Lotus Root Recipes

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Chinese Cabbage and Lotus Salad Recipe Recipe

When writing my second cookbook, Banh Mi, which by the way is already available for preview and pre-order, I tried to share authentic and traditional recipes for Vietnamese sandwiches, condiments and sides. If you've ever tasted a bánh mì, you probably are familiar with the standard condiment of pickled carrots and daikon. It takes the place of cornichon-based pickles (tiny French gherkin pickles) found in Western sandwiches.

You can of course vary the ingredients to your liking, and in this recipe I prepared a modified version of the bánh mì condiment with shredded Chinese cabbage, pickled lotus and freshly-picked satsuma mandarins that baby Aria helped me gather from our garden --follow me on Twitter and Facebook to see more pictures-- (sadly it was our very last batch). With a few peanuts and a nice dressing, it makes a great salad. Though it isn't strictly speaking a traditional pickle, you could also use it in your own bánh mì sandwich. The flavors are mellow enough to let the meat or tofu of your choice shine.


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Lotus Root Soup Recipe (Canh Cu Sen) Recipe

The authentic recipe for lotus soup, called canh củ sen in Vietnamese, calls for pork broth, dried scallops, dried octopus and various dried fruits and nuts. With my family being mostly vegetarian, I adapted it to fit everyone's diet. 

I tried to mimic the meaty broth with Okinawan potatoes (purple-fleshed Japanese sweet potatoes) and preserved daikon radish and flavored it with the usual dried black dates called jujube (or plum), dried South almonds, peanuts and gojee berries. Lastly, fresh lotus root is sliced thinly and added to the broth until softened. Some people like it on the crunchy side, but I prefer it very tender.


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