Reading the Recipe

Ten-Minute Bento
Megumi Fujii

Sweet-and-Sour Lotus Root

1 lotus root (renkon)

A –>

2 Tbsp each rice vinegar, soup broth (or water)
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 red chilli pepper, minced

<– A


1. Quarter lotus root lengthwise, then slice into thin wedges. Soak in lightly vinegar water, drain and dry. Combine mixture A in a pot, bring to a boil, then cool.

2. Briefly boil lotus root in water, rinse, then dry. Add lotus root to a storage container, cover with mixture A and marinate for at least 10 minutes.


When I first read this I thought the lotus root was boiled in mixture A. Also missed the vinegar at the end of the ingredients. Upon rereading I notice that Step 1 actually contains two actions. This display where ingredients for "A" (e.g. a sauce) are grouped with a side-bar bracket [here reproduce with arrowed pointers] within the long list of ingredients is quite common in bento recipes. The format may imply a "meanwhile" activity. While preparing the lotus root, boil the sauce ingredients. Or simply another division of what counts as relevant steps. At present, my mind craves succession. And a more verbose rendering of instructions.

Here then for my own use an algorithmic restatement of the recipe:

1. Peel, trim and slice lotus root and place slices in acidulate water (vinegar + water).

2. Combine the ingredients for mixture A in a pot, bring to a boil, let cool.

3. Drain lotus root and dry.

4. Briefly boil lotus root in water until tender (easily pierced by a skewer). Rinse. Dry.

5. Pour mixture A over boiled lotus root. Allow to marinate for at least 10 minutes.

6. Serve.

There are simpler recipes for Renkon no Sunomono (Marinated Lotus Root) out there but the effort in figuring out the steps to this one have ingrained the general principles: boil briefly; mix marinade; leave to infuse. Savour.

Megumi Fuji recipe for Sweet and Sour Lotus Root

And so for day 2991

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