Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Sausage Stuffed Lotus Root

Sausage Stuffed Lotus Root

When I saw this item in Whole Foods, I had no idea what it was or what I would do with it.  But, I admit, sometimes I like to pretend I am on Chopped.  Grab some ingredient I have no clue about and see what I can do to it.

Unlike those brave contestants on the show, I cheated a bit on this one.  But not for the reasons you might think.  I wanted to know some of the more usual ways of preparing this, so I could come up with something different.

Well, I failed.

By the time I got home after work that day, my idea had been to stuff the holes of the lotus root with uncooked sausage meat, coat it with egg and panko and fry it.  But I didn't have a clue how the lotus root would work out with that idea.

One of the first links I checked out was Just Hungry's blog, specifically a post titled, "How to Cook Lotus Root (Renkon)".  It was really cool to see what these roots look like before being processed.  They also had a couple of recipes I wanted to try, like the "Stir-fried lotus root with sesame and green onions" which is on the page I linked to above.

Just Hungry linked to JugalBandi's Baked Lotus Root Chips, and off I went to look at the chips.  I got sidetracked because it sounded like something my husband would like. 

Unfortunately, my potato chip interest caused me to miss Just Hungry's note at the bottom of the page: "Sandwich some meaty filling inside and pan-fry (hasami-age)" and a link to Lotus Root Mini Cakes With Sweet Chili Sauce.  I could have stopped right there with my concocting plans because my plan is pretty much a combination of these two ideas. 

Oh well, not "new", but still fun...

Back to my not-so-original idea...

After checking out the lotus root, I realized it is pretty hard and I wasn't sure how long to cook it to make it soft enough to become how I envisioned it becoming.  So, I tried parboiling the lotus root.

This did not work.

Then, I boiled it for awhile and it never got the way I way I was hoping it would.

So I changed my plan.

I got out the lotus root.

Then stuffed it with already cooked sausage meat (left over bangers from breakfast).

Put on a skillet over medium heat, spritzed it with olive oil.  Not a lot.  I didn't want to taste the oil.

Then I coated the lotus root with egg and dredged it in panko.

And put it on to brown in the skillet.

While I was waiting for the sausage stuffed lotus root to brown, I prepared Pansalang Pinoy's Basic Asian Dipping Sauce

Then plated the root slices and sauce.

While the sauce was very good and I'd like to try it again another time, the sesame oil overpowered the flavor in this particular dish.  At least for us.

So I adapted the recipe and used a mixture of half soy sauce and half rice vinegar instead. 

At first, I wasn't sure how I liked it.

However, by the time I finished my second one, I was enjoying it.  Lotus Root has a really nice crunch!

That said, the next time I try Lotus Root, I think I will follow Just Hungry's Lotus Root Mini Cakes with Sweet Chili Sauce recipe. 

I'm looking forward to it.

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