I kind of really fell off the planet for almost two years. Becoming a first time mom is tough, at least it really kicked me in the butt. It took me a long time to get back in the game (I hope you’ve noticed the new regularity in posting!) and then I realized: things had really changed since my “maternity leave”. What are all these new social media platforms? Panic! It was really daunting at first, especially because there was so many. I stalled several times yet once I did it, it quickly became habitual to take pictures of Caya on Instagram and plan out future home reno projects on Pinterest. And, thanks to the encouragement of Jackie and Blanca, I’m on Google+ now too. (I’m still a little lost on G+ but Chef Dennis Littley has a very helpful Community Education Series). So follow me on Instagram and Pinterest, and circle me on Google+. I’m back from the dead!

New social media platforms can seem scary to approach at first and so can unfamiliar ingredients. This beautifully earthy dish has some not-so-standard ingredients. Don’t fret; I’m here to walk you through.

title picture: mushrooms, lotus root, soybean skin

Le’ts talk about Lotus Root since a reader (thanks Kristine!) asked me (via our facebook fan page) how to prepare and cook lotus root. First, you have to peel it, which you can do with any standard peeler. Most often, it is sliced because it’s very pretty that way. If you peel and slice it and don’t use it immediately, you can hold it in water, the way you would potatoes. When you think of it that way, it’s suddenly not so crazy anymore! Then, it can be cooked in a variety of ways – boiled, fried, stir-fried, etc. This recipe is a good way to start. =)

lotus root

If you haven’t tried lotus root, it’s starchy yet retains a crunch, giving it a texture that resembles a meatier water chestnut. I should point out that I really like lotus root and I’m not such a fan of water chestnuts.

Perhaps you haven’t cooked some of these mushrooms before either or soy bean skin. Don’t worry. It’s really very easy. Follow the simple instructions, making sure to prepare all the ingredients first — mise en place! — and you’ll be fine.


mise en place - vegetarian

You probably won’t find most of these ingredients at your local supermarket.  However, all of them are staples at Chinese supermarkets. Put in the effort for that special vegetarian or vegan friend. They’ll love that this medley is salty and sweet, with a nice variety of textures and flavors, and includes a solid protein, soy bean skin. Served with rice, it’s a perfectly complete meal.

Triple Mushroom, Lotus Root, and Soybean Skin
~6 side-servings or 2 to 3 as main course

  • 4 medium dried shitake mushrooms
  • 1 (10 – 12oz piece) lotus root, peeled and sliced into 1/4″ slices
  • 2 (2 1/2 oz) carrots, peeled and top cut off
  • 1 (5.2oz package) beech mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 8 oz oyster mushrooms, halve the large ones
  • 2 tablespoons vegetarian oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon kecap manis
  • 1 rounded teaspoon roughly chopped garlic
  • 9 oz soybean skin, cut into 1″ segments
  • 4 oz water, divided
  • salt to taste

Instructions –

1. Soak shitake mushrooms in warm water until softened, at least 1 hr, up to 6 hours. Drain, squeeze out excess liquid, and quarter the mushrooms. Set aside.

2. Place lotus root and carrots in a medium sized pot of salted water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the lotus root starts to change color, about 5 minutes. Drain and set the lotus root aside. Rinse carrots under cold water so you can handle them. Cut them into 1/4″ slices on a bias. Set aside.

cooking root vegetables

3. Remove beech mushrooms from the package and cut off the bottom and discard. Break into small clumps and set aside.

beech mushrooms

4. Heat vegetable oil in a wok on medium heat. Add oyster mushrooms and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add shitake mushrooms and stir-fry for another minute. Add beech mushrooms and stir-fry for another 2 minutes.

5. Add vegetarian oyster sauce, kecap manis, and garlic. Toss until well distributed. Add soybean skin and 1 oz water. Toss and cover. Turn up to medium-high heat and cook for 2 minutes.

6. Reduce to medium heat. Add lotus root and carrot, stir-frying to combine. Add 1 to 3 oz of water as needed while stir-frying for 5 minutes. *The amount of water needed will vary depending on how high your heat is and also lotus roots will vary in how absorbent they are. You don’t want the bottom of the wok to be dry, just a small puddle of sauce.

7. Add salt to taste and serve. This dish can be served hot or at room temperature.

Left-overs can be kept in the refrigerator for 1 week. The left-overs taste great but the lotus root will darken a bit so the dish will not be as pretty.

I forgot to mention that Caya loves this dish too!

Caya eating Triple Mushroom, Lotus Root, and Soybean Skins

posted by jessica at 08:39 PM Filed under Chinese, Recipes. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.