I have long been intrigued by the lotus root. This odd looking root vegetable, when sliced, shows off a beautiful pattern that is a gorgeous garnish. I’ve seen it in soups and stir fry dishes and wanted to try it at home. I recently read about Baked Lotus Root Chips. I am a huge fan of all sorts of vegetables chips, check out my article from last year when I made carrot, zucchini, kale and butternut squash into tasty snackable treats. Now it’s time to try the lotus root.
When sliced and baked or fried, it is not only beautiful, but one of the tastiest crunchy snacks I have had in a long time -- even without any seasoning.
Lotus root is native to Asian countries as well as to parts of New Zealand. The root or rhizome is actually the stem of a plant that grows in the mud of a pond or river. It can grow 4 feet tall rising out of the water to show off its elegant lotus flower that is revered by Buddhists. The entire plant is edible from the flower to the seeds to the root. They make teas and medicinal powders all from this one little plant and it is considered a “cooling” food that restores balance to the body.
The root is somewhat akin to a potato or taro root and can be used in cooking in much the same way. In Asia it is even known to be pickled and served with salads (I will have to try that next). It is also rich in fiber, vitamin C, potassium and many b vitamins. While calorically it is the same as a potato, the lotus root has more than twice the fiber and Vitamin C. They also look scrumptious on the side of a plate or on a platter.
When I made these chips, I baked them with a little curry, cumin and salt and cooking spray and they were best served fresh and crispy from the oven. I also tested a few fried in oil just to know the difference and they were outrageous! Plain or spiced with some cumin, curry powder or seasoned salt, the lotus root makes a tasty treat for anytime.