Renkon Chips (Lotus Root Chips) れんこんチップス

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Renkon Chips Recipe | JustOneCookbook.com

We usually don’t dine out at Japanese restaurants because I feel like I can cook most of the dishes myself and I prefer to eat something besides Japanese food when we go out.  If my family does go out for Japanese food, it’s usually for Sushi or Ramen, which are speciality restaurants.

However lately, we kept going back to one restaurant called Izakaya Ginji (Izakaya is like Japanese Tapas) in San Mateo, California.  As a person coming from Japan, I can honestly say the taste is authentic and the quality of the dishes are similar to what we get in Japan.  Among their recipes, I have some favorites and I have tried recreating them at home.  Today I’m going to share my favorite Renkon Chips from their menu, and I will share another noodle dish soon.

Renkon Chips | Just One Cookbook.com
What’s renkon?  It is a Japanese word for lotus root.  As the recipe name suggests, it’s deep fried sliced lotus roots.  It’s actually very simple dish, just like any other deep fried veggies but lotus root has a lot of holes as you see in the picture and that gives very nice texture when you eat it.  It’s airy and crispy and once you eat it, it’s something you cannot stop eating.

Initially I wanted to bake it.  At the restaurant, they deep fry but knowing how “health conscious” my readers are, I really tried to make it just like Ginji but baked.  But after a few failed trials, the result of baking was not as satisfying as deep frying so I gave up.  Please enjoy this deep fry version fully, and cut down on something else unhealthy please!

My kids and I were fighting till the last piece.  I kind of wished that I made double amount, but that means I need to work out extra hard to burn off the calories!  So here’s the recipe!

PS: Besides Renkon chips, Izakaya Ginji’s perfectly grilled yakitori (chicken skewers as well as veggies) cooked over Bincho charcoal is pretty amazing.  My husband is crazy about yakitori and he pretty much conquered their entire yakitori menu after our frequent visits.  Most of their appetizers and small dishes reminds me of home and it’s my favorite local restaurant now.

Renkon Chips | Just One Cookbook.com

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Renkon Chips
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 1 (1/2 lb) Renkon (Lotus Root)
  • Vinegar water: 2 cups water + 1 tsp. (rice) vinegar
  • Oil for deep frying
  • Himalayan Pink Salt (or sea salt)
  • Dried Seaweed Powder (Aonori) (optional)
Instructions
  1. Rinse the renkon and either cut with knife or use a mandolin slider to make ⅛ inch thin slices (see below). I don’t peel off the renkon skin as it gives nice look but it’s up to you.
  2. Soak the sliced renkon in vinegar water for 5-10 minutes. Vinegar water will prevent the renkon from changing to a dark color.
  3. Rinse and drain well.
  4. And pat dry on paper towel – make sure to wipe off all the liquid.
  5. Heat the oil to 340F (170C) on medium high heat. Drop a piece of renkon to see if it’s ready. If it comes right up, then it's time to deep fry.
  6. Deep fry until renkon gets crispy and golden color.
  7. Once they are nicely fried, spread on a wired rack or paper towel to drip excel oil. Season with salt and aonori and serve immediately.
Notes
Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe in your own words and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.

 

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  1. lotus root chips are delicious! but this has to be a notch up with that sprinkling of seaweed powder ^^! YUMS! now if only i could deep-fry.. ^^||

    12
  2. If I was in your house I wouldn’t ask to go to a Japanese restaurant – I’d just ask, ‘What’s for dinner?’ I love your lotus chips. They’re so beautifully cut and gorgeous looking. They must have great flavour xx

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  3. Eri

    I love it, I’ve seen this root before but never bought it. I try to avoid fried food also Nami but you know at least it’s a vegetable you’re frying, it’s ok now and then.
    Hugs my friend!

