An anonymous internet philosopher once said, “Just like the lotus, we too have the ability to rise from the mud, bloom out of darkness, and radiate into the world.”
Ever heard of eating your feelings? Well, today we ate the part of the lotus that never makes it out of the filth. We ate the lotus root, the part responsible for the growth and existence of the pretty flower that never gets to see the light of day until it’s cruelly uprooted and devoured. It does almost all the work and never gets much credit or appreciation. Eat a lotus root. Everyone’s got a little lotus root in them.
According to the wise and all-knowing Google, lotus roots are better than taters. Think of ’em as the plain old potato’s sexier exotic friend with more potassium and vitamin C and fiber by mass. Lotus roots are popular in many Asian cuisines. We watched a documentary last year in AP Chinese about how lotus roots are grown; apparently they’re quite difficult to harvest since farmers have to dig out the entire root, which is several feet long. If the root breaks, it gets filled with filth and it can’t be sold. These A+ tubers are definitely worth the trouble though.
So that’s Lotus Root 101.
Anyway… lotus roots can be used in both sweet and savory recipes. You can stuff them with soaked glutinous sweet rice and cook them up with dates, “dragon eyes” and xylitol (or sugar, if you’re into that) and they’re sort of dessert-y, almost like Japanese mochi in texture.
You can also sauté them and they’ll be nice and crunchy. We made ’em with noodles… I didn’t choose the carb life; the carb life chose me. Dr. Atkins can run in terror from pasta, but I’ll embrace it with a smile.
Ingredients for Asian Peanut Noodles with Lotus Root:
For the Peanut Sauce:
14.5 oz fat free chicken broth (or vegetable broth for vegetarian)
5 tbsp peanut butter (I used reconstituted PB2 for lower fat)
1 tbsp sriracha
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp soy sauce (use Tamari for gluten free)
1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
For the Vegetables and Noodles:
1 section of a lotus root, sliced
salt and pepper (to taste)
1 tbsp sriracha (more or less to taste)
5 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
1 tbsp soy sauce (use Tamari for gluten free)
1/2 tbsp sesame oil
8 oz rice noodles, preferably 100% whole grain
3/4 cup green onion, chopped
1 cup shredded snow peas
1 red bell pepper, sliced
2 tbsp chopped peanuts
For the peanut sauce: Combine 1 cup broth, peanut butter, sriracha, honey, 2 tbsp soy sauce, ginger, and 3 cloves crushed garlic in a small saucepan and simmer over medium-low heat stirring occasionally until sauce becomes smooth and well blended, about 5-10 minutes. Set aside.
Boil water for the noodles and cook pasta according to package instructions.
Heat a large skillet or wok until hot. Add 2 cloves crushed garlic, scallions, snow peas, bell pepper, lotus root and salt, sauté until tender crisp, about 1-2 minutes.
Drain noodles and toss with peanut sauce. Separate the noodles in 6 plates and top with the sautéd vegetables and chopped peanuts. Or mix the sautéd vegetables with the noodles and top with chopped the peanuts.
The recipe makes about 6 servings.