All parts of the lotus are edible: the flower, seeds and particularly the rhizome. For centuries, the latter has been a staple of the southeast Asian diet. Cut a slice and you'll notice it's full of holes, like lace. It can be eaten raw.

Nakumura Yutaka, a Japanese haiku poet, explains, "The holes of the rhizome being what they are, that is, emptiness or non-being, eating lotus root, whether one knows it or not, involves biting into nothingness along with it."


  • mild and crunchy, the root can be enjoyed
    • in a salad dressed with sesame oil
    • pickled in rice vinegar
    • stir-fried in a wok, etc.
  • Hint: the lotus root darkens once it is cut; cook it immediately or place it in a boil of water with 1 tbsp. vinegar. 

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