I never even knew you could eat lotus roots until I went hunting for this week’s Odyssey recipe, a tribute to the Lotus Eaters. Turns out I was missing out on an awesome snack! These lotus root chips are crispy, delicately salted, and super satisfying (I found the recipe here). Hellooo, healthy potato chip alternative! The best part is that you don’t wind up with a perfumy, floral-tasting chip, even though it’s from a flower. The lotus root actually has a really mild flavor, familiar enough to remind you of a potato chip while still a little unique. You can find fresh or packaged lotus roots in the produce or refrigerated sections of most Asian grocery stores. I found mine at my local Hmart (the kind I used were peeled, boiled slices packed in water).
Lotus Root Chips
“They started at once, and went about among the Lotus-eaters, who did them no hurt, but gave them to eat of the lotus, which was so delicious that those who ate of it left off caring about home, and did not even want to go back and say what had happened to them, but were for staying…without thinking further of their return…”
— The Odyssey
- 1 lb package lotus root slices (peeled, boiled, and packed in water) or 1 whole lotus root, peeled and sliced to 1/8-1/4 inch thickness
- 2 1/2 tbsp olive oil, with some extra for brushing
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tbsp pepper
Makes 1 serving (there’s a lot in the bag, but they shrink significantly when baked)
- If using packaged lotus slices (like I did), lay your slices in a single layer between two paper towels and let them sit for 45 minutes, flipping and changing the paper towels halfway through. This will get the excess water out of the root so it bakes evenly.
- Preheat your oven to 325° and brush a large baking sheet with olive oil. When your 45 minutes are up, place your lotus root slices in a medium-size bowl and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- Place as many slices on the baking sheet as you can, keeping them 1 inch apart.
- Bake for 10 minutes, then check for doneness (some of the smaller slices will finish early). Any chips that are golden brown and stiff are finished. Remove these to a fresh paper towel to drain.
- Bake for another 5 minutes, checking for doneness halfway through (remove all or some chips to the paper towel if necessary). Keep a close eye on them, since 1 minute can be the difference between done and overdone.
- Repeat Steps 3-5 for any slices that didn’t fit on the pan the first time.
- Allow to drain on the paper towel for 3-5 minutes.
- Serve right away or store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 5 days.