What is it?
Lotus root is used in many everyday Japanese dishes. It is also a traditional ingredient in Japanese New Year cooking, The holes in the cut lotus root are supposed to let one see clearly into the year ahead.
How can it be eaten?
The inedible outer skin should be peeled to reveal the ice-white skin underneath. The lotus root can be sliced, cut into cubes or chopped into fine sticks much like most other vegetables.
The raw lotus root will begin to darken almost immediately, much like a raw potato. To prevent this, the peeled and cut lotus root should be immersed into water which has a little vinegar added to it.
Lotus root can be added to salads, soups, stews, fried dishes and made into tempura. If the cut lotus root is to be added to a dish that requires no or very little cooking, it should first be blanched in hot vinegared water.