Fresh Lotus Root Salad

Course : Chinese
Serves: 8
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1 pound fresh lotus root
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
4 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1/2 tablespoon Asian sesame oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander
1 tablespoon toasted black or white sesame seeds for garnish

Preparation / Directions:

If you haven't tried fresh lotus roots do yourselves a favor and pick up some from an Oriental market. They look like nothing so much as strings of vegetable sausages a few inches long and about three inches in diameter. The flavor is somewhat reminiscent of a water chestnut as is the texture--very fresh, crisp and good. When sliced, they have an intriguing, lacy cross section that comes from air channels in the root. Lotus root is also available canned and it's not bad--not as good as fresh, but quite acceptable. They can better than water chestnuts and retain more of the characteristics of the fresh root than do water chestnuts. Lotus roots make a nice addition to soups too. BTW, it's considered bad form by Asian grocers to break up the hands of roots. They're not that expensive and you'll probably use all you buy anyway. Rinse lotus roots with cold water. Trim and discard both ends of the bulb. With a vegetable peeler, pool the skin. Diagonally cut thee root into 1/8 inch thick slices; immediately plunge slices into acidulated water. Drain. Put lotus roots into a heat-proof bowl. Pour enough boiling water to cover; let sit for 5 minutes. Drain. Rinse with cold water. Pat dry. refrigerate until chilled. For the dressing; in bowl, combine thoroughly the ginger, sugar soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil and coriander. Put lotus root slices into a shallow bowl; pour dressing over lotus roots. Arrange on individual salad plates, garnish with sesame seeds. Serve chi

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