Lotus roots, when new and fresh, should be prized for their great natural taste. They can even be eaten almost raw after a little marinating. The Japanese have a simple and delicate way to prepare them with umeboshi/Japanese pickled plums, which should please vegans and vegetarians (and omnivores). It certainly makes for a great snack with Japanese sake or shochu!
-Lotus root: 1 piece, 10 cm long. Choose it absolutely fresh and comparatively slender.
-Shiso/perilla leaves: 2
-Japanese sake: according to taste and preferences.
-Soy sauce: according to taste and preferences.
-Rice vinegar: according to taste and preferences.
-Peel and cut the lotus root into hin slices. Wash them 2 or 3 times in cold clean water.
-In a pan heat some water to just before boiling point. Add some rice vinegar and cook the lotus roots in eat until they become translucent.
Do not overcook them. Drain them thoroughly and put aside.
-Take the seeds out of the umebshi and sieve the meat into a bowl. Add Japanese sake (or cooking sake) to make it into a thin liquid paste. add a few drops of soy sauce for seasoning. Taste. If it is too sour to your liking add some mirin/sweet Japanese sake.
-Add the umeboshi to the lotus roots slices and mix well so as to cover all the lotus root slices surface.
-Cut the shiso/perilla leaves in 3 first, then chopp them fine across.
-Serve as in the picture, lotus root sliced mounted on top of each other and topped with chopped shiso leaves.
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