Actual cooking time is not particularly long, but preparation does take some time to let the lotus root and filling work on their own to stabilize the karashi-miso mixture, so plan ahead.
419 calories; 7.1 g protein; 26.3 g fat; 38.3 g carbohydrate; 32.0 g net carbs; 444 mg sodium; 14 mg cholesterol; 6.3 g fiber
1/2 of recipe:
210 calories; 3.6 g protein; 13.2 g fat; 19.2 g carbohydrate; 16.0 g net carbs; 222 mg sodium; 7 mg cholesterol; 3.2 g fiber
1/3 of recipe:
140 calories; 2.4 g protein; 8.8 g fat; 12.8 g carbohydrate; 10.7 g net carbs; 148 mg sodium; 5 mg cholesterol; 2.1 g fiber
1/2-1/3 section (approx. 150 g) renkon lotus root (135 g with skin, 121 g skinned in photo)
1-2 tsp rice vinegar (to boil renkon; not in photo)
40 g (slightly more than 2 tbsp) Saikyo miso
20 g fresh (or 8-10 g dry) okara soybean pulp (10 g dry okara soybean pulp in photo)
1 tsp karashi powder
1 tsp warm water (to mix with karashi; not in photo)
For tempura batter
30 g flour
30 cc water
1/4 egg yolk (not in photo)
1/4 tsp ukon turmeric powder
Flour (to dust renkon lotus root before applying batter; not in photo)
Oil for deep-frying (not in photo)
Skin or scrub renkon lotus root skin, place in pot with water and rice vinegar, and cook for 5-6 minutes once boiling.
Mix karashi powder and warm water well.
Press renkon lotus root onto miso mixture mound.
Heat oil for deep-frying.
Mix all ingredients for batter.
Remove any excess miso mixture from renkon, and put 1-2 skewers into its side (to hold in oil while deep-frying).
Dust with flour, and remove excess.
When oil is hot enough (150-160C/300-320F), put renkon in oil. Hold in oil without letting renkon touch bottom of pot.
(Once all surfaces are cooked, renkon can be released from skewers into oil.)
Slice as desired, and serve.
- If okara is not at hand, bread crumbs or crumbled fu wheat gluten cakes can substitute.
- The above proportion of karashi makes the dish relatively spicy and not suitable for kids. Try less karashi if unsure. (Not especially spicy for those accustomed to spicy food or who order dishes with 4- or 5-star spiciness at Thai or Korean restaurants in the US.)
- Saikyo miso above is originally sweet and requires minimal additional sweetener. If using other shiro white miso, you might want to add more mirin/sugar.
- Nutrition figures are based on an oil absorption rate of 15% (24 g canola oil absorbed by ingredients).
- This dish is said to have been created at the suggestion of a Buddhist monk for a nutritious diet for a feudal lord of the time (Hosokawa Tadatoshi [1586-1641]), who was in poor health and had little appetite. Despite the excellent nutrition of lotus root, the lord originally refused to eat it, as he did not like the idea of eating something that grows in mud. But the lord did not mind eating deep-fried lotus root, especially when it was filled with spicy and sweet miso, and his health was eventually restored. It is also said that due to the resemblance of karashi renkon's cut surface with the Hosokawa family crest, the recipe for karashi renkon was kept secret until the 19th century.