Braised Lotus Root is a traditional Korean banchan served on special holidays or occasions. This banchan is made by braising lotus root in a sweetened soy sauce. It tastes sweet and salty, pairing well with a bowl of sticky rice.
At first glance, the root vegetable looks pretty ugly. Lotus root looks like a misfit, overgrown banana. However, the texture is incredible! It feels crispy on the inside but has a crunchy bite. This is what I like most about lotus root - that satisfying crunch! It adds a new dynamic to any dish - especially in stir-fries.
There are many ways to cook lotus roots. You can braise, boil, steam or stir-fry them up. Today, we will use the braising method. I hope to introduce more lotus root recipes in the future, using other cooking methods as well.
Key flavor variable: Keepin' it sweet and salty
The key variable in Braised Lotus Root is the balance between sweet and salty. After many attempts, we finally found the right ratio of soy sauce to sugar. It found it using Tablespoons rather than standard. cup measurements.
Braised Lotus Root - A Special Korean Banchan
- Lotus Root - 400 grams
- Vinegar - 3 Tablespoon
- Salt - ½ Tablespoon
- Water - 1 cup
- Soy sauce - 10 Tablespoons
- Sugar - 7 Tablespoon
- Corn syrup - 5 Tablespoon or use honey
Prep Lotus Root
- Cut ends of lotus root. Peel skin off with potato peeler. Cut the lotus root into ¼ inch (or 0.5 cm).
- Take a large pot out. Place lotus root pieces in. Pour enough water into the pot to cover the pieces. Add vinegar and salt to the water. Bring the pot up to boil.
- Boil for 10 minutes on a high heat. Strain and set aside.
Make Braising Sauce
- Mix all of the listed ingredients under 'Braising Sauce'
Braise Lotus Root
- Pour braising sauce in a large pot. Place lotus root pieces into pot. Then bring pot up a gentle boil. Boil on a medium-high for 10 minutes.
- Make sure to continuously stir the pieces around to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Then reduce the heat to a medium.
- Boil on medium for another 20 minutes. Again, make sure to continuously mix these pieces around with a ladle. It may take less than 20 minutes - you will know when it is ready when you see the sauce reduce to a maple-syrup consistency.
- Then turn off the heat and pick out the lotus pieces from the syrup. Finish by taking a few spoonfuls of the syrup from the pot and spreading it over the lotus root.
- Chill in the refrigerator before eating as it tastes best when cold! Also, make sure to eat with a bowl of rice as it is sweet and salty.
- The easiest way to mess this banchan up is to leave the lotus roots unattended. When braising, the lotus pieces have a tendency to stick to the bottom of the pot/pan. If this happens, the lotus roots will burn and ruin the flavor of the soy sauce.
- To avoid this, you should continuously stir the lotus roots around as they braise. Bit cumbersome, but worth the effort 😉
- Also keep an eye on the heat. When the sauce is reducing, it should be on a gentle simmer. For my stove, that is a medium. But it could be a medium-low for your stove-top. Also, I would recommend reducing the heat to a low once you see that 90% of the liquid is gone. This is the safest way to keep the soy sauce from burning.
- Watch video below for more details