Sunday, January 03, 2010

Sweet and Sour Lotus Root (Subasu)

Recipe from Washoku by Elizabeth Andoh that I made as part of my Washoku Warriors Challenge New Years feast for 2010

Whenever I see fresh lotus root at the market (especially small, slender, straight segments that enable me to make lots of attractive slices), I double, or even triple this recipe. Having subasu on hand in the refrigerator, I can easily dress up a salad, garnish a plate of broiled chicken or fish, or top a platter of scattered-style sushi.

Makes about 30 to 40 slices

2 cups cold water
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 small segment lotus root, about 4 oz, peeled, sliced as thinly as possible, and soaked
1/2 cup sweet and sour sauce, prepared with kombu piece

In a nonreactive saucepan, combine the water and vinegar and bring to a boil. Add the lotus root and blanch for less than a minute, or until barely tender and slightly translucent. Meanwhile, put the Sweet-and-Sour sauce in a glass jar.

Drain the lotus root slices well but do not refresh under cold running water. Transfer them immediately to the jar holding the sweet-and-sour sauce and arrange the kombu piece on top. With clean shopstick or another kitchen tool, press down to make sure that the lotus root is submerged in the pickling liquid. Let cool to room temperature.

When completely cool, cover the top of the jar with plastic wrap (to keep the vinegar from reacting with the metal of the lid) and a tight-fitting lid, or use a Mason jar. Allow the pickled lotus root to mature in the refrigerator for at least one day. It will keep for up to several months. Just before serving, discard the kombu piece, drain the slices, and blot them with paper towels.

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