An underwater Asian root vegetable, with a shape similar to a long squash, which may grow up to four feet in length. The reddish brown covered root should be peeled before using, uncovering a white, lacy looking interior with hollow areas running the length of the root. It has a sweet taste and crunchy texture, which is maintained when cooked.
Available throughout the year lotus root can be eaten raw, stir-fried, steamed, braised and sautéed. When eaten raw, they provide a somewhat fiberous texture. When cooked, they go well in salads, soups, stews, or served as a vegetable dish. This root can be stuffed with pureed bean or pumpkin and then braised to provide an enjoyable tasting vegetable.
When selecting, choose roots that are firm, plump and free from blemishes or soft spots. Wrap and store in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator up to one week for the best flavor or a little longer if necessary.
**The first time I had lotus root was as a child---it really doesn't have that much flavor on it's own, but it soaks up juices/sauces when cooked with other things. We usually have it in soups--adds a nice crunchy texture. We also buy the crystallized form as a snack from the Asian markets.
Lotus Roots are supposed to be very good for you--I forget how/why, but I just remember my mom has said that to me. She cooked a lot of it for me when I was having kidney problems a few years back.