Lotus Root Chips with Toasted Nori-Sesame Salt

by Tokyo Terrace on January 1, 2010

Whoa. Is my calendar correct? Is it really 2010 already? To be honest, I don’t think I ever really got used to it being 2009 and now I have to start with 2010. What’s a girl to do? Well, this girl decided that the best way to start the New Year is with a new recipe using new kitchen tools!

My wonderful hubs is a much better listener than I give him credit for. Granted, there are times when I could be jumping up and down screaming “FIRE” and he would look at me blankly and say “Are you talking to me?” But when he does listen, he listens well. Like when I look longingly at a mandoline and say, “But I neeeeeed one!” He listens to that.

How do I know that he listens? Because this year a mandoline appeared neatly wrapped in a package in my Christmas stocking from Santa Claus. Apparently, Brad called him up one day and said, “Listen big guy. I need you to do me a favor. You see, my wife thinks I don’t listen but I do!” You can imagine the rest of the conversation from there.

To break in my new toy, I decided to make lotus root chips. The slices have to be really thin, making this a perfect way to test out the mandoline. So, with the thinnest setting in place and my hand guard protecting my fingers, I began slicing the lotus root. Not only was this perfect for the mandoline’s first ride, it was also perfect because the lotus root is a food eaten around the New Year in Japan. According to what I’ve read, the lotus root’s holes represent seeing through to the new year or as a representation of the wheel of life. Either way, it is a delicious and healthy part of bringing in the New Year.


Throughout the past few days, I have found that much of the Japanese culture surrounding New Year’s Eve/Day involves cleansing. Whether it is scouring the home from floor to ceiling and everything in between, eating foods that are healthy and signify luck and prosperity, listening to 108 bells at the Buddhist temples, or sharing a paper cup filled with sake at the Shinto shrines, the Japanese view this as a time to start anew and wipe the slate clean. Check out the photo and video below of our celebration at a Shinto Shrine last night just after midnight. We enjoyed some sake, shiruko (sweet red bean porridge with mochi) and people watching.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pe1yHEyPk4M&hl=en&fs=1]

Of all the cultural traditions I have experienced living in Japan, this is one that will surely come with me when I leave. New Year celebrations are a time to be together, appreciating the community and the possibility of new and better things to come from that community in the approaching year. It is a time to let go of the past and move on to an unknown future with a belly full of mochi and sake. Sounds like a plan to me!

I hope you all have reasons to celebrate the coming of 2010 and the end of 2009. Here’s to starting over!

Lotus Root Chips with Toasted Nori-Sesame Salt
Makes 6 servings

1 lotus root, about 4 or 5 inches long, cleaned and peeled
Vegetable Oil for frying (you will need quite a bit, so be sure you have enough on hand)
1/4 cup white sesame seeds, toasted and ground (it is possible to find already ground sesame seeds- these will work just fine)
1/4 cup shredded nori or 4 2-3 inch sheets
1/3 cup sea salt

Using a mandoline or sharp knife, carefully slice the lotus root as thinly as possible. For me, I set my mandoline to the thinnest setting. You can go one step up form the lowest setting if that’s what you prefer, but I like mine paper thin.

Set the lotus root slices on paper towels to remove the excess moisture. I layer mine starting with a paper towel on the bottom, then a layer of lotus root slices, layer of paper towel, etc. Press gently on the layers to ensure the moisture is removed.

In a wok, heat 2 inches of vegetable oil. Test the oil temperature by placing a slice of lotus root in the oil. If the lotus root begins to bubble gradually, the oil is ready. If the oil bubbles rapidly immediately, the oil is too hot and the lotus root will burn. When the oil is at the proper temperature, work in batches being careful not to crowd the lotus root. Use a slotted spoon to remove the slices as soon as they have turned brown and carefully place on a cooling rack or a plate lined with paper towels.

When the lotus root chips are finished, make the nori-sesame salt by placing the sesame seeds and nori in a dry pan over medium high heat moving the pan around to keep the seeds and nori from burning. After about 3 or 4 minutes, the nori and seeds should be fragrant and the seeds should appear slightly browned. Remove from the heat and transfer to a spice grinder or small food processor. Pulse until uniformly sized. Add the sea salt and pulse to combine the ingredients. Transfer the salt to a small airtight container.

Sprinkle the lotus root chips with the salt and serve. Light, crispy deliciousness!

