The New Year has me craving new culinary adventures, new foods, flavours, and experiences, but sometimes the standard supermarket fare does not provide much inspiration. When I lived in Chinatown, I got hooked on the rich variety of gloriously affordable fresh produce, can goods and imported products unavailable elsewhere. I still frequently return to the old neighbourhood’s haunts like Lucky Moose Food Market and Kai Wei Supermarket, to search through their shelves, rich with a seemingly infinite variety of unknown products.
This recipe is in part inspired by those Chinatown adventures. I’ve wanted to do make something with Lotus Roots and Wasabi for a while and I’m quite happy with how well all the flavours ended up melding. I’m particularly pleased with the wasabi dressing, which I think it’s is the real highlight of this dish and I managed to get good results on the first try, so it’s a good start to the new year!
For the Peanut-Miso Glazed Lotus Roots:
1 package of pre-boiled Lotus Roots
2 tbsp of white miso paste
2 tsp of soy sauce
1 tsp of maple syrup
1/2 tsp of sesame oil
2 tbsp of olive oil
1 tbsp of water
1 tbsp of peanut butter
For the Wasabi Dressing:
1/2 cup of coconut milk
2 tsp of wasabi
1 tbsp of dried cilantro or 2 tbsp fresh
1 tbsp of lime juice
2 tsp of corn starch
1 tsp of sugar
For the bowl:
16 ounces of vermicelli rice noodles
radishes (optional garnish)
spring mix or other fresh herbs
1. Prepare the Peanut Miso Glaze. In a medium-sized bowl mix together the miso, soy sauce, maple syrup, sesame oil, olive oil, water, and peanut bowl. Stir until smooth.
2. Add the lotus root to the bowl and stir until its thoroughly coated with the glaze. Set aside to marinate for at least 1 hour.
3. Prepare the Wasabi Dressing. In a small bowl, mix the coconut milk, wasabi, cilantro, lime juice, corn starch, and sugar. Transfer to a small pot and heat over mid-to-low heat to activate the corn starch. Warm until the dressing thickens.
4. In a large pot bring 2 to 3 quarts of water (enough to cover the vermicelli) to a boil. Add the vermicelli and reduce to a simmer for 3 to 4 to minutes. Drain the noodles and rinse with cold water.
5. Divide the noodles into 5 to 6 bowls, top with the marinated lotus roots, spring mix, and radish slices. Top with the Wasabi Dressing