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Crunchy Lotus Root Salad (Liangban Cui Ou, 凉拌脆藕)

The Mala Market
Author: Michelle Zhao of No Sweet Sour for The Mala Market


  • pound lotus root (300 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons chili oil
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Baoning or Zhenjiang vinegar (Baoning vinegar)
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns, crushed in a mortar (or with a Sichuan pepper grinder)
  • Several dried Sichuan chilies, whole or snipped in half


  • Rinse the lotus root under cold water and use a potato peeler to peel off any visible dark/black spots. (There is no need to remove the entire peel.) Slice lotus in uniform ⅛-inch slices. 
  • Bring water to boil in a sauce pan and add lotus root. Return to boil and let it cook for three to four minutes, until cooked through but still slightly crunchy. Drain lotus and soak in cold water until completely chilled, then rinse under cold water to remove excess starch. Spread slices out on a kitchen towel or paper towel to dry.
  • Combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl to make the sauce. Stir the dry lotus root with the sauce until fully coated and transfer to a serving plate. Serve at room temperature or chilled.


This recipe calls for the fresh flavor of uncooked spices, but if you prefer a toasty taste, lightly roast the Sichuan peppercorns and dried chilies in a dry pan until fragrant before adding to sauce. Do not brown them.