Peanuts! I think one of the lone ingredients that is so common yet so widely under educated about.  Most of us think of peanut butter or roasted peanuts when it comes to the peanut ingredient.  The truth is the peanut is not actually a nut but a legume.  Just like a pea or bean.  My son is allergic to peanuts and I still am not sure why.  I understand it is the "protein" of the "nut" but he has no problem eating other legumes like garbanzo, soy, lentil, peas, which to me is a little weird.  

In this recipe I really wanted to treat this "nut" like a legume, which it is.  I want to braise it until it was tender just like you would with any other legume.  I wanted to have some asian accents on this recipe which is where the lotus comes into play.  This was a fantastic vegetarian dish that both Jp and Eloise really loved.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it. 

Lotus broth
2 leaves of dried lotus leaves
1 gallon of hot water
4 roses worth of pedals (optional)
2 fresh bay leaves
1/4 cup of rose sugar (optional)

1 lotus root sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/2 gallon of lotus broth
1/4 cup of rose sugar
1 tsp of salt

1 lb of mini trumpet royal mushrooms
1 spring onion bulb sliced thin
1/2 cup of blanched peeled fava beans
2 tbsp of butter
2 tbsp of sesame oil
2 tbsp of soy sauce
pinch of salt

1 cup of raw peanuts peeled
2 cups of lotus broth
2 tbsp of saamjang paste

Ngo om oil   (Rice Paddy Herb Oil)
1 bunch (4oz) no om blanched
1 cup of vegetable oil
pinch of salt
Leaves for garnishing

For the Lotus broth,

Take a gallon of boiling water and pour it over the dried lotus leaves.  Add the rose flowers and sugar if desired.  The reason for the sugar is because the dried lotus leaves can be a bit bitter or at least mine were, so I tried to counter the bitterness with a little sugar.  The roses gave a bit of floral nuances to the broth as well.  Let it steep for 5-10 minutes until you have a good flavor of lotus leaf.

For the lotus root,

Peel and slice the lotus root into 1/8 inch thick rounds and place in a medium pot along with the lotus broth.  Again add a little more sugar if the broth is bitter.  Simmer the lotus root for 45-1 hour until the root is tender.  Add more broth to the pot if need be.  

For the Peanuts,

Place lotus broth, raw peanuts, and saamjang in a pot and bring to a simmer.  Cook for 20-25 minutes until the broth has reduced and the peanuts are tender.   Raw peanuts are like fresh shelled beans, they don't take an hour to cook.  Set aside and keep warm

For the Ngo om oil,

Blanch rice paddy herb (ngo om) for 10 seconds in boiling salted water.  Strain out and shock in ice water.   Once cold, squeeze out the water and place the herb in a blender with oil and pinch of salt.  Puree until nice in green (about 45 seconds in a vita mix)  Strain through a chinos without pushing the pulp through.  Place in a squeeze bottle for later.  

To finish,

In a large saute pan on medium high heat add 2 tbsp of sesame oil and 1 tbsp of butter with trumpet mushrooms.  Cook for 3 minutes and then add spring onion slices.  Cook for another 3 minutes and then add soy sauce and 1/3 cup of the peanuts and leftover broth. Cook for 3-5 minutes and then add the fava beans and the rest of the butter.  Cook for 1 more minute and adjust the seasoning if need be with a pinch of salt or soy sauce.  Place one of the cooked lotus root slices in the bottom of a bowl.  Add a few spoonfuls of the mushroom/peanut mixture on top along with a little broth around.  Add a little of rice paddy oil and finish with some of its leaves and radish flowers.   Serve and enjoy! 

Lotus and Peanut.jpg

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