If you’re tired of serving and eating the same appetizer over and over, it’s time to try something different. Lotus root is lightly crunchy and, when covered with a light crispy batter, it’s even more delightful.
For people who are wary of anything unfamiliar, lotus root shouldn’t present any real issue. There is no strong taste, no strong smell and its appearance is hardly intimidating. If you need more information about this delightful vegetable, see the linked post below.
The ingredients list for the tempura is short but, to fully appreciate the dish, serve it with traditional dipping sauce. Make the sauce ahead to allow the flavors to blend while you prep and cook the lotus root.
To make the batter, use the correct starch. Potato starch is the default in Japanese cooking but, if you can’t find it, cornstarch will do although, after frying the crust will be a bit more dense. Substituting tapioca starch will make the crust of your lotus root tempura chewy while wheat flour will give you a bready crust. If you can’t get your hands on potato starch or corn starch, rice flour (not glutinous!) would be a good option.
To make sure that the batter sticks to the lotus root slices, take extra care to dry the surface of each slice before dipping in batter and frying. Otherwise, if the lotus root slices are wet, the batter will drip off before the vegetable reaches the frying pan.
During cooking, stir the batter often as you dip the lotus slices to make sure that the starch does not settle at the bottom of the bowl.
Lotus Root Tempura
- ¼ cup dashi
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon grated ginger
- ½ teaspoon grated daikon
To garnish (optional)
- kizami nori (shredded nori)
- aonori (seaweed flakes)
- furikake (Japanese rice seasoning)
- Peel the lotus root and cut into thin rings (between ⅛ and ¼ inch is a good peg).
- Place the sliced lotus on a plate lined with paper towels. Place another stack of paper towels over them and press down lightly to remove as much moisture as you can.
- In a mixing bowl, whip the egg white and salt until frothy.
- Stir in the starch, then drizzle in just enough iced water to form a thin batter.
- With the stove set on high, in a wok or frying pan, heat enough cooking oil to reach a depth of at least three inches.
- Dip each slice of lotus root in the batter and drop into the hot oil.
- Cook the battered lotus root slices in batches (never overcrowd the pan) until the batter turns into a crisp crust.
- Drain the lotus root tempura on a rack or strainer before tranferring to a plate.
- Serving suggestion: Stack the lotus root tempura on a plate, sprinkle with kizami nori, aonori and furikake.
- Serve your lotus root tempura with tentsuyu sauce for dipping.