Yeongeun jorim is a popular fall side dish that’s made with lotus roots. It’s sweet, savory, and crunchy! It surely deserves a spot on your favorite basic side dish (mitbanchan) list.
To make the dish, you first peel and slice the lotus roots, and then pre-boil in water with a little bit of vinegar before braising. This is a technique Korean home cooks use to reduce the starch level and remove any bitterness from the lotus root.
Yeongeun jorim (sweet soy braised lotus root)
As for the braising liquid, I simply used water as a base, but dashima broth or dried shiitake mushroom soaked water would add another layer to the flavor. You can also add a few slices of garlic or ginger, if you like.
If you like the braised lotus root crunchier, reduce the pre-boiling time from the recipe. Likewise, if you want it softer and chewier, pre-boil longer.
450 grams lotus roots (yeonguen)
1 tablespoon vinegar
4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
2 tablespoons Korean rice malt syrup, jocheong (or corn syrup)
1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds
Cut the tough ends of the lotus root, and peel the skin with a potato peeler.
Thinly slice the lotus root, about 0.6-centimeter thick.
Add the lotus root slices to a medium size pot with enough water to cover them and a tablespoon of vinegar. Bring it to a boil and cook, uncovered, for about 10 minutes.
Drain, and rinse with cold water.
Return them to the pot. Add 1 cup of water and the soy sauce, rice wine, sugar, and oil. Bring it to a boil. Continue to boil, uncovered, over medium high heat until the liquid is reduced to about 3 tablespoons, about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally to rotate the lotus root slices.
Add the rice malt syrup (or corn syrup) and sesame oil, and stir well until the liquid is almost gone, 3 to 4 minutes. Keep your eyes on the pot to avoid burning the lotus root. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds to serve.
Keep the leftovers in the fridge. Coat with the sauce at the bottom when serving.
For more recipes, visit www.koreanbapsang.com.
By Ro Hyo-sun