Lotus root has made regular appearances on my dinner table for as long as I could remember. Depending on the technique of cooking, it could be crunchy, or soft as yam, or even powdered to become a drink. Lotus powder has such high starch content that it is even used as a thickening agent.
The lotus is a versatile food source: every part of the plant can be used for some purpose, or cooked and eaten. In my family home, lotus root is eaten in many forms – stewed, in soup, as fried fritters, as fresh juice, as a snack, and even as health food. In fact, it was even a part of a medical recovery diet for one of my relatives, who suffered from tuberculosis back in the 60s. It may just have been an old wives’ tale, but he recovered and lived to a ripe old age!
I always yearned for a hot bowl of lotus root soup when the weather turned cold. Over the years, I have also accumulated more than a dozen recipes on making a bowl of yummy lotus root soup. Here is one of them.
Lotus Root Soup
Water 2 litres
Lotus root 300 g, cut into chunks
Dried oysters 15 g, soaked for 30 mins
Wolfberries 15 g
Dried red dates 10 g, soaked for 30 mins
Red beans 20 g, soaked overnight
Pork ribs 400 g, blanched and washed
Chicken feet 250 g, blanched and washed
Salt 1 tbsp
Light soy sauce ½ tbsp
- Place lotus root, dried oysters, wolfberries, and red beans in room-temperature water and boil.
- Add pork ribs and chicken feet and continue to boil vigorously for 15 minutes. Remove any scum that surfaces.
- Cover the pot and simmer for 2 hours.
- Add salt and stir until it dissolves. Taste and adjust the salt accordingly.
- Before serving, turn off the heat and add light soy sauce.
Note: Dried oysters may be substituted with dried octopus.