I simply love the ‘Lengau th’ng’ (Lotus Root Soup) and it is actually one of the first soups I learn to cook when I started venturing into the kitchen to prepare my own meals.
Lotus root is one of the more common vegetable used by Chinese for soups and stir-fry dishes. It is especially good in soups because of its sweet taste. So, why are the Chinese so crazy about lotus root?
Well, I checked and found that:
lotus root is a good source of Dietary Fiber, Thiamin, Vitamin B6, Phosphorus, Potassium, Copper and Manganese, and a very good source of Vitamin C.
- It is also traditionally used to treat various lung-related ailments, such as tuberculosis, asthma, and coughing, for heart disease, and to increase energy and neutralize toxins.
- It is believed to be able to melt mucus accumulation in the body, especially in the respiratory system, and relieve coughing.
- It is one of the ingredients used for a macrobiotic remedy treat colds accompanied by fever or stomach and intestines ailments.
- If it is combined with the juice of grated ginger, it is also good for enteritis (inflammation of the intestine).
- It could be used as part of ingredient for a plaster compress. Just combine it with white flour and grated ginger and it is used as a traditional remedy for dispersing and moving stagnated mucus.
- If the plaster compress was applied to the face, it can relieve sinus congestion and inflammation.
There was also this taboo by certain Taoist believers that those who pray to the Goddess of Mercy (Kuan Yin) must not consume lotus root because she use to sit and meditate on a lotus flower. There were also stories that say that lotus root was used to save her and replace her bones after she was injured in a battle or something…
I checked with my Taoist / Buddhist sifu (master) and found that it is just one of the myths that people tend to pass around.
However, it is just a matter of faith so if you really believe this taboo, it’s your choice.
For those who don’t have such a taboo, here’s a recipe using lotus root:
Lotus Root and Peanut Soup
20cm – 25cm long lotus root, skinned and sliced
4 dried red dates
1 cup peanuts, scalded in hot water
1 piece of dried squid
1 piece of dried oyster
1 medium sized carrot, cubed
6 cups water (or two huge bowls / one pot )
250g chicken bones / spare ribs, cut into small pieces and seasoned with salt for an hour
3 pods of garlic
1. Blanch the meat in boiling water, then remove and drain.
2. Bring the pot of water to a boil. Add the meat. Reduce heat to medium.
3. Add in the other ingredients.
4. Let it simmer over low to medium heat for about 30 minutes. Add in some salt to taste. Stir occasionally.
5. It is cooked when the lotus root and peanuts are cooked through and the meat is tender.
6. Alternatively, you can cook this using a slow cooker.
For the vegetarian version, you add 2 cups of peanuts instead of one and you also add two to three pieces of tai tou choy or shanghai choy (preserved salted vegetables) for additional flavour in replacement of the dried squid, oyster and meat.