Lily Root/ Lotus Root/ 蓮藕 / lián-ǒu
Lily Root (or Lotus Root), is a very popular ingredient in asian cuisine, though it may seem intimidating to those of us who aren’t familiar with it. In fact, the entirety of the plant is used in asian cuisine from the seeds to the stems to the leaves, but that’s a different post. Right now we are focusing on the aquatic rhizome, because lotus plants grow in water! That’s why they have those little holes going through them, so the water can pass along.
Lotus root has a crunchy texture with a mild, savory, nutty flavor akin to chestnut. It stays crunchy after cooking which makes it wonderful in stir fries, soups, and bakes.
To use Lotus Root it should be peeled and then dunked in water with a bit of vinegar to prevent browning (similar to what you may do with an apple). Then you can chop it up and use it however you like! Lotus Root is very versatile and can be used in both sweet and savory dishes.