Written by: Ellice Yang R.TCMP
Most people are familiar with the beautiful lotus flower that floats on top of the water and its unique symbolism comes from its resilience and ability to survive in extreme conditions.
But let’s take a deeper look, specifically the root of this beautiful lotus flower, that lies buried in the mud. Lotus Root has many health benefits and is an excellent source of the following:
- Vitamin C (skin health, support immunity),
- Copper (improve brain health and cognitive function),
- Potassium (improve heart health)
- Iron (boost energy)
- High-Fibre (aids in digestion and regulate bowel movements)
- Antioxidant (supports immune system and reduce inflammation)
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Lotus Root (Ou Jie) is used primarily in herbal formulas to regulate Qi and blood flow, stop bleeding and clear blood heat.
How can you incorporate more of this power house health food in your diet? It’s easier than you think! Soups are always an easy way to cook lotus root. Here is a recipe for a Korean side dish I grew up on called “Sweet Soy Braised Lotus Roots” (Yeongeun Jorim) [*credit: www.koreanbapsang.com]:
- 1 pound lotus root (found at your local asian grocery store)
- 1 tbsp vinegar
- 1/2 tsp sesame seeds (optional)
For the braising liquid:
- 4 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp rice wine
- 1.5 to 2 tbsp sugar (coconut sugar or any sweetener alternative)
- 1 tbsp oil (such as olive oil, avocado oil)
- 2 tbsp of honey
- 1/2 tbsp of sesame oil
1. Cut tough ends of the lotus root, peel the skin with potato peeler. Thinly slice the lotus root into 1/4” thick
2. Add the lotus root slices to a medium size pot with enough water to cover them and 1 tbsp of vinegar. Bring to boil and cook uncovered for about 10-20 mins
3. Drain and rinse lotus root slices with cold water
4. Return lotus root slices to the pot. Add 1 cup of water (or with dashima broth if you have), soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sugar and cooking oil. Bring to a boil
5. Continue to boil uncovered over medium heat until liquid is reduced to about 4 tbsp (15-20mins). Stir occasionally to rotate the lotus root slices.
6. Add honey and sesame oil, stir well for 3 to 4 mins. Keep a close ey to avoid burning. Sprinkle with sesame seed if you wish and it’s ready to serve!