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Braised Orange Anise Lotus Root

Delicately sweet braised orange anise lotus root is cooked until crisp aldente and topped with an orange anise honey reduction. Braised Orange Anise Lotus Root /

There is a hustle and bustle in the air as the world prepares for Chinese New Year (CNY). Plans are made to host family and friends with many foods that are considered to have good luck and fortune in the new year.

Braised Orange Anise Lotus Root /

Round foods are especially auspicious as they symbolize fullness and wealth. The Chinese word for orange is chéng (橙) which sounds like the same as the Chinese word for success (成). I have used both oranges and lotus roots with are round and the inside of the lotus root is filled with round circles so I am hoping for double happiness for all of you. If you are looking for some other recipes for this holiday, take a look at out our 10 fun and Easy Chinese New Year Recipes.

Braised Orange Anise Lotus Root /

Braised orange anise lotus seed is a perfectly balanced dessert with cooling lotus roots, warming star anise and neutral honey. You are going to just love how crisp the lotus root is and refreshing the oranges are in this very delicately sweet dessert or treat. In addition, the part I love the most is the little tongue numbing sensation from the star anise.

Braised Orange Anise Lotus Root /

Braised orange anise lotus roots is such a healthy dish that you could really even eat this as part of your breakfast or as a healthy snack. I personally love eating braised orange anise lotus roots at room temperature or cold. Actually, I have been eating them straight out of the refrigerator tupperware for the last couple of days ...but shh that is our little secret.

Braised Orange Anise Lotus Root /

Braised orange anise lotus roots is gluten-free, fat-free, vegan, dairy-free and the perfect little healthy sweet bite for your next gathering. These little treats are perfect with a hot pot of tea and a few friends and family.

Lotus root is an edible rhizome (root) of lotus plant and can be categorized as a root vegetable. Have you ever seen these in a pond the flowers that float on top?  This most likely is lotus flower but the root that grows below is the part known as the lotus root.  Most commonly harvested and used in Asia but you still find lotus roots in your Asian grocery stores around the world. Sometimes you can find them in the vegetable section whole and sometimes you can find them in packages peeled sliced and preserved and packaged. Sometimes, you can even find lotus roots canned. Whether you find lotus roots freshly picked, fresh packaged in preserving liquid or canned, all of these will work fine in this recipe.

Braised Orange Anise Lotus Root /

Lotus roots and oranges are cooling in Chinese medicine and they also are full of B and C vitamins, iron and fiber.  Anise is a warming spice. Honey is neutral in Chinese Medicine so the combination of all of these together makes it very balanced.

Just like artichokes or avocado, once you peel and cut your lotus root you need to sprinkle and rub with lemon to prevent discoloration and oxidations. (If you forget, no worries there is nothing wrong but it may turn a little gray in color. )

Braised Orange Anise Lotus Root /

A very important step is to first boil your lotus roots for just about 3 minutes just to release any of the toxins out.  I throw in my lemon halves in the boiling water and my lotus roots stay beautifully white. They are not toxic, really, but lotus roots need to be cleaned thoroughly as they can sometime harbor little parasites. I don't want to freak you out about this but it is important to clean them well and for all intents and purposes that is what the boiling does. I then drain, rinse and then start the cooking process.

Braised Orange Anise Lotus Root /

I used fresh squeezed oranges to make the braised orange anise lotus root but you could certainly use canned/boxed orange juice. If you cannot find whole star anise seeds then you can exchange with 1 teaspoon of 5 spiced powder. I used guihau (Osmanthus flowers) to garnish but that is not required. You could garnish with a little orange zest and a little of the orange anise honey sauce reduction.

Braised Orange Anise Lotus Root /

It is important to cook low and slow. It is reversed braising method without a drop of oil or fat.  After the initial 3 minutes boil, rinse and drain you are going to simmer your lotus root, anise for about 30 minutes and then add your honey and allow to reduce until the orange juice has reduced by 75 percent and your left with just a thicker orange anise honey reduction.

Braised Orange Anise Lotus Root /

Do not leave your wok unattended during the last 15 minutes after you add the honey, unless you need a good work out cleaning your pans...!!!! Trust me on this piece on information. Testing recipes always gives me the opportunity to push the limits...!

