As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, we had a dessert after our hot pot party that was from a popular show in China. The show, Wo Ju (??), reflects the current pricey housing market in China. One of the main characters, a middle-aged (and married) city mayor’s secretary, chases and woos a newly college graduated young woman (her sister is the one that needs money to buy a house). On one of their secret dates, he takes her to a private restaurant and the chefs prepare a very large tasting for her. Near the end of the meal, the chefs bring out the stuffed lotus root in honey syrup; she was so full by the time this dish was presented that she initially said she couldn’t eat anymore. However, the mayor’s secretary encourages her to try a bite. She liked the dish so much that she was lamenting (and kind of whining) that she wished this was the first dish presented so she could’ve eaten more of it.
Right now, this dish is a big sensation in China – it’s served after almost every meal at fancy restaurants and meals aren’t considered complete without it.
Stuffed Lotus root in honey syrup is actually very easy to make – my mom’s friend’s family owns a couple of large hotels in China and their chefs used to prepare this when he was growing up and showed her how to make it.
Stuffed Lotus Root in Honey Syrup
2 Lotus Roots (pick firm and large ones)
1 cup glutinous rice
5 cups water
Lotus roots are a popular vegetable in Asia – there are a lot of different ways to prepare this healthy and fiberous dish. We usually cut up lotus root and put them in soups, or slice them into thin, potato-chip like slices and stir-fry them with meat and vegetables. The reason you want to pick a firm and large lotus root for stuffing them is because the holes will be larger, meaning it will be easier to fill them with sticky (or glutinous) rice. Here is what lotus root looks like:
Step zero would be to soak the glutinous in rice for a couple of hours (or overnight) to soften it and reduce the cooking time.
Next, cut a little lid for the lotus root so you can reassemble the root once it’s been filled with rice:
Scoop up handfuls of rice and start stuffing the lotus root (we used chopsticks to help the rice get in the holes):
Fill the rice to the top of the opening:
Reassemble the lotus root by placing the lid back on the lotus root and closing it with toothpicks:
Place the lotus root in hot water to cook the lotus root and rice (you can also add honey and sugar to the water to sweeten the dish, but we decided against it since I don’t like super sugary desserts):
Cook the lotus root on low to medium fire – the slow cooking will cook the lotus root in about an hour (it will also change from light brown to dark brown):
Slice the stuffed lotus root:
And drizzle with honey:
The dessert was sweet and had different textures from the very sticky rice and the slightly crunchy lotus root. I can see why it’s such a popular dessert in China!