All recipes are for 2 servings unless noted. Oil is canola oil and salt is kosher salt.


Renkon no amazu-itame / sauteed lotus root in sweetened vinegar

A small sweet and spicy side dish of crunchy lotus root.


80-100 g renkon lotus root (1/2-2/3 of one section)
1 red chili pepper (slices)
1 tbsp water
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1/2 tbsp sugar
1/4-1/2 tsp usukuchi soy sauce
Pinch salt (not in photo)
1/2 tsp oil (not in photo)


Skin, and somewhat thinly cut lotus root diagonally rangiri style. Immediately soak in cold water (for 5 minutes) to prevent discoloration.


In a frying pan, heat oil, drain and put lotus root, and quickly saute on medium low heat.

Add red chili pepper, and continue sauteing until lotus root surface is somewhat translucent.


Add water, rice vinegar, sugar and usukuchi soy sauce, and cook until liquid is almost gone.

Taste, and add salt as necessary.

  • Lotus root can be cut in 8 mm thick rounds. If thick pieces are desired, cover pan to steam while sauteing or simmering.
  • If your lotus root is very fresh with no blemishes on skin, skinning is optional.
  • Usukuchi soy sauce is mainly for aroma (without adding a strong brown hue to the dish), and can be skipped. If not using soy sauce, use more salt. The end result with salt only will be quite white in color, and the red chili pepper slices really stand out well.
  • When the amount of sugar is increased slightly to 2 tsp, the contrast between sweet and spicy tastes becomes very clear. 
  • Amazu means sweetened (rice) vinegar. I do not keep prepared sweetened vinegar and simply add sugar to rice vinegar when I need it.

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