Garlic Chili Stir Fried Lotus Root is a crunchy and delectable treat that is savory, spicy and a delight for the senses.
Why you are going to love Garlic Chili Stir Fried Lotus Root
Lotus Root as it is delectably crunchy, filling and oh so aromatic it will make your head spin. This is super easy to prepare and it only takes a handful of ingredients. In addition, it can be on your table in about 15 minutes, if you do not stop to take instagram photo shots...
What is a lotus root?
Lotus root is the long, tubular rhizome (or stem) of the plant known for its pale pink, white or yellow blooms that you see often in ponds in Asia and elsewhere. The lotus flower is up at the top of the water but it is the root that is super delicious whether it be fried, or in soups, stews or made into lotus chips. You can find lotus root in Asian markets and the prime season is in the fall but can be found all year around.
Where Can You Buy Lotus Root?
If you are living outside of Asia, you can find lotus root in the refrigerator or freezer section of Asian Food stores already peeled and in citric solution ready to cook. Super convenient and that is what we are using today. We found ours in a Korean Market near us. We have also found them in Trader Joes, and other Asian specialty stores. You can even find them dried but you really need the fresh lotus root for this recipe.
How to make this recipe gluten free
Garlic Chili Stir Fried Lotus Root is vegan and can be made gluten-free by using tamari sauce for soya sauce. In addition, you will need to look for labels if you are celiac to make sure that sesame oil is gluten-free and not cross contaminated with any wheat products. For gluten-free chili paste just simply make your own and it is super easy, in a little oil add finely minced red chili peppers and garlic and season to taste. You could even place it in a food processor or mortar and pestle, but that is really not needed for this causal recipe.
A raw unpeeled lotus root does not win any beauty awards that is for sure. After all she was growing in mud so you need to wash her extra good. Peel her, soak her and if you do not want her to oxidize, then soak her in a little vinegar or lemon water.
However, look how gorgeous she is once you peel her! Look at those perfectly symmetrical holes. Nature is so beautiful!
What does a lotus root taste like?
Lotus root is very mild in taste but it is the crispy texture that sets it apart from all other vegetables. We would say that it is most like a super crispy potato flavor and it takes on any seasonings you add to it. It is like a blank slate ready to be garnished. Garlic Chili Stir Fried Lotus Root is garlicky and spicy and so addictive.
Lotus Root and Traditional Chinese Medicine
If you like lotus root be sure to try our. Braised Orange Anise Lotus Root Orange and our Spicy Beef and Longevity Noodles. Lotus root has many Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) health benefits. You can eat lotus root raw. When eating lotus root raw it provides clearing of heat and cooling of the blood and dissipates blood stasis. Lotus Root is considered a yin/ cool vegetable. In TCM it is usually preferred to cook items and not to eat them raw as this is hard on the body. In addition, lotus root can carry cross contaminations as they were growing in the mud so it is best to wash them really good and cook them to prevent any issues.
However, when lotus root is cooked with the warming chili, garlic and ginger, it brings it to balance. Cooked lotus root provides strengthening the spleen, stimulating the appetite, strengthens blood and promotes tissue regeneration, strengthens qi and is also high in fiber. You can learn more about this concept in our Feed the Spleen: Nourish the Body article.
We like to serve Garlic Chili Stir Fried Lotus Root as a side stir fry dish along with other vegetables and proteins. Chinese New Year is right around the corner and traditionally lotus root symbolizes abundance year after year. Be sure to check out our 10 Fun and Easy Chinese New Year Recipes.
Garlic Chili Stir Fried Lotus Root
- 12 slices Lotus root or about 2 segments washed, peeled and sliced
- ½ Lemon water ½ lemon in 1 cup water to prevent oxidation if using fresh lotus root. You do not need this if using prepackaged frozen or pre-sliced in citric solution already prepared (optional- only needed if using fresh unpeeled lotus root)
- 1 tbsp Oil
- 1 inch Ginger knob peeled and grated
- 2 cloves Garlic
peeled and minced
- 1 tsp garlic chili paste
or to taste (see chef's notes for gluten-free options)
- 2 tbsp Soy sauce
or tamari sauce for gluten free
- ¼ cup Water
- 1 tsp Sesame oil (see chef notes for gluten-free options)
- ½ tsp Red pepper chili flakes
or to taste
- Salt and pepper to taste to taste
- 2 Spring onions sliced for garnish - optional
- If you are using fresh ginger root, pre-pare a bath of lemon water with ½ lemon juice (or vinegar) and 1 cup water. Set aside. Wash fresh lotus root segments well. Peel and make sure you let the water run through the holes as they do grow in mud. Slice about ⅛ inch thick. Place lotus root in lemon water bath while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- In a wok or large pan, add oil, ginger, garlic, garlic chili paste and stir until aromatic…do not let the garlic burn. Drain the lotus root and dab dry with a paper towel. Add the prepared lotus root to the aromatics in the wok. Add soy (tamari sauce) and water and place a lid on for 2 minutes and cook over medium high heat. Remove lid and allow the moisture to evaporate while stir frying the lotus root until a nice golden brown. Add the sesame oil. Sprinkle in red pepper chili flakes and season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss to coat well.
- Garnish with chopped green onion, if desired and enjoy