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lotus root - where to buy, how to use?

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There's probably an easy answer to this, but I've never seen lotus root in the store - where can I buy this? I'm not even sure what it looks like, except for sliced up. Once I find and buy it, what do I do with it? I want to use in stir frys and things like that....

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  1. My local oriental market has it whole and fresh, frozen in slices and canned.

    1. A lot of the midsize or larger Asian markets with fresh vegetable sections have it, in SF chinatown and in the burbs (Ranch 99).

      I make a salad with it. I've seen it in stir fry veggie dishes as well.

      You can do a google for lotus root recipes.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Anne in SF

        Here is a picture of it whole, in case the signs aren't in English and you don't know what it looks like not sliced up...

        http://cgsd.com/rlatham/OaklandChinat...

        Link: http://cgsd.com/rlatham/OaklandChinat...

        1. re: Anne in SF

          I've also seen it in asian markets in the frozen food section, already sliced (I think they blanch it too) which makes it easier to keep on hand for an extented period of time or for a quick weeknight veggie side dish. I like to sautee them with a little minced garlic or with some brown bean sauce and green onions like my mom makes.

      2. Easiest preparation I know:

        Make a pork stock using shoulder/neck bones, or chunks of short ribs if you like a lot of meat in your soup. A few slices of giner or a sprig of green onion is optional.

        After the stock is ready, put in slices (wheel shapes) of the lotus root. There's no need to peel them: just scrub well and cut off any really tough/black/unappetizing parts. Thickness is up to personal preference, but I would do between 1/4 and 3/4 inch.

        Simmer until you're able to poke a fork through the center of a wheel easily. It should roughly be the texture you'd like a potato in a stew to be. Certainly not as soft as a potato for mashing. Salt/pepper to taste. The lotus root will be firm but almost potato-like after you chew it. It has a nice subtle flavor, and even kids usually like lotus root prepared this way.

        Stir fried can be good too, but leaves more room for error. Sometimes the root comes out undercooked, which can be too crunchy and raw tasting for some.