pickled pink lotus root
Lotus root is the subterranean stem of the lotus flower, found in the mud of shallow waters. Try to select roots that are light in color and firm with the ends of segments closed. Sometimes they may have mud in the holes, you can clean any dirt by soaking slices in water with a teaspoon of vinegar. Use a chopstick to loosen any dirt. I love the refreshing crunch of these pickled slices... and the beetroot makes them a beautiful color!
1/2 lb fresh lotus root, peeled and sliced
1/4 of a beet (I cut mine into blossom-shapes)
1 cup rice vinegar
1 cup water
2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp sugar
4-5 Thai red chili peppers*
2 tsp peppercorns or a stem of Thai green peppercorns,** optional
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the lotus root slices and boil them for 1-2 minutes. Drain and place them in a 16oz mason jar. Add the chili peppers and peppercorns to the jar too, if using.
Add the rice vinegar, water, salt, sugar, and beetroot slices to the pot and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the salt and sugar.
Pour the hot brine into the jar and let this sit overnight on your kitchen counter. Store to refrigerate..
*If you like your pickles spicy, slice the chilis, or cut a slit lengthwise in each pepper to allow the heat from the seeds to infuse
**The stem I used was saved from a dish that I had at a Thai restaurant