These unique looking lotus root chips, look fascinating and taste even better. Something fun and different from the everyday potato chip! Careful with these ones, they are very addictive!
Lotus root is one of those weird ingredients that I never really knew what it really was until my late 20s. My parents would put it in soups and I would just eat it - no questions asked. It was odd, when you bite into it and pull, it has these really fine silky spidery web hairs that pull out of it. A very odd experience.
In the wild, the lotus roots live underwater and are the root system of the beautiful pink lotus flowers and their pods. Its texture is crisp like an apple but tough to eat in big chunks raw because of the density of silky webbed hair roots within the actual root. It actually doesn't have a very strong flavour, just a hint of sweetness. Its most common use in Asian cuisines are in Asian broth soups or stir fries, but being the adventurous and curious person I am, I decided to deep fry these pretty little things.
These lotus root chips are absolutely fascinating to look at, don't you think? Something different than the average potato chip! 🙂
For this lotus root chips recipe, you can find the ingredients at an asian supermarket to find it.
When you are buying it, make sure to pick the ones that are very firm (like a potato) and light pinky beige in colour. Try to stay away from the black, brown very blemished soft ones.
Storage : Keep these little guys dry, else they will rot easily.
I personally enjoy the natural flavours of this, so I only use salt on it, and to be honest they are tasty unsalted too. You can add in spices such as cumin or five spice to give it a bit of oomph as well.
Flavour Profile : Mildly sweet when raw, taste like a potato chip when deep fried.
CHIPPY CHIP CHIP!
To prepare the root, chop both ends off first. I highly suggest a mandolin or a really sharp knife when you are slicing them into thin slices and be very careful since they are tough to cut thinly. I cut mine to ⅛ inch (3mm) thick. I highly suggest that you don't cut them too thin because it will be difficult to crisp them up without burning them (Yep! I tried! My thought process was, the thinner the crispier right? Nope!)
- Tip #1 : After cutting the chips, you can make them extra crispy by soaking them for a few minutes in a small bowl of water with 1 tablespoon of vinegar. Just make sure you dry them very well before deep frying them or baking them.
For this recipe I baked and deep fried to show you the difference between the two processes and which one we preferred.
Baking the Lotus Root Chips
- If the thickness of the chips is uneven, it won't cook evenly in the oven. The thinner part will cook faster and will burn
- You must oil the chips liberally or they will stick to the pan. (You're essentially deep frying it in the oven)
- Using parchment paper is a hit or miss because you don't get the intense heat from the hot pan directly it tends to 'sweat' the chips so it sits in it's own moisture and doesn't crisp up
- You must watch the oven like a hawk, when these babies burn - they burn FAST.
Frying the Lotus Root Chips
- Evenly cooks the chips, regardless of uneven texture
- Cooks more quickly. 3 minutes to cook when deep fried, 10 mins to cook when baked
DEEP FRIED vs BAKED
Deep frying wins this one for me. There's less baby sitting of the oven, more evenly cooked and quicker to make. I know most of us hate deep frying, but since these chips are thin you actually don't need to go nuts on the oil! 🙂 You can use a frying pan with 1 cm of oil and deep fry them in small batches.
Lotus Root Chips
- 1 lotus root (sliced ⅛ inch thick)
- salt (to taste)
- Depending on your preference, peel the lotus root or leave it un-peeled.
- Remove the ends and slice the lotus root with a mandolin or a very sharp knife to ⅛ inch (3mm) slices
- Lightly salt. (If you are baking them, oil them liberally)
- If you are using a deep fryer, set it to 350F (176C). If you are using the stove, add approximately 1 cm of oil into the pan and set it to medium heat.
- Add the slices a few at a time (careful not to overcrowd the pan) and cook for 3 minutes or until golden brown. (When you take them out, they will continue to brown so remove them before they get too brown)
- Allow it to cool slightly before eating it
- Best enjoyed fresh! 🙂
- Set the oven to 400F (204C)
- Oil a baking sheet and put the lotus root on in a single layer.
- Bake for 10 mins or until golden brown. (Watch the oven like a hawk, every oven is set differently and these little guys burn quickly in the oven) They won't crisp evenly, so you should remove the browned ones and put the rest back into the oven.
- Remove from the oven and let them cool to crisp up
- Serve immediately. They don't taste as good the next day.
- After cutting the chips, you can make them extra crispy by soaking them for a few minutes in a small bowl of water with 1 tablespoon of vinegar. Just make sure you dry them very well before deep frying them or baking them.
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