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  • http://www.sense-serendipity.blogspot.com/ Divina

    Happy New Year Rachel. I’m glad you enjoyed your New Year’s Eve tradition in Japan. The mandoline is actually one of the gifts that I wanted for Christmas. They couldn’t find the one that I’m asking for. :D I wouldn’t even try slicing the lotus root with my knife. Looking at it, it really requires a mandoline. Beautiful pictures.

  • http://www.sense-serendipity.blogspot.com Divina

    Happy New Year Rachel. I’m glad you enjoyed your New Year’s Eve tradition in Japan. The mandoline is actually one of the gifts that I wanted for Christmas. They couldn’t find the one that I’m asking for. :D I wouldn’t even try slicing the lotus root with my knife. Looking at it, it really requires a mandoline. Beautiful pictures.

  • http://topsy.com/tb/tokyoterrace.com/2010/01/01/lotus-root-chips-with-toasted-nori-sesame-salt/ Tweets that mention Lotus Root Chips with Toasted Nori-Sesame Salt « Tokyo Terrace — Topsy.com

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Naoto T. Ueno (上野直人, Rachael White. Rachael White said: {New Post: Lotus Root Chips with Toasted Nori-Sesame Salt} http://wp.me/pvrJ1-tB [...]

  • http://www.freshnewengland.blogspot.com/ El

    Happy New Year! Your photos are gorgeous. Glad you had a great time!

  • http://www.freshnewengland.blogspot.com El

    Happy New Year! Your photos are gorgeous. Glad you had a great time!

  • http://aromasysabores-heidileon.blogspot.com/ heidileon

    Happy New Year my darling; hope you and Mr. White have a gorgeous 2010 and that you keep sharing with us more delicious recipes and cocktails as well as your insights on the Japanese Culture.

    Here in Macau NYE was ok lah (soso) but we ALL are ALREADY getting ready for Chinese New Year which involves several traditions as the ones you mentioned above (going to a temple/shrine, eat healthy good luck food; the bells and of course FIREWORKS!).

    As an expat living in Asia, I must agree with you that these traditions are some of the traditions I plan to bring with me when (if) we leave Asia.

    hugs

  • http://aromasysabores-heidileon.blogspot.com/ heidileon

    Happy New Year my darling; hope you and Mr. White have a gorgeous 2010 and that you keep sharing with us more delicious recipes and cocktails as well as your insights on the Japanese Culture.

    Here in Macau NYE was ok lah (soso) but we ALL are ALREADY getting ready for Chinese New Year which involves several traditions as the ones you mentioned above (going to a temple/shrine, eat healthy good luck food; the bells and of course FIREWORKS!).

    As an expat living in Asia, I must agree with you that these traditions are some of the traditions I plan to bring with me when (if) we leave Asia.

    hugs

  • http://blog.inomthings.com/ ila

    happy new year! so jealous that you get to celebrate new years in japan. yes, there is a lot of cleaning on new year’s eve, but once that’s over it’s a glutton’s fest.

  • http://blog.inomthings.com ila

    happy new year! so jealous that you get to celebrate new years in japan. yes, there is a lot of cleaning on new year’s eve, but once that’s over it’s a glutton’s fest.

  • http://realurl.org/twitted.php?id=7272045954 Twitted by marikurisato

    [...] This post was Twitted by marikurisato [...]

  • http://www.obviouslyomnivore.com/ Xai

    i didnt know lotus root looked this pretty.

  • http://www.obviouslyomnivore.com Xai

    i didnt know lotus root looked this pretty.

  • http://www.purplefoodie.com/ The Purple Foodie

    I love lotus root! Especially in a pickle my friend’s mom makes. I’ve been meaning to try the chips, but haven’t come around to – you’ve inspired me again!

  • http://www.purplefoodie.com The Purple Foodie

    I love lotus root! Especially in a pickle my friend’s mom makes. I’ve been meaning to try the chips, but haven’t come around to – you’ve inspired me again!

  • http://realurl.org/twitted.php?id=7292380923 Twitted by blew1

    [...] This post was Twitted by blew1 [...]

  • http://rasamalaysia.com/ Rasa Malaysia

    Happy New Year Rachael! I love lotus root chips. Yum.

  • http://rasamalaysia.com Rasa Malaysia

    Happy New Year Rachael! I love lotus root chips. Yum.

