Happy New Year everyone! This first post of 2012 is themed lotus root. As Chinese New Year is around the corner I will share 1 or 2 CNY dishes with you all (provided they are yummy of course) and this is one of them.
Lotus root is one of the many auspicious Chinese New Year food. Others being fish, prawn, sea cucumber, black moss (fatt choy)… to name a few. Lotus root symbolizes abundance, togetherness and family unity. Let me explain how the symbol come about; lotus root in Cantonese is called lin gau (sounds like lin yau) which means abundance year every year. Also the round shape of lotus root is yuen in Cantonese which means togetherness.
This ‘mysterious’ dish… having not seen anything like it before, I was clueless what it would taste like. I didn’t give it much hope. But boy oh boy. It tasted fantastic. It’s a perfect auspicious dish for Chinese New Year!
Ingredients (clockwise from top left): spring onions, chili, garlic, shiitake, Chinese mushrooms and ear fungus.
Stuff fish paste between 2 slices of lotus root. Press the lotus root “sandwiches” to ensure they’re stick to the fish paste or else they’ll come off during frying.
The lotus roots are quite fragile so handle with care. I’ve broken a couple of lotus root slices but no fear, you don’t have to throw ‘em away. The fish paste is the ideal adhesive! I bought the fish paste from market fyi.
Fry lotus root sandwiches.
Fried golden brown lotus root “sandwiches”. They’re not crispy though.
Leave only 1 teaspoon of the frying oil. Add spring onion, garlic, fungus, chili, mushrooms and fried lotus root “sandwiches”. Stir-fry in high heat. Then add the seasoning and stir-fry until fragrant. Serve just like that or with rice. Feel free to add some water if you prefer some liquid in this dish.
Aromatic and very flavorful with wok hei! A really beautiful dish.
My family love it and they demanded me to cook this dish for CNY.
Please note if you follow this recipe, it’s a little salty hence I would either not add chicken stock powder or add water to dilute the saltiness.
Now I’m in dilemma, which dish should I cook for CNY? This one or kam heong crispy lotus root with salted egg yolk? :P
Stuffed Lotus Root with Mushrooms
Adapted from Flavours magazine Jan-Feb 2009
100g fish paste
120g lotus root, thinly sliced
1 spring onion, cut into 2.5cm lengths
4 garlic cloves, deep fried until golden brown
3 cloud ear fungus (wan yue), soaked and sliced
1 red chili, cut into diamond shapes
40g fresh abalone mushrooms, washed and sliced
30g (about 2 pieces) fresh shiitake mushrooms, washed and sliced
(I substituted abalone mushrooms with 3 dried Chinese mushrooms, soaked)
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon chicken stock powder (I used anchovy powder instead); if you find the dish too salty you can ignore this ingredient
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon cornflour
1/8 teaspoon sesame oil
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/3 teaspoon Hua Tiao rice wine (Shaoxing wine)
3 tablespoons chicken stock (I added 3 tablespoons water to the anchovy powder above)
To get a sticky paste, use either a blender or cake mixer.
600g ikan tenggiri (kau yi/mackerel fish) meat, skinned and de-boned
1/3 teaspoon salt
1/3 teaspoon chicken stock powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1/3 teaspoon cornflour
1/2 teaspoon water
1/3 teaspoon oil
To prepare fish paste:
1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and mix until it becomes a sticky paste.
2. Keep covered in the refrigerator until ready to use.
To cook this dish:
1. Stuff fish paste between 2 slices of louts root to make a lotus root sandwich slightly less than 1cm thick.
2. Heat oil to deep fry the lotus root “sandwiches” until golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towels.
3. Drain remaining oil in the wok, leaving just a teaspoon of oil in the wok.
4. Add spring onion, garlic, fungus, chili, mushroom and fried lotus root “sandwiches”.
5. Stir-fry on high heat. Add seasonings and stir-fry until fragrant. Remove and serve immediately.