We have seen Lotus Root 莲藕 (Lián’ǒu) in the Chinese markets in San Francisco on many occasions. In fact, 莲藕 (Lián’ǒu) was part of a scavenger hunt challenge that Laoshi developed for a homework assignment. Laoshi recently returned from a weekend holiday himself and he brought back several 莲藕 (Lián’ǒu) for our cultural lesson.
My kids have grown to love our cooking lessons and anxiously look forward to them each month. Meili wasn't sure what to think of the 莲藕 (Lián’ǒu) ... she is always a little apprehensive when trying new things. Jiejie, on the other hand was as enthusiastic as ever. We made two versions ... one spicy and one not spicy ... but we came to discover we all preferred the spicy version best. To our delight, Laoshi presented us with a 莲藕 (Lián’ǒu) to take home with the condition that they make the recipe again for homework. They were very excited to do so, sharing their new favorite vegetable with their dad and uncle who was staying for dinner.
Here is the recipe Laoshi shared with us:
Spicy Lotus Root Recipe
1. Slice lotus root thinly;
2. Bring water to boil and put the lotus slices in until the water starts to boil again, then immediately strain it under cold water;
3. In a bowl, mix the following spices: half tsp salt, half tsp chicken powder (we used a bouillon cube that we pulverized with a mortar and pestle), 1 tsp Sichuan Powder, 1 tsp Chili powder, half tsp five spice powder, and 1 TBSP sesame seeds;
4 Heat 1 TBSP cooking oil in a wok until hot, then put all the spices in the wok and stir for 20 sec; then put all the sliced lotus root in and mix them all together;
5. Serve and Enjoy!
Prior to the cooking lesson, Laoshi spent a few minutes with the kids reviewing some of the other words they knew for fruits and vegetables. He then re-introduced the character for Lotus Root and described how it grows. We enjoyed the taste and texture so much, I know it will now be on our grocery list each time we visit an Asian market.