Good Luck Veggie: Renkon (Lotus Roots)

Good Luck Veggie: Renkon (Lotus Roots)

It is a good luck vegetable so Japanese people eat Lotus Roots as part of special New Year meal.  Why is this root vegetable is good luck?  As you can see you can see holes of Renkon as photo shown below.  It is said that you can see the future.  Also, Renkon produces tons of seeds, therefore it means “productivity.”  Kind of clever, huh?

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I am fortunate enough to be able to buy Renkon at Asian market in International District so I keep it in my fridge often.  I usually simply sautée it with different kinds of seasonings each time.  Last night, I sliced it in ½-inch thick, sautéed with sesame oil (I love sesame oil by the way, so fragrant), sprinkle of salt, splash of fish sauce and dash of black vinegar.  I am very enthusiastic about black vinegar.  This is one of  several fermented seasonings that I am in love with.  Black vinegar is very smooth, malty and mellow, not stingy.  When you cook vegetables, any meat or fish, your dish ALWAYS come out complex, yet mild, rich and delicious.  If you use black vinegar when making hot and sour soup, your soup would taste divine!

Anyway, here is last night’s magic.  Black vinegar and home-shaved bonito on top of sautéed renkon.  It only takes about 10 minutes to cook.  All you need besides the renkon dish is white rice.  Savory and comforting dinner is ready.

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… (no words needed)

… (no words needed)

I love taking a nap.  Naps are magical.  After taking a nap, all of my body parts and soul were revitalized.  It is 3 pm and OK, I have 2 and half hours until two friends are coming to our place for dinner.

These pretty birds, 2 of them, have been taking a nap for quite a while.  Not a typical nap, they have been bathing as well …with salt and lemon.  It is time to wake them up.  They are rested well and their body should be rejuvenated, and their soul, should be, uh well, good(?).  Salt and lemon make their skin look gorgeous.  Now, I even make them look prettier with quartered lemons, garlic and fresh thyme inside of their bellies.  Then I coat their bodies with melted butter.  Lots of butter.

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Following this, they go to an even warmer place, the oven, with winter vegetables such as fingering potatoes, rutabaga, renkon (lotus root), parsnips, carrots, brussel sprouts, leeks and onions that Washington state small farmers grew with TLC. They get to enjoy the heat for about an hour and half.

Naps are magical, I said.  Naps make (almost) everything better.  I have proof here because these chickens tasted just delightful as the 4 of us got quiet for a while when we started eating them.  Sometimes no words are needed to express how delicious the food is.

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