Yongun Chonggwa- Candied Lotus Roots

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Aren’t these pretty?  The timing of these was just about perfect because they taste exactly like jelly beans.  I kid you not.  I think they’d be a perfect light ending to a big Korean meal.

I first tried the roots plain.  The texture was great and the sweetness was just right, but they didn’t have too much flavor.  I much preferred the flavored ones.  Ginger would be a great addition but the sky’s really the limit here- just use your favorite extract. If you want to get really fancy, make a few different varieties and use a drop or two food coloring to distinguish them from one another.

Candied Lotus Roots

Ingredients:

* 1 pound frozen, sliced lotus roots
* 6 cups water
* 1-1/2 Tablespoons white vinegar
* pinch salt
* 1-1/2 cups sugar
* 3 cups water
* several slices ginger or 1/2 teaspoon extract of your choice (optional, see note below)
* extra sugar, for coating candies (optional, see note below)

Directions:

Put lotus roots in a large bowl and cover with water. Soak for 30 minutes. In a large saucepan, combine 6 cups water, vinegar and pinch salt and bring to a boil. Drain the lotus roots and add to the boiling, acidulated water. Cook gently over medium heat for approximately 10 minutes. Drain and rinse several times under cold water.

In the same saucepan, bring the sugar and 3 cups water and bring to a boil. Add the lotus root and simmer, uncovered, over medium-low heat for approximately 30-40 minutes, or until the roots are translucent and have soaked up most of the syrup.

Place in a single layer on a cooling rack covered in wax paper. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container and refrigerate.

Optional notes: If you’d like the candied to be ginger flavored, add in several slices fresh ginger when you add the lotus roots. If you’d like to use flavor extracts, stir in about 1/2 teaspoon of your chosen extract about five minutes prior to the end of the simmer time. If you’d the candies sugar-coated, let the roots cool slightly after simmering and dip individual roots into a bowl full of sugar.

Additional Note: Here’s how to prepare fresh lotus roots if you cannot find them frozen and pre-sliced. Rinse the lotus root and peel, using a stainless steel peeler, to avoid discoloration. Cut into thin slices, approximately 1/6th to 1/8th of an inch, using a knife or mandoline. Immediately put lotus roots slices into a bowl full of water to prevent the roots from oxidizing and turning brown.

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