EF Family Cookbook: Spare Ribs and Lotus Root Soup Recipe

Everlasting Footprint Family Treasures-Cookbook-Recipes

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.


(Photo by: chinanews.com)

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

Chinese Spare Ribs and Lotus Root Soup Recipe(Photo by douguo.com)


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
Pork spare ribs: 20 ounce


Salt: 1.5 table spoons (or to taste)
Ginger root: 0.5 ounce (sliced)
Garlic: 2 cloves (mined)
Scallions: 1/4 cup (diced)
Star anise: 4
Rice wine: 1 table spoon
Oil: 2 table spoons


  1. Peel lotus root, and cut it into 1.5-inch chunks.
  2. Cut spare ribs into 1-inch chunks, and cook them in boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain and rinse ribs, and discard the water.
  3. Heat up oil in a pan or wok. Add garlic and ginger. sauté for 5 seconds. Add ribs and stir fry for a few minutes until ribs change color.
  4. Put ribs, lotus root and rice wine in a pot. Add water to cover the mixture. Bring to boil and then lower heat to medium. Simmer for 30 minutes and add salt. Simmer for another hour or until ribs are tender. Add more water if necessary.
  5. Garnish with scallions and serve hot.

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.

Visit Everlasting Footprint to share memories and stories, and to celebrate life together with loved ones.

About Nick Zhou

Nick Zhou is the CEO and a Co-Founder of Everlasting Footprint, as well as the former Chief Technology Officer. He currently operates the NYC Headquarters, coordinating with the international team. Mr. Zhou has over 12 years of experience in the IT industry and over 11 years of experience in business. He received his BS in Computer Science from Wuhan University in China, an MBA from the University of Maryland, and a PhD in Computer Science from Ohio Sate University. Prior to Everlasting Footprint, Mr. Zhou was the President and CEO of Nicholas Chou (formerly MP Marketing Center) and Founder of Chinese Food DIY. Mr. Zhou launched Everlasting Footprint on October 23, 2014, with the main goal of making a difference in people's lives. After his grandmother passed away from a tragic accident, he was unable to attend her funeral. By creating Everlasting Footprint, he has given families like his a chance to remember their loved one's life. Mr. Zhou has built a community where many share the stories they love about their loved ones and carry on personal legacies. Mr. Zhou is fluent in Chinese and English. His interests range from product development, investing, and graphic design to music, badminton, and traveling.

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