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Lotus Roots & Mangetout Stir-fry

This is without a doubt, an outlier of a blogpost.

The “bake” component has been largely absent lately as we three generations of bakeslaves have been battling a continuous vicious cycle of influenza, and no amount of chocolate disguised in a cake could pick me up (shocking revelation, I know. It’s those sedative antihistamines I tell you. Blunts everything.).

We’ve been nursing bowls and bowls of homemade chicken broth ad nauseum.

Not that I don’t like chicken broth (What’s in ours? Chook, carrots, celery, garlic, onion, old cucumber, tomatoes) – but honestly, keep a Malaysian away from anything hot and spicy for even a day, and it feels like a right full-on internal anarchy going on.

Nothing like a good whack of smoking-hot sambal to clear one’s head (and sinuses)! Having said that, I don’t think the offspring would appreciate an early education on the virtues of birds’ eye chillies and belacan.

Which brings me to this post; we’ve been subsisting on a mainly soft/liquid diet for the past week, so to break the monotony (and to educate the offspring about another diverse food offering), I picked up a lotus root from the grocer’s.

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The ubiquitous lotus root is usually found locally in Chinese cuisine. It is crunchy and yet nuttier than jicama. Think of it as a perfect backup singer to a dish – it completes but doesn’t compete. Lotus roots are a nice foil to the usual carrots/celery combo. For my simple stir-fry, I had mangetout (snow peas) and carrots. A stir-fry is the easiest thing anyone with two left thumbs can do; just make sure you have a good sized pan (or better, a wok) so that the ingredients are not crowded, and that the oil is smoking hot before you start. (Learn more about stir-fry tips and get the book Stir Frying to the Sky’s Edge by Grace Young)

Once I got the sunflower oil to smoking, I sauteed red onion and ginger (and once the onions were translucent, added in the garlic). The carrots were the first one in the pan, then the lotus roots. The stir-fry is all about eyeballing the ingredients in your pan. Depending on how hot your wok/pan is, you will be able to tell when it is “done”. Having said that, a quick sample of a crunchy nugget of lotus root will also work.

The mangetout were the last to be added, as these cook through very quickly. Season with salt and a dash of white pepper.

This, in its simplest form, is a straightforward stir-fry. You could jazz it up with a bit of lovely hoisin sauce, or salty black beans. Better still, smoking-hot sambal belacan!


Patting myself on my back for getting through this blogpost without a dribbly sneezing fit.

In spite of massive doses of chlorpheniramine. Hurrah for spellcheck!

8 comments on “Lotus Roots & Mangetout Stir-fry

  1. Nina Che Rus
    October 29, 2012

    Hope you are feeling better Nat! I have not used lotus roots.. crunchy and nuttier than jicama you said? Hmm interesting. Anyhow.. you take care and hope those sinuses behave themselves already!

    • Nat Yusop | imabakeslave
      October 29, 2012

      (Ah chooooo) Thanks for your well wishes Nina ! I could do with a scrumptious strawberry cheesecake like yours to pick-me-up 🙂

  2. Allison
    November 10, 2012

    That looks awesome (beautiful photos!). I love lotus root! 🙂

    • Nat Yusop | BakeSlave
      November 10, 2012

      Nutty crunchiness, I agree! How about lotus roots and peanuts in clear chicken soup? Rustic eats.

      • Allison
        November 10, 2012

        Yes, that sounds great! I also like simmering lotus root in a gingery soy sauce-based Japanese-ish glaze with other vegetables and chicken. That and crunching on them raw but lightly pickled in a little vinegar…

      • Nat Yusop | BakeSlave
        November 10, 2012

        You know your (lotus) roots! * high five *
        Did it figure much in Japanese cuisine?

      • Allison
        November 11, 2012

        Lotus roots are often used in Japanese home-cooking (deep-fried, in soups, in stir-fries, pickled/in salads), but you don’t see them all that often in Japanese restaurants… except for maybe lotus root tempura. (Unless it’s a REALLY traditional restaurant and they are featured as a little part of one of many courses.)

  3. soulofspice
    December 7, 2012

    YUM! I love curried lotus root or even deep fried… both are equally delicious..thanks for reminding me of a much forgotten root Nat!!

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This entry was posted on October 25, 2012 by in No-bake, Stir-Fried and tagged , , , , .
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