I only like my desserts very delicately sweet. You may want to drizzle more honey on your braised orange anise lotus roots to thicken the sauce and satisfy your sweet tooth.

Braised Orange Anise Lotus Root /

Bam's Kitchen will have many more Chinese New Year treats and small bites coming your way. Stay Tuned...

Braised Orange Anise Lotus Root /



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Healthy World Cuisine (HWC) Magazine is committed to provide a lifestyle traveling culinary experience featuring fresh ingredients, easy recipe preparation and culinary enjoyment. READ MORE...

Braised Orange Anise Lotus Root

By HWC Magazine  , , , , , , , , ,   

January 15, 2016

Delicately sweet braised orange anise lotus root is cooked and topped with an orange anise honey reduction. 

  • Cook: 50 mins
  • Yields: 8 Adults or 1 Hungry Teenager


lemon - juice of one lemon

lotus root - 2 sections peeled, washed and sliced into 1/4 inch pieces (can use canned or preserved lotus in plastic)

water - enough to cover the lotus root in wok or pan

orange juice - 1.5 cups freshly squeezed (or can use canned/boxed OJ)

star anise - 4-5 whole (or 1 teaspoon ground 5 spice powder)

honey - 3 tablespoons ( add more if you like it sweeter or if your oranges are not sweet enough for you)


1Wash, peel and slice your lotus root. Make sure you immediately sprinkle and rub the lemon juice on top to prevent oxidation. I used a peeler. Make sure you don't take to much off as just beneath are the little round holes that look pretty to display.

2Place your lotus roots, lemon peel and just enough water to cover the lotus roots and boil for about 3 minutes. Drain lotus roots and rinse with cold water. Set aside the lemon rinds as you will no longer need these.

3Place the lotus toot back into the wok/pan and add 1.5 cups of orange juice and star anise to the wok. Simmer for 30 minutes stirring the lotus roots occasionally.  Add honey and simmer and stir just until about 75 percent of the orange anise honey sauce is reduced about 15 minutes. Taste the sauce and add more honey if you like it sweeter. Set aside.

4Place your braised orange anise lotus roots on plates and spoon over the orange anise honey reduction and garnish with guihau (Osmanthus flowers). Enjoy!


  • Good reflections in some of your photos! Love those kind of shots. Good recipe, too. I’ve had lotus root, of course, but have never used it myself. Need to try this! Thanks so much.

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thanks John! It was so fun getting a photo shoot of these odd but beautiful lotus roots. Interesting the way that beige skin of the lotus root reflects down on a wet slate. Wishing you a super weekend!

  • This is wonderful, Bobbi! And perfect for CNY! I just love your little tip on throwing a lemon into the boiling water to keep the lotus root nice and bright white! Btw… love your chopstick rest 🙂

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thank you Kathleen. I knew one of my blogging buddies might notice my chop stick rests… LOL.. I actually found these in one of those little stationary stores and do not know if they are actually chop stick rest but I am using them that way.

  • It sounds wonderful, Bobbi. I have never had this and the likelihood of finding it where I am now is not high, but if I ever get the chance,I will go for it.I never would have known what to do with it!

    • Bams Kitchen

      I know that it is more difficult to find the lotus root in the Western world but I am glad I could introduce you to this new root vegetable. Wishing you a super weekend!

  • I’ve tried lotus root a couple of times, but always in savory dishes. You use of it in a light sweet treat is especially tantalizing, Bobbi! Love the orange and anise combo too!

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thank you Shashi. Lotus root are this funny looking root vegetable but has so much potential. Added to soups and stews it gives a delightful crunch. Deep fried is delicious but not so healthy, so wanted a healthy dish you could eat without guilt.

  • Double happiness for all! My kind of recipe. 🙂 Not sure I have tried lotus root before, if I have, it hasn’t been served in a way I would recognise it, so I look forward to giving this recipe a go. Anise and orange remind me of being an apprentice chef, one of the big guys loved that combination so used it often. Hope you have an amazing weekend lovely lady. xo

    • Bams Kitchen

      Double happiness for you too! Orange and anise go lovely together. I was actually half thinking about adding a little
      Sichuan pepper to the dish to intensify the flavors but did not know how that would go over with the group…I hope one day you get to try lotus root as I know you would just love its crunchy texture.

