Kung Pao Lotus Root

by Chef Kendall Huff

Native Foods Cafe

 

Ahhh the lotus flower. 
It has been a divine symbol in Asian traditions representing the virtues
of sexual purity, and most of the plant is completely edible too!

654px-Sacred_lotus_Nelumbo_nuciferaNative Foods Cafe vegan restaurant uses this photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

The root
itself is rich in fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, potassium and manganese.  I created this dish for the Tour of
Asia Cooking Demos in May.  The
lotus root stands in for the traditional chicken or beef, and does a mighty
fine job.   


Lotus_rootNative Foods Cafe vegan restaurant uses this photo courtesy of Joy Harari.

Note that
this recipe calls for Sichuan peppercorns, which is one of the main spices used
in Szechuan cuisine and making five-spice powder. Unlike other peppercorns,
this one has a slight lemony overtone, and pairs well with star anise and
ginger. They all mesh nicely. From 1968 until 2005, it was illegal to import
Sichuan peppercorns into the United States. They were viewed as carriers of a
tree disease that can potentially harm citrus crops. The ban has now been
lifted in light of new processing methods. However, the 37-year ban resulted in
a distinct American version of the Kung Pao recipe that does not incorporate
Sichuan peppercorns.  But we are
going to utilize them now!


 
450px-Sechuan_pepperNative Foods Cafe vegan restaurant uses this photo courtesy of Wikipedia.


Kung Pao is believed
to be named after Ding Baozhen, a late Qing Dynasty official, a one-time
governor of Sichuan. His title was Gong Bao, which literally means "palatial guardian".  The name "Kung Pao" is
derived from this title.

 
Ding_BaozhenNative Foods Cafe vegan restaurant uses this photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

 

 

Kung Pao Lotus Root

431863_10151637067100909_319913906_nNative Foods Cafe, vegan, vegan food, vegan restaurant, vegan recipe, vegan kung pao, kung pao lotus root

 

Serves 3 to 4

 

2 TBSP safflower oil

1 lb lotus root   

1 each dry chili peppers (soaked and halved)

½ tsp Sichuan peppercorns  

2 TBSP chopped ginger

8 each scallions, chopped, white and green separated

1 cup red pepper, large dice

2 TBSP soy sauce

2 TBSP dark (black) vinegar or rice vinegar

1 TBSP organic cane sugar or agave

2 TBSP sweet chili sauce

1 tsp sea salt

1 TBSP organic cornstarch mixed with 2 oz cold water

3 TBSP roasted peanuts

 

1. Soak the red chili pepper in hot water for 30 minutes. If
you like it HOT…use more than one.

2. Peel the lotus root, cut into ½ inch thick rounds and
soak in water for 15 minutes.

**If you see them already cut and packaged…GET THOSE!

3. Drain the lotus root from the water.

4. Heat the oil up in a saucepan on high heat. Add the chili
pepper and Sichuan peppercorn and sauté for about 1 to 2 minutes.

5- Add the chopped ginger, red pepper pieces, and the white
scallion pieces. Sauté for another 1 minute.

6- Add the lotus root and sauté for about 3 to 4 minutes.
Add the soy sauce, vinegar, sweet chili sauce, sugar, and salt.  Mix everything together well, but
sautéing & flipping…no utensils!

7- Add is the cornstarch slurry and allow it to boil and
coat the veggies.

**Garnish with peanuts and the green scallions.

 

 

Native Foods Cafe, vegan, vegan food, vegan restaurant, vegan recipe, vegan kung pao, kung pao lotus root

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