  • http://mattatouille.com/ mattatouille

    you have some truly amazing photos. i’m envious!

  • http://mattatouille.com mattatouille

    you have some truly amazing photos. i’m envious!

  • http://www.bellalimento.com/ Paula – bell’alimento

    Happy Happy New Year Rachael! I’m so happy you got your mandolin! Your pictures are stunning & now I’m wanting some lotus root ; )

  • http://www.bellalimento.com Paula – bell’alimento

    Happy Happy New Year Rachael! I’m so happy you got your mandolin! Your pictures are stunning & now I’m wanting some lotus root ; )

  • http://kitchen-em.blogspot.com/ Kitchen M

    Happy New Year! I love fried lotus root chips! But I’ve never had it with sesame and nori. That’s a great idea.

  • http://kitchen-em.blogspot.com Kitchen M

    Happy New Year! I love fried lotus root chips! But I’ve never had it with sesame and nori. That’s a great idea.

  • http://www.tinyurbankitchen.com/ Jen@TinyUrbanKitchen

    I absolutely love lotus root! This looks incredibly delicious. Maybe I’ll try baking slices and see if I can make a healthy version. ;)

  • http://www.tinyurbankitchen.com/ Jen@TinyUrbanKitchen

    I absolutely love lotus root! This looks incredibly delicious. Maybe I’ll try baking slices and see if I can make a healthy version. ;)

  • http://www.theediblelibrary.com/ Meaghan

    Happy 2010!
    I love lotus root, but haven’t tried chips like this before. This sounds like a good reason to buy a mandoline.
    Beautiful photos, as ever. I hope your year is off to a great start.

  • http://www.theediblelibrary.com Meaghan

    Happy 2010!
    I love lotus root, but haven’t tried chips like this before. This sounds like a good reason to buy a mandoline.
    Beautiful photos, as ever. I hope your year is off to a great start.

  • http://wasabiprime.blogspot.com/ wasabi prime

    Beautiful! Lotus root is an amazing ingredient; had it many times in broth and I loved the shape. Making them into chips is a grand idea, and so glad to hear you got a new mandoline! I love mine, even if it’s taken a bite out of me a few times. Thank you for sharing your New Years celebration. Ours was so low-key; will be posting about it within the week.

  • http://wasabiprime.blogspot.com wasabi prime

    Beautiful! Lotus root is an amazing ingredient; had it many times in broth and I loved the shape. Making them into chips is a grand idea, and so glad to hear you got a new mandoline! I love mine, even if it’s taken a bite out of me a few times. Thank you for sharing your New Years celebration. Ours was so low-key; will be posting about it within the week.

  • http://tokyoterrace.com/2010/01/05/japanese-chestnut-and-sweet-potato-soup/ Japanese Chestnut and Sweet Potato Soup « Tokyo Terrace

    [...] Press « Lotus Root Chips with Toasted Nori-Sesame Salt [...]

  • http://oysterfoodandculture.com/ OysterCulture

    What a fun read – Happy New Year and I’m glad we get to see what you can do with a mandolin!

  • http://oysterfoodandculture.com OysterCulture

    What a fun read – Happy New Year and I’m glad we get to see what you can do with a mandolin!

  • http://www.deishawcross.com/ Debi(TableTalk)

    I’m a bit behind in reading posts…happy to find these Lotus Root Chips and the Japanese Chestnut/Sweet Potato Soup! I’ve never seen sweet potatoes with such amazing, deep color.
    Thanks for sharing your new year’s eve with us–what fun!

    Here’s to a happy 2010!

  • http://www.deishawcross.com Debi(TableTalk)

    I’m a bit behind in reading posts…happy to find these Lotus Root Chips and the Japanese Chestnut/Sweet Potato Soup! I’ve never seen sweet potatoes with such amazing, deep color.
    Thanks for sharing your new year’s eve with us–what fun!

    Here’s to a happy 2010!

  • tokyoterrace

    Happy New Year Divina! I hope your New Year celebration was wonderful. Here’s to a great 2010! And you can slice the lotus root a little thicker if you don’t have a mandoline…

  • tokyoterrace

    Thank you! Happy New Year to you too El!

  • tokyoterrace

    Happy New Year Divina! I hope your New Year celebration was wonderful. Here’s to a great 2010! And you can slice the lotus root a little thicker if you don’t have a mandoline…

  • tokyoterrace

    Thank you! Happy New Year to you too El!

