Lotus Root Chip Ginger Carrot SaladPrint Recipe
- 1 lotus root
- neutral oil, such as Canola
- 1 cup pre-shredded carrots
- 1 inch freshly grated ginger
- 2 tsp chopped chives
- 1/3 cup roughly chopped cilantro
- 2 tbsp coconut aminos
- zest of 1 lime
- 1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- 3 tbsp Distilled white vinegar
- Japanese sansho pepper ( if not available use a finely ground black pepper and add additional lime zest)
A few hours before you are going to cook, prep for the fried lotus chips. Cut and discard both ends of the lotus root and use a vegetable peeler to peel the brown outer layer. Using a sharp knife or a Mandoline, cut the root into 1/8" pieces, ensuring each piece is even so it will cook uniformly. Wash the cut segments of the lotus root under warm water and place them into a bowl. Cover the bowl with water and add the 3 tbsp of the white vinegar and place in the fridge until you are ready to cook. You should leave it for at least 15 minutes.
When you are ready to assemble the salad, place the carrots, ginger, and chives in a separate bowl so its ready when you need it. In addition, have a large baking sheet lined with paper towels to transfer the lotus chips as they are done frying.
Take a large non-stick pan and place in at least 1/4 of neutral flavored oil and begin to heat it for frying. Drain the lotus from the vinegar water solution and pat all the pieces down to remove excess moisture with paper towels. Once the oil has heated, begin to place the lotus root pieces into the oil to start the frying process. You will have to cook the root in batches as it likely will not all fit in your frying pan. Turn each root over once browned and when its fully cooked, transfer to the baking sheet lined with paper towels and continue cooking up the rest of the batch. (Can be done 1 day before you want the salad, or leave the roots as chips)
If proceeding to the salad stage, drain the cooking oil from the pan and add the vegetable mix from your bowl, stir on the heat for 1-2 minutes or until the ginger is fragrant. Turn the heat off and add the coconut aminos and apple cider vinegar.
Assemble the salad by placing down the lotus root chips first and topping with the carrot, ginger, and cilantro mix directly from the pan. Top with lime zest and a sprinkling of sansho pepper and serve.
Lotus root will burn quickly if you dont watch it. If shallow frying or lotus root is new to you and your a bit hesitant, take an additional step to ensure the root is fully cooked and can fry quickly to a beautiful brown hue without burning by boiling the root before patting it down for 5 minutes in a salted water solution. Dont skip the soaking in the vinegar solution either, it will help maintain not only the white of the lotus but make them extra crispy, think of it as an insurance policy.
If your anything like me then your main experience with lotus root has been as a quick take away salad from a grocery store on some random street in NYC, doused in sauce and dripping with Hijiki seaweed. Having gone to the Hong Kong Market in Chinatown to stock up on items like kimchi, seaweed, and dried shrimp, the lotus root adorning the shelves was too inciting to say no to. Lotus is a root vegetable similar to a potato, so its cooking process is similar as well. I decided to cut it up and fry the pieces much like you would if making homemade potato chips except your getting a little more nutrient in lotus. Full of fiber, B and C Vitamins, and potassium its a crisp nutrient bombshell that should be rotating through your diet if you are lucky enough to find it. It pairs best with Asian flavors, so I transformed the chips into a salad thats made with pre shredded organic carrots, lots of cilantro, lime zest and fresh ginger. If you dont feel like going the extra step for a crunchy umami filled salad, you can also let them cool down and store the chips for snacking. Eat them on their own, with a homemade tahini lemon dip or yogurt spiced with Chinese five spice seasoning and fresh lime zest.
Lotus chips below!