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Stir-fried lotus root with chilies and Sichuan pepper

Updated: Apr 25, 2021

The first time I ate lotus root was more than 20 years ago is a small Chinese restaurant in Philadelphia. My curiosity was irked by this delicately flavored vegetable. Over time we have seen its popularity grow and the vegetable appear on menus in Asian and Indian restaurants and on the shelves of the markets.

This is an amazing recipe that pops with flavor from the tongue numbing Sichuan peppercorns. These small berries, made famous by the spicy Sichuan cuisine, are neither peppers or chiles but from a different species of plant. They feel like they numb your tongue, but in reality are super-activating the sensors on your tongue so that you taste your food more intensely. More on this amazing ingredient here.

This outstanding book is the bible of Sichuan cooking, well written, lots of notes to help you learn about the dish and the culture, and a must for any home chef.

For more recipes from this cookbook click here.


1 lb cleaned and sliced lotus root

8 dried arbol chiles, cut into 1 inch pieces, and the seeds shaken out

1 tablespoon whole Sichuan peppercorns

3 tablespoons oil

1 tablespoon roasted sesame oil

Salt to taste

If the lotus root is raw or lightly poached, boil it in water with a touch of salt for about 10-12 minutes. It should taste cooked but still retain a slight crunch. Taste a small piece to see if it is cooked.

Start heating the oil in a wok or shallow pan. Add the chilies and Sichuan peppercorns to the warm oil and they will start sizzling. When they start to darken, do not burn them, add the lotus root and salt and stir-fry. When the lotus root is well coated in the oil and piping hot, remove. Drizzle with the sesame oil and serve immediately.

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