  • tokyoterrace

    Happy New Year, Heidi! You are so sweet. I hope 2010 brings you a lot of joy and happiness. Enjoy the Chinese New Year! I can’t wait to see some photos of your experience. You are such a great connection to have since we are both experiencing life in Asia from a similar perspective. Be well!

  • tokyoterrace

    Happy New Year, Heidi! You are so sweet. I hope 2010 brings you a lot of joy and happiness. Enjoy the Chinese New Year! I can’t wait to see some photos of your experience. You are such a great connection to have since we are both experiencing life in Asia from a similar perspective. Be well!

  • tokyoterrace

    So true! But the cleaning is totally worth it. happy New Year!

  • tokyoterrace

    So true! But the cleaning is totally worth it. happy New Year!

  • tokyoterrace

    Yes, lotus root is actually very beautiful. I love how clean and elegant it looks.

  • tokyoterrace

    Oooo! Pickled lotus root is excellent. You’ll have to try the chips- they are surprisingly easy and really yummy.

  • tokyoterrace

    Yes, lotus root is actually very beautiful. I love how clean and elegant it looks.

  • tokyoterrace

    Oooo! Pickled lotus root is excellent. You’ll have to try the chips- they are surprisingly easy and really yummy.

  • tokyoterrace

    Happy New Year, Bee! Yes, lotus root chips are a great snack :)

  • tokyoterrace

    Thanks Matt!

  • tokyoterrace

    Happy New Year, Bee! Yes, lotus root chips are a great snack :)

  • tokyoterrace

    Thanks Matt!

  • tokyoterrace

    Hi Paula! Thanks for the compliment! That means so much coming from you!

  • tokyoterrace

    Hi Paula! Thanks for the compliment! That means so much coming from you!

  • tokyoterrace

    Happy New Year! The salt adds a really nice touch. Thanks for stopping by!

  • tokyoterrace

    You can certainly give it a try- let me know how they turn out!

  • tokyoterrace

    Happy New Year! The salt adds a really nice touch. Thanks for stopping by!

  • tokyoterrace

    You can certainly give it a try- let me know how they turn out!

  • tokyoterrace

    Thanks Meaghan! Happy New Year to you as well!

  • tokyoterrace

    Thanks Meaghan! Happy New Year to you as well!

  • tokyoterrace

    Lotus root is definitely amazing. It’s so versatile and there are so many ways to prepare it. It adds a beautiful look to a plate, too. Careful with that mandoline of yours!!

  • tokyoterrace

    Lotus root is definitely amazing. It’s so versatile and there are so many ways to prepare it. It adds a beautiful look to a plate, too. Careful with that mandoline of yours!!

  • tokyoterrace

    Happy New Year to you as well! I was ecstatic to have the mandoline- so fun!

  • tokyoterrace

    Hi Debi! No worries about being behind- I know you’ve been very busy lately. Happy New Year to you!

  • tokyoterrace

    Happy New Year to you as well! I was ecstatic to have the mandoline- so fun!

  • tokyoterrace

    Hi Debi! No worries about being behind- I know you’ve been very busy lately. Happy New Year to you!

  • http://kissmyspatula.com/ kms

    i am in love with your lotus root chips! i’ve always loved the look of lotus roots, so what a way to make them shine! (plus, your chestnut and sweet potato soup is simply gorgeous).

  • http://kissmyspatula.com/ kms

    i am in love with your lotus root chips! i’ve always loved the look of lotus roots, so what a way to make them shine! (plus, your chestnut and sweet potato soup is simply gorgeous).

  • http://www.tokyoterrace.com/2010/06/summer-roasted-beet-salad/ Summer Roasted Beet Salad — Tokyo Terrace :: An American Foodie in Tokyo

    [...] I can start organizing my thoughts yet again. The key? Finding the simplicity that attracts me to various foods in Japan using common, fresh ingredients here in the [...]

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    [...] you’d like to give these a try, click here for the recipe. If you can’t get your paws on lotus root (check at any Asian Market) you can [...]

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    [...] first time Brad tried creating his own recipe (which can be found, along with one of my Lotus Root Chips, in the soon-to-be-released Foodista Cookbook) he was stunned at how many steps need to be written [...]

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