If you suffer from trypophobia, you are going to want to stay away from this post. If you don’t know what trypophobia is, you probably shouldn’t google it because it will ruin your day. Essentially, it’s the fear of things with irregular holes. The wikipedia page is pretty safe (no images) if you are curious.
Lotus roots are full of irregular holes. I’m willing to overlook this character flaw because they are tasty as a mofo. They make amazing chips. If you slice them thin enough, they get crispy like a potato chip. You really can’t have just one. Ask me how I know.
Okay, so these are what the roots look like before you clean them up. They are not going to win any beauty competitions, but I think they are jolie laide (beautiful ugly).
First thing you do is chop off the ends and inspect them for gross stuff (mould or dirt). If you see something like that, keep cutting until you’ve removed it all.
Step 2, peel them like a potato. Keep in mind, these things brown like apples once they are exposed to air. It doesn’t really matter since we are baking them, but if you use them raw in a salad you will want to cut them close to serving time. Next, slice them in 1/8″ to 1/4 slices, thinner = crispier. It’s okay if you have more than one thickness.
Put all the slices in to a big bowl and coat with olive oil, salt, pepper and a bit of sesame oil for extra flavour.
Spread the lotus root slices in a single layer on a cookie sheet (or 2) that has been liberally brushed with olive oil. If you are using two sheets, try to put thick slices on one and thin slices on the other. That way you can take out the thin ones before they overcook.
Bake them at 325F for 20 minutes and then check them. Unless you have some magical oven that cooks totally evenly and you cut everything with surgical precision; some will brown faster than others. Remove the golden brown, crispy looking ones and put them on a piece of paper towel to rest. Put the tray back in the oven and check it at 5 minute intervals, removing the ones that are done at each interval. The whole process could take 30-45 minutes.
When they are done, they should look something like this…
They look good, right? They are good on their own, but they also make a good vehicle for putting dip in your mouth. I see you eyeballing that mystery dip in the picture above. I promise you, the recipe for that is coming in the next couple day. Feel free to take a guess at what it is in the comments!
A special shout out to Chris, my partner in all things for teaching me how to make these chips. Those are his hands doing all the chopping because his knife skills are better than mine!
- 2 large lotus roots
- 2 tbsp olive oil + more for the pan
- 1 tsp of ground black pepper
- ½- 3/4 tbsp salt
- ½ tbsp sesame oil
- Preheat oven to 325F
- Cut the ends of the lotus roots
- Peel the skin off the lotus root with a vegetable peeler
- Slice the roots in to ⅛"- ¼" slices
- Combine sliced roots 2 tbsp oil, black pepper, salt and sesame oil in bowl.
- Mix with hands until roots are evenly covered with oil and seasonings.
- Brush baking sheets with olive oil, be generous as these things will stick if you are stingy.
- Place slices in a single layer on the baking sheets.
- Bake for 20 minutes and check for ones that are browning rapidly.
- Remove the browned ones and place them on a piece of paper towel to absorb excess oil.
- Put the baking sheets back in the oven and repeat the process of checking and removing finished ones at 5 minute intervals.
- The entire process can take 30-45 minutes depending on your oven and how thinly you sliced the lotus root.
- Let cool and enjoy on their own or with dip.