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


Surenkon / subasu / lotus root marinated in sweetened rice vinegar

A lotus root pickle that can be eaten as is or used as a garnish for grilled fish.


1/2 section renkon lotus root (140 g in photo)
1-2 tsp rice vinegar (to boil renkon; not in photo)

For amazu sweetened rice vinegar marinade
2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp water
2 1/2 tbsp sugar
Pinch salt
1 red chili pepper (whole or slices)


Put all ingredients for amazu marinade in a container, and bring to boil.
Remove from heat, and let cool.


Skin lotus root, slice into 3-4 mm thick rounds, and immediately soak in water (up to 5 minutes). 

Make hanarenkon flower cuts (optional).


Bring water to boil, add rice vinegar, and boil renkon until reaching preferred softness (1-3 minutes in most cases).

Drain, and let cool.


Once renkon cools (almost to room temperature), marinate in sweetened rice vinegar.
Ready to eat after 2 hours.

  • Red chili pepper is optional. One red chili pepper for the amount of marinade above makes renkon quite spicy.
  • The sweetness and contrasting spiciness start to clearly come through from the next day.
  • Rice vinegar is added to the boiling water to prevent renkon from discoloring (becoming slightly grayish brown). Soaking in vinegar water before cooking is another common method. If not cutting each round into flower shape, renkon rounds can be immediately boiled instead of soaking in water first.
  • Hanarenkon adds a nice decorative touch for meals served on celebratory occasions, such as osechi New Year's food.
  • Keeps in the fridge for a few weeks.
  • Surenkon and subasu both literally mean vinegar(ed) lotus root ("basu" in subasu is from "hasu [lotus]").

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