  • I’m familiar with these in soups but this is so intriguing with the orange and anise. I really like the texture of lotus root and I’m sure I’d love your version. I don’t have it often enough…thanks for the spotlight.

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thank you Monica. I had only ever eaten lotus roots in savory dishes like soups and stews. As you know, the lotus root has a very mild flavor and takes on the taste of the dish so that is why I decided to try a new twist with a dessert. I just love lotus roots crunchy texture, don’t you.

  • Eha

    Simple but oh so fascinating a recipe! Have not got an Asian greengrocer within some 50-60 kms so not much hope of accessing a beautiful fresh lotus root like yours . . . . have used tinned in stirfries etc of course but . . . don’t believe it could be anywhere as good but shall most certainly try: thanks!! Honey and star anise would give the flavour . . . and the orange juice at least would be fresh 🙂 !

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thank you Eha! I am glad you can enjoy the recipe concept, even if it is difficult to obtain lotus roots in your neck of the woods. Before I began testing lotus root recipes in Bam’s Kitchen, I had only eaten lotus roots in soups and stews, except for one exception. Have you ever had lotus root stuffed and steamed with sweetened glutinous rice inside and then they are deep fried? These are nice but not so healthy, so I was after a simple and sweet recipe with a healthy twist and thus Braised Orange Anise Lotus Root was created. Wishing you a super weekend!

  • This sounds like such a great, healthy dessert! Love the simplicity of it!

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thanks Nancy. Every once in awhile we need some desserts so healthy you could eat it for breakfast…Take care

  • What an interesting dish!

  • One of my favorite things about your blog is hearing about Chinese and Hong Kong foodie culture. Happy Chinese New year! This looks absolutely lovely 🙂

    • Bams Kitchen

      I am delighted you are enjoying learning about Hong Kong Foodie culture. Hong Kongers love their food and are huge foodies. CNY is going to be a huge celebration here with loads of New Year Rice Cakes and treats, fireworks, cleaning and visiting the temples. Lots of activities and I hope I can share this with you.

  • I too enjoy learning about Hong Kong foodie culture. I really know very little about the cuisine, so these posts are particularly interesting. I have never tasted lotus root, and now I am really quite curious. It is so pretty! Thanks for the enlightenment! Best wishes to you for a wonderful new year!

    • Bams Kitchen

      Hello Adri, it is so nice to hear from you. How is that construction project coming along? I am so glad I could show you something a little different, that is not common in Western cooking. I think the lotus roots are quite odd looking in the market but once you peel and slice them they are so ornamental and perfect for a Chinese New Year celebration. I am on my way over for a visit… Take Care

  • Very cool recipe. I am familiar with lotus root, even bought some a couple of times, but was not sure what recipe to use it with. will try this for sure. So neat to read about the round significance of food too.

  • Interesting, I never cooked lotus roots like this as we only use them in stews, I learned something new today

  • This is something completely new to me! I have never seen or tasted anything like it> Oh I would love to try it! Pinned!

  • So unique! I love the meaning behind this beautiful veggie and the orange and star anise sounds delicious together!

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thank you Sandra, I don’t think there is anything similar as most generally lotus root is eaten as a savory dish but it is much like tofu as it takes on the flavors of whatever ingredients are in the dish.

  • I’ve never eaten lotus roots like this! We only use them in soups or tempura them. This looks like a new and delicious twist! Unfortunately lotus roots aren’t available here so I’ll have to wait until I go back to Singapore to make them!

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thanks so much Jasline! I bet you have not eaten lotus root this way and that is why I wanted to give this recipe a try in my Test Kitchen. I love the crispy texture with the bright and clean flavor. Are you coming home for Chinese New Year?

      • No I’m not going home this Chinese New Year, that’s why I’ve been baking a lot of New Year goodies in my own Test Kitchen too! 😉

        • Bams Kitchen

          Thats okay Jasline, we can have a virtual CNY party together.

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