can probably find them in your city if you’ve got an Asian market or grocery store.

Here’s a picture of lotus root in a wet market in Yangshuo, in Guangxi Province (Hint: it’s the flesh-colored vegetable between the carrots and the eggplants).

Ingredients:
3-4 cups lotus root, peeled and chopped in thick semi-circle pieces
1 T. sesame seeds
2 large green spicy pepper (mild spice)
1.5 T. soy sauce
1 t. sesame oil
2 T. chopped garlic
2 T. chopped ginger
1 T. butter
2 T. extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:
Heat the butter and oil and saute the garlic and ginger until very fragrant.  Add the lotus root and begin to saute on medium-high heat for about 5 minutes.  Add peppers and continue to saute until peppers just begin to sweat.  Add soy sauce, sesame oil and sesame seeds.  Continue to stir and cook for another 1-2 minutes, then remove from heat.

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