Crispy Salt and Pepper Lotus Stems (Chinese style or Indian style)…no running!

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Crispy Salt and Pepper Lotus Stems (Chinese style or Indian style…do you ever run out of words? I do, all the time…but, I never ever run out of food, do you? 🙂

Crispy Salt and Pepper Lotus Stems (Chinese style or Indian style).

Ingredients

  • Lotus Stems, washed & peeled, cut into 1/8 inch thin slices, 300 gms
  • Cornflour/ Corn Starch or Rice Flour, to dust, 1-2 tbsp
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Oil, for deep frying

For the sauce

(specifying measurements to give an idea of proportion, adjust to taste and/or qty needed accordingly)

Option A – Chinese Style

  • Garlic, 2-3 cloves, finely chopped,
  • Fresh Green Chillies, finely chopped,1-2 (remove seeds if you want)
  • Spring Onions/Scallions, white and green portion separated and finely chopped, 2-3
  • Dark Soy Sauce, ½ tsp
  • Vinegar, 1 tsp
  • Chinese 5 Spice powder, ¼  tsp
  • Oil, 1 tbsp

Option B- Indian Style

  • Mustard Seeds, ½ tsp
  • Curry leaves, 7-8
  • Garlic, 2-3 cloves, finely chopped,
  • Shallots, finely chopped, 1-2
  • Fresh Green Chillies, finely chopped,1-2 (remove seeds if you want)
  • Vinegar, 1 tsp
  • Oil, 1 tbsp

Instructions

Heat sufficient oil in a kadhai/wok/pan to deep fry.

Dust the lotus stem slices with cornflour, salt and pepper.

Deep-fry in hot oil in batches till golden and crisp. Drain on absorbent paper and keep aside.

Option A- Chinese Style

Heat 1 tbsp oil in the wok/pan over a high heat.

Add garlic, green chillies and finely chopped white portion of the spring onions to the wok and fry for a couple of minutes till garlic starts to go crisp golden.

Lower the heat and add soy sauce, vinegar, Chinese 5 spice powder and finely chopped green portion of the spring onions. Stir together for about 15 seconds.

Add the fried lotus stems and toss everything together gently.

Switch off the heat and done!

Option A- Indian Style

Heat 1 tbsp oil in the wok/pan over a high heat.

Add mustard seeds to the wok.

Once the mustard seeds start spluttering, add in the curry leaves, garlic, green chillies, and finely chopped shallots to the wok.

Fry for a couple of minutes till garlic starts to go crisp golden and shallots take on some colour.

Add vinegar and fried lotus stems and toss everything together gently.

Switch off the heat and done!

Notes

  • ALWAYS…and I can’t insist enough…ALWAYS fry double the quantity of what you think you would need for the final dish. These things are magical (and super addictive)…they magically start disappearing right after deep frying!
  • If knife skills are an issue- slice them a little thicker- closer to ¼ inch thick and blanch in hot water for a 3-4 minutes, strain, pat dry and then dust with cornflour before deep frying.
  • Lotus stems discolour after chopping very quickly. Chop as close to frying time as possible. You can also chop them and soak them in cold water and vinegar solution to avoid the discolouration. Pat dry thoroughly before dusting with cornflour.

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