Lotus root chips are an easy homemade snack that’s incredibly rewarding. Shichimi togarashi (ground red chile pepper, sansho, roasted orange peel, black sesame, white sesame, hemp seed, ground ginger, and dried seaweed) adds a nice kick of spice and umami, but garlic or curry powder would also be great substitutes.
- Remove the lotus root skin with a vegetable peeler, and cut off the browned ends.
- Using a mandoline or a chef’s knife, cut lotus root into even 1/8 inch slices.
- Place sliced lotus root into a medium sized bowl and submerge in water plus 1 tablespoon of vinegar. Let sit for 20 minutes.
- Dry the lotus root with paper towels, thoroughly patting down before frying.
- Fill a frying pan with oil up to ½ inch on high heat.
- Use a wooden chopstick to check if the heat is high enough. Dip the chopstick in the oil, and if it begins to bubble at a steady pace, the oil is hot enough.
- Drop slices of lotus root into oil without crowding the pan, making sure they do not stick to each other. It should take 2 to 3 minutes for them to crisp up and turn lightly golden (not dark brown!).
- When ready, remove lotus root chips from pan and let cool on a paper towel-covered plate.
- Repeat in batches, adding more oil if needed.
- After all of the lotus root is fried, transfer the chips to a bowl or large tray. Sprinkle with shichimi togarashi and salt, coating and mixing evenly. Taste as you go, and add more accordingly. Serve immediately.
Tatiana Bautista is a freelance writer based in New York.