Thursday, January 24, 2013

O is for ǒu 藕

The lotus is an aquatic plant natvie to southern Asia and Australia. It is regarded as the supreme flower of summer. Under the influence of Buddhism, Chinese poets have praised the cleanliness and purity of the lotus flower rising above the muddy water.
 (The Goddess of Mercy sits peacefully in a lotus blossom seat.) 
The Chinese make great use of every party of this special plant. The seeds are made into a sweet paste for desserts; the seed pods are used for medicine; and the roots, are canned or cooked as delicacies.
You can eat lotus seeds fresh from its pod or cook the dry seeds as dessets.
No one in the class ever see a lotus flower before, neither the lotus roots. I want to introduce lotus root to parents because they are good source of dietary fibers, vitamin C and provides healthy amounts of important minerals like copper, iron, zinc, magnesium, and manganese. When I passed on the dry lotus seeds from China, some of kids cracked them open and ate them and they said it's very yummy!

Parents can find the fresh lotus roots in local Chinese grocery, which are farm raised. In China, wild lotus roots in the fresh water lake can sell for high price because they need to picked up by hand, intact. This episode from A Bite of China shows how hard lotus roots workers work in 7 months a year in the muddy water to dig for lotus roots. (watch from 22:00 min.)
I brought pure lotus root powder from China and we made some jelly! To prepare, you first mash a spoonful of the powder in cold water to make a paste, then quickly stir while pouring in a cupful of boiling water. As you stir, the opaque powder becomes a transparent gel. The desired result is a bowl of light brown translucent jelly, which you eat with sugar either hot or cold. This is one of my favorite snack!                            

1 comment:

kitchu said...

that is so incredible! thank you for doing these posts for us :)