Lotus Root AKA Renkon Chips sprinkled with home made Roasted Garlic Salt. A healthy, gluten free, and absolutely gorgeous snack or side dish! So pretty you’re guaranteed to impress anyone you serve.
I’ve got bad news and I’ve got good news. Bad news is: my favorite Asian market closed. Good news is: They moved to a bigger location nearby! I went to check out the place and they had a cornucopia of amazing Eastern ingredients. What caught my eye this time were the renkon.
WTF is a Renkon?
Good question! Glad you asked. Renkon is Japanese for lotus root. Koreans call it yeongeun, in India it’s kanwal, and in Chinese it’s called a Lián ǒu. It’s also quite healthy and is used in both cooking and Eastern medicine. Today we’re not going to be healthy because we are going to deep fry these babies and make renkon chips. #Murica!
It’s really hard to describe how a lotus root tastes but they’re similar to a potato. Lotus roots absorb sauce easily and depending on how you cook them can be soft, firm, or crispy. They’re much harder than a potato, though, which really adds to the crunchiness when you fry them. They’re also very pretty veggies and will definitely wow whomever you’re cooking for when they’re brought out.
You’re going to need a few things before you start this recipe, however.
- A Wok – I use this for deep frying.
- A Mandolin – no not the little guitar played over the speakers at an Olive Garden to make it feel like the ol’ country. No. A mandolin is a slicer that can cut things really thinly. Click this link to see what I’m talking about. A mandolin is super handy and cuts down your cutting time. Every kitchen should have one in my opinion.
- A slotted spoon and a big bowl.
- A colander or a wire rack.
- Lots of paper towels.
Lot’s Of Paper Towels?
Yeah, you’re going to make a mess. Set your mandolin to the thinnest setting. The thinner the better. If they are too big they’ll just get mushy when you fry. Then fill the big bowl with water and a couple of splashes of white vinegar making sure not to over do it with the vinegar. Peel the first lotus root and slice thinly on the mandolin. Immediately throw the slices in the water. I mentioned that lotus roots are like potatoes, well just like potatoes they start browning instantly. By throwing them in the vinegared water you keep them from browning and looking gross. Repeat until you are out of renkon. Most of the time lotus roots come packaged in pounds and 1 pound is about 2 lotus roots.
Next, fill the wok with about 3 inches of canola oil and heat over a medium high flame. It will take a few minutes for the oil to heat up. To test if it’s hot enough wet your hand and flick a few droplets of water into the wok. If it bubbles up, It’s ready.
In batches, pat the slices dry with a paper towel and throw in the wok. CAUTION! IT WILL SPLASH! Fry until they start to brown, about 5-7 minutes. Now here is where it gets tricky. They will burn rather quickly if you don’t pull them out of the oil fast enough. But if you don’t cook them enough, they will be too soft and chewy. So when they get golden pull them out because they will keep cooking until they cool.
When they are ready transfer them to a wire rack or a colander lined with paper towels. The holes in the colander/rack allow the steam to vent off and keep the chips from getting soggy. While hot, salt with roasted garlic salt to taste. Repeat until all the chips are done.
When cleaning up, you can save the oil for another use.
Currently Jamming To
This recipe requires a little something special. Here’s a list of what you will need: