Perhaps it heard me doing the kitchen chores, a little squirrel sprinting along the low wall stopped and stared at me. While I was thinking whether it eats only pine nuts, or it may eat vegetables and fruits as well, or should I give it a bit of the lotus root on hand, it dashed off, like a weightless furry ball, into shades of green growing by the wall.
I kept on scrubbing the lotus root in the sink.
There are two types of lotus root sold in the wet market. One is clean with a pale ashy pink colour, and one is covered with mud that you can hardly see the root itself. I guess the two vary in flavour and texture, but I only like taking the muddy one home. I simply believe it is directly dug out from a lily pond and is much fresher. Besides, I love the process of scrubbing the mud away. When the lotus root reveals itself from the mire, it may be scarred or it may be spotless – it’s all good. Scrubbing along the grain and brushing into the knobs, the mud runs along with water into the pipe, and the mind feels cleansed and brightened under the running tap after it has been attentively washed.
It is said that a moment or a ksana means the mind of thought, and humans generate thousands of it every day. Having one mind of thought appeared is like throwing a pebble into a lily pond. It ripples out, moving everything around. So, mind your mind, and plant a good seed of thoughts for the world, for the people you love, and, for yourself.
醬油麴 2茶匙 （或以1.5茶匙醬油混合0.5茶匙味醂代替）
Seared Lotus Root in Soy Sauce
Lotus Root 300g
Soy Koji 2 Teaspoon (or substitute with a mix of 1.5 tsp of soy sauce and 0.5 tsp of mirin)
Oil As needed
- Wash and peel the lotus root. Slice it into 0.5cm thick.
- Heat a pan over medium heat and then add oil.
- Sear one side for about a minute till it slightly turns golden, flip it over, and lightly brush it with soy koji.
- When another is seared for a minute, flip it over and turn off the heat. Lightly brush the top side with soy koji.*
- Flip it over again and cook the lotus root in the residue heat.
* Once brushed with soy sauce, it can be burnt easily. To save the fuss, turn the heat off. You can always turn it on again if you find the pan not hot enough.
It’s raining outside, crisp and bleak. Three chubby sparrows took shelter on my balcony and I gave them the baguette bits left on my breakfast plate but they flew away. I stayed in, played Damien Rice on vinyl and made apple crumble. Repeat.