Lotus root as a bit of a bad rep sometimes as being very traditional, and boring, and possibly not-food (I know some people who refuse to eat the lotus in soups as it is considered not-food and therefore not-edible).
Yes, I did get funny looks when I very excitedly found an ugly potato-root-looking thing in the market. Yes, it was an effort to persuade Bigfoot that I did in fact want to buy this rather expensive thing that looked a bit like a petrified hotdog bun. But it was worth it in the end.
I didn’t think it was ugly at all. Or even auntie-ish. In the end, you can’t beat simple, tasty, and most importantly quick food after a long day.
1 lotus root, peeled and sliced
2-3 cm ginger, chopped
3-5 cloves garlic (depending on size), chopped
1 bunch of spring onions, chopped into approx 1cm lengths
chilli flakes or whole red chilli, to taste – I used around 1/2 teasp red chilli flakes
1 teasp brown suger
1 teasp rice / balsamic vinegar
1-2 tablesp sesame seeds
1.5 tablesp soya sauce
2 teasp sesame oil
white pepper to taste
Slice lotus root and leave it in some slightly vinegared water while preparing the other ingredients.
Fry ginger and garlic in oil until fragrant, over medium heat. Drain the lotus slices and add to the pain in a single layer, flipping as needed.
Add chilli, spring onions, sesame seeds, pepper, soya sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar, and vinegar. Cook until slightly caramelised.
Easy vegetable recipes are pretty much my staple, with a throw-everything-in-and-fry omelette and rice.
Here is yet another one. Sometimes, dinner is for watching Masterchef Professional after a long day on Excel, rather than actually cooking.
Sesame-Sugar Long Beans
Learnt it from my uncle, this works with any green / leafy veg
3-4 servings of green beans, chopped
2 tablesp sesame oil
1 teasp soya sauce
1 teasp sugar, brown / white
A dash of white pepper
2 thin slices of ginger – for blanching. They don’t even need to be skinned, just clean 🙂
Boil some water in a pan, and drop in the two slices of ginger. Cover with a lid, and bring everything to a rolling boil.
Blanch the beans for 30 seconds or so, taste one to check done-ness. If it’s how you like it (I like mine under-done), drain off the water and transfer to a bowl. If not, keep checking until it is cooked enough.
While hot, pour all other ingredients into the bowl, and stir well. Taste. Adapt as you like.
My brother doesn’t have sugar in his house. Say it with me “????!??!”
That’s because I had nothing to say, my mind was too boggled. He doesn’t cook, that much we’ve established, but even people who don’t cook generally have a sachet of sugar floating around somewhere that they’ve pinched from a restaurant or something. Anyway, good for him, he is being healthy and sugar-free.
This meant that I Had A Problem, because I wanted to use sugar in my sauce.
Solution: find the food in the house with the highest sugar content, and crumble that into the sauce. This happened to be the the icing of some gem biscuits. I used the white ones. I felt that pink or yellow spots in my sauce might not go down too well at dinnertime.
Well, at least I can add ‘resourceful’ to my CV now.
1 block of tofu – smooth silken type
3 tablesp light soya sauce
2 tablesp sesame oil
3 stalks of spring onion, chopped – I just took the green part of about 8, I used the base for something else
1/2 teasp sugar – or the tops of 4 gem biscuits….your choice
A dash of pepper
A dash of 5 spice powder
Make the sauce – mix together the following:
5 spice powder
Microwave on high for 20 seconds. Set aside in the fridge and let it sit there until you need to use it (probably not necessary, I was doing things ahead of time).
Steam the tofu on a plate. Don’t microwave it, I did that, and the structure somehow disintegrated just a little bit.
Problem: want to eat fresh vegetables, but too lazy to cook after the effort of making onigiri. Here is your solution!
Tastes best with crispy fresh asparagus, because it’s one of those recipes where the taste of the actual vegetable comes through. It’d probably work with any vegetable actually, or even as a nice salad dressing.
Asparagus with Sesame Dressing
Adapted from About.com’s Japanese Food section. I wonder if it’s some sort of crime to use recipes from here? I’ve never seen other bloggers use anything from About.com.
About 200g of young asparagus
2-3 tablesp sushi vinegar
1 tablesp soya sauce
1 tablesp sesame oil
2 teasp sugar – or to taste
A few shakes of white pepper
Sesame seeds – I didn’t have this but it would be nice
Cook the asparagus somehow. I fried mine in a little oil, but you could also steam or blanche if you feel so inclined.
Mix up all the sauces and the sugar. Taste. Adjust if you like.
Pour the sauce over the asparagus, add the pepper, and some sesame seeds if you have them.