EF Family Cookbook: Spare Ribs and Lotus Root Soup Recipe
In our monthly installment of our series about treasured family recipes, compiled in our Everlasting Footprint Family Cookbook, CEO Nick Zhou shares how to cook a traditional Chinese food passed down from his mother: a lotus root soup recipe. For this Chinese New Year on February 19, cook the perfect Chinese New Year recipes such as this healthy soup, gather with family to celebrate the past and the future, and remember your loved ones’ legacies.
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Lotus Root in the Land of a Thousand Lakes
I grew up in Hubei Province, China. Hubei is called the Land of a Thousand Lakes because of its many lakes. It is never short of fish and, yes, lotus root. Every summer, you will see lotus flowers blossoming everywhere. Villagers will take out their boats and pick lotus seeds to sell them in the market, or eat them right there on the boats. You can even eat the stems between the roots and flowers. When summer is over, the villagers will dig up lotus roots from the mud and get them ready for the market to cook into a tasty Chinese dish.
I love lotus root, because you can eat this traditional Chinese food in so many ways. It’s surprisingly sweet and crisp when you eat them raw. You can cut it into tiny chunks, and stir fry and eat them as a snack. Or slice the lotus root into thin pieces and stir fry them as a dish dinner. Or, you can combine it with other ingredients to make a healthy soup.
One of the fondest memories of my childhood is eating the spare rib and lotus root soup recipe my mom cooked for me. Every time I went home from my boarding school, she would always cook this Chinese dish the night I got home. Now that I live thousands of miles away from home, I usually only get to see my parents once or twice a year. But every time I go home, she always cooks the same delicious and healthy soup for me.
“It is a dish that my mother always cooked for me, ever since I was a kid,” said my mom when I asked her about the origin of the recipe last week. “Come back to China this summer so I can cook for you again.”
My eyes welled up.
Chinese New Year is February 19. It’s like Thanksgiving for the Chinese people. Unfortunately, I won’t be with my parents this time, so I won’t be able to enjoy all the Chinese New Year recipes. But I plan to cook this spare ribs and lotus root soup recipe on New Year’s Eve, so I get to feel like home.
Spare Ribs and Lotus Root Soup Recipe
Note: When shopping to prepare this Chinese dish, you probably won’t find lotus root at your regular grocery store. Try your local Chinese or Asian grocery stores, or vendors at your local farmers market.
Lotus root: 10 ounce
Salt: 1.5 table spoons (or to taste)
The New Year’s celebration in China is a time where families gather and remember one another. Chinese New Year recipes like this traditional pork spare rib and lotus root soup recipe brings the past into the present, and is the perfect traditional Chinese food to celebrate the dawn of a New Year.
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