Preparing lotus root from a frozen state limits cooking options. Freezing creates ice crystals within the root that turn to vapor when fried. The melting crystals steam the lotus root without caramelizing it, preventing the browning effect and the rich flavor that accompanies it. Market-form lotus root is peeled and sliced prior to freezing, which facilitates cooking without defrosting. You can, however, thaw lotus root -- which takes about five minutes -- to produce ideal results when frying.
- 4 cups dashi or stock of choice, such as chicken
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Mixing bowl
- Aromatic ingredients to taste
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Sheet pan
Mix 4 cups dashi or other stock and 1 teaspoon kosher salt in a bowl. Add aromatic ingredients to the poaching liquid at this time. Aromatics that pair well with lotus root include whole black peppercorns, ginger, fennel and cardamom.
Pour the poaching liquid in a saucepan and place over medium-high heat until the liquid simmers. Place the frozen lotus root chips in the saucepan.
Poach the lotus root until cooked through, approximately 25 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the lotus root chips in a mixing bowl.
Coat the lotus root with a thin layer of olive oil and season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Toss to coat and place the pieces on a sheet pan in an even layer. Place the pan in the oven.
Roast the lotus root until cooked through, approximately 15 minutes.
A.J. Andrews' work has appeared in Food and Wine, Fricote and "BBC Good Food." He lives in Europe where he bakes with wild yeast, milks goats for cheese and prepares for the Court of Master Sommeliers level II exam. Andrews received formal training at Le Cordon Bleu.