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


Ebi to ginnan-iri mushi-renkon manju / steamed lotus root dumplings with prawns and gingko nuts

Grated lotus root is transformed into soft dumplings by steaming. Prawns add a mild sweet flavor while gingko nuts provide the nutty tang of autumn.


1 section (120-150 g) renkon lotus root (140g in photo)
3 prawns
10-12 ginnan gingko nuts
Pinch salt (not in photo)

Small handful mizuna (or any greens)

For thickened sauce
80 cc dashi
1 tsp sake
1 tsp mirin
1 tsp usukuchi soy sauce
1/2 tsp regular soy sauce
1/2 tbsp potato starch + 1/2 tbsp water
1 small knob ginger


Clean prawns with potato starch, rinse and drain.
Sogigiri slice at a slant into 3 or 4 sections.

Crack open gingko nut shells with pliers or  kitchen scissors, and remove shells.
Boil in a small amount of water, and remove skin.

Peel renkon and soak in water for a few minutes to prevent discoloration, then grate into a mixing bowl.
Grate ginger.


Add prawns, gingko nuts and salt to renkon, and mix.

Form dumplings, and place in individual serving bowls (heat resistant bowls).


Cover and steam on medium heat for 10 minutes.


In the meantime, blanch mizuna and cut into 3-4 cm.


Prepare sauce.
In a small pot, put dashi, sake, mirin, usukuchi and regular soy sauce, and bring to boil.
Swirl in potato starch-water mixture, and simmer for one minute.

Squeeze in ginger juice, and mix well.


When renkon dumplings are ready, pour sauce, and garnish with mizuna.

Serve hot.

  • Cleaning prawns with potato starch eliminates the smell and improves texture. Slicing at a slant is to obtain pieces that are about the same size.
  • Quickly boiling gingko nuts makes it easy to remove their skin.
  • Add a small amount of vinegar to water for soaking renkon before grating, if a pale color is important.
  • When forming dumplings, do not squeeze out liquid from renkon. Dumplings still dripping with liquid are OK. It will not make the food soggy. The liquid is the key to a softly chewy texture, and the dumplings would taste very dry without it.
  • When thickening the sauce, make sure to stir potato starch-water mixture first before adding it. Potato starch tends to sink to the bottom, and stirring ensures even distribution of thickener.

No comments: