It’s been much too long since the last documented exploration in my kitchen. So on this gray Saturday I present another episode of in the kitchen:
To begin, meet the lotus root:
I did when in Japan. In stews, deep fried, with stuffed holes, as garnish, and baked in little snack packages at the combini. The latter, れんこんチップス (renkon chippusu – lotus root chips) makes a particularly tasty snack and is perfect with beer at the izakaya.
Wanting to eat them again, I found some instructions. After you find lotus root (note to those in Regina: I’ve seen them in the Asian grocery store by the police station), cut ends off and peel. Put in water with at least 1 tbsp of rice vinegar while not in use.
The instructions followed mentioned using a food processor or mandoline and, oh, now I really want a mandoline but did not have one today so managed with a knife. My slices were uneven but I guess it allowed me to experiment with varying thicknesses.
When slices are not being prepared, put them back into the vinegared water. The vinegared water is the naked lotus root waiting room. When ready to be dressed, they can be taken out and dried with a paper towel.
To season, place them in a bowl with a sprinkle of your favorite herbs and/or spices and a drizzle (your call on how much that is) of olive oil. Mix to coat all slices evenly. I actually used the put in closed container and shake method. Quite effective. Sorry to mislead you about the bowl.
After that, spread the slices onto a baking sheet trying to make sure they do not overlap. Eric has already called dibs on what he thinks will be the tastiest lotus root chip. Which one do you want?
Put the sheet in an oven preheated to 375 F. After 10 minutes take them out and turn the chips over with a spatula. They will stick to the pan but can be jimmied off. Put back in the oven. Maybe for another 5 minutes.
From this point the steps are up to you and your oven. You want to bake them until they are golden brown and crispy to your liking. The time and temperature can depend on your oven. After the 5 minutes I turned the temperature down and after another 5 minutes turned it down even lower to dry more than bake the chips.
Yum. A bit too salty though – note for next time.
To summarize what I’ve done today:
Actually I have not followed through with contribution #2 yet but will in a bit when I have supper. Please try lotus roots. They are most amazing.