Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Lotus Root in Oyster Sauce

Crunchy, delicate flavored lotus root is an under-water edible rhizome of lotus plant. Since centuries, the lotus rhizome has held high esteem in oriental regions, especially in Chinese and Japanese cultures. Almost all the parts of the plant: root, young flower stalks, and seeds are being used in the cuisine.
The edible part of the Lotus root is sometimes called as "Lotus Stem" and known as Kamal kakri, Kamal kakdi, Bhein or Bheen in India.
The rhizomes grow underwater in mud. They are actually modified tubers storing energy in the form of starch. The rhizome develops into sausage-like three to five jointed nodes of about 2-4 feet length. Each rhizome segment features smooth, grey-white color and measure about 10-20 cm in length, 6-10 cm in diameter. Internally, the root has white, crunchy flesh with mild sweet, water chestnut like flavor. The cut sections reveal visually appealing display of symmetrically arranged air canals (holes) traversing along the length of the root.
Lotus rhizome is a very good source dietary fibers.
Lotus root is one of the excellent sources of vitamin C.
Further, the root provides healthy amounts of some important minerals like copper, iron, zinc, magnesium, and manganese.
The crunchy, sweet yet delicate flavor of root lotus is because of its optimum electrolyte balance.

Although Lotus root is widely used in Chinese/Japanese cuisine, there are lot of Indian delicacies too made with this root.
Today however, I made a Chinese dish with my own instincts and the ingredients which I had in my kitchen, 
and called it "Lotus Root in Oyster sauce".
We all loved it, and I'm sure you will love it too!!

Serves 3
Lotus root - cut into slices - 1 cup

Corn flour - 2 tbsp
Ginger - 1 inch - finely chopped
Garlic - 2 cloves - finely chopped
Chilly bean paste or Sichuan red chilly paste - 3 tbsp (any good brand)
Dry red chilly - 2
Oyster sauce - 2 tbsp
Chilly oil - 1 tsp
Onion - diced - 1 tbsp
Salt - 1 tsp
Pepper powder - 1 tsp
Sugar - 1 tsp
Spring onion - diced - 4 tbsp
Vinegar - 2 tbsp

Blanch the lotus root slices in hot water for about 3-5 minutes. Wash in cold running water and drain well.
Keep aside.
Dust the blanched lotus root slices with corn flour and keep aside for 15 minutes so that any excess water is absorbed.
Now take a heavy bottomed pan, and shallow fry the lotus root slices till crispy.
Remove and keep aside.
Now out 1 tsp of oil in the wok or pan, keep on high heat, add the dry red chillies, ginger, garlic and chilly paste and saute' well.
Add the oyster sauce, chilly oil, onion, salt, pepper and sugar.
Now add the crispy fried lotus root slices and toss gently till the mix coats the roots slices well.
Garnish with vinegar and spring onions.
Serve hot.

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