    18
  4. It’s time to dig out my mandoline from the basement I think. I haven’t used it since I’ve moved to Colorado!
    These look great! I have a really nice Asian market close to me and always see lotus root there. I’ve never bought it even though there are quite a few Indian recipes with lotus root.
    I am sure the children will love these and me, I love fried things.

    Nazneen xx

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  5. I tried to make reckon chips the healthy way by baking them in the oven, and they failed miserably turning into chewy chips and no-one likes chewy chips! I think next time I’m just going to suck it up and fry those little babies like you did.

    20
  6. Nami, this is the second time I am surprised by your lotus root recipes! Growing up we only eat them in soup or stir fried with vinegar (not my favorite)… You’ve given me other options to use this wonderful root vegetable, and I am sure my Mom is thrilled also!

    That’s funny what you said about fried food and burning the calories off. Ever since we got back from this year’s vacation, I have been trying hard to keep the weight off. All the hiking and exercising at the cooler climate made all of us feel healthier. This Summer I finally learned how to swim (not very well but I am working on it), and it’s kind of amazing how it took me 38 years to finally get here, with the help of an eight year old! How are you doing with Zumba?

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  7. I love lotus root! As a child, my brother and I would fight over who would get the last piece because it’s so fun to eat! You know how when you take a bite it has those tiny strings that pull out like cheese? We would see who could pull the longest, haha!

    Thank you for this recipe!

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  8. Oh yes… I would really enjoy this one!! What a great “chip” idea. I love your bamboo holder too…. it’s all so beautifully done. You have such a great eye for styling. :)

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  9. I don’t usually eat fried food just because I cannot stop eating but these look amazing. I have full pack of lotus root so I will try them today! It does look very tempting! Thanks for sharing and have a lovely day!!!!

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  10. Allen at Cook! Bake! Share!

    I really enjoyed your Renkon Chips post! I was introduced to lotus root while living in Hawaii. Good stuff! I have seen fried lotus root used as a garnish a lot lately. Allen.

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  11. Lotus root is such a pretty vegetable when sliced and presented in a soup or in these chips. I think mother nature loves to show off every once in a while. :) As another poster commented … I too would be tempted to eat the entire basket.

    34
  12. These look so pretty. Good try on cutting the fat but sometimes you just have to give in. I like to eat healthy but have to say my desserts always get in the way. Moderation is the key.

    I’ve never had these before but would love to try them. As always you’ve given perfect instructions.

    36
  13. These renkon chips look so good! And you are right about your readers being health-conscious. I was hoping to see that they were baked…but if they don’t taste as good baked, sometimes you just have to bit the bullet and cut back on something else unhealthy. I’m looking forward to trying these!

    37
  14. Nami, I love fried lotus root. It looks like you have a fresh one. I always have to buy the frozen pre-sliced roots. I never see the fresh at my Asian market. I bet the flavor is so more better. Thye look beautiful. Love the seaweed powder too. Looking forward to your noodle dish. Have a wonderful day.

    39
  15. So pretty! And I’ll bet these are really tasty. Frying is really only a little bit unhealthy – when you do it at the right temperature, the food absorbs almost no fat. Better to enjoy, and as you say, cut back on something else. Anyway, very nice – thanks.

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  16. The are so pretty! I wonder if I can bake them? I use Himalayan Pink Salt all the time too, it is “must to have” in our house. Thank you for a creative idea, Nami!

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  17. Deep fry is good for as long as it’s not done often and the use of good oil. To be honest, I’ve never had lotus roots in a form of chips before, so now I am intrigued to try it. Thank you, Nami and have an enjoyable week! :)

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  18. Ha! Sometimes we just have to fry! If its not done often, its totally acceptable! (Thats my story and I’m sticking to it!) These look quite delightful. I’m always learning about something new from you, Nami!!!

    48
  19. oh wow thats an unusual ingredient, I d love to get here. Sounds easy and quick to prepare as well the recipe. The roots have a nice natural design, I am kind of getting some ideas on how to use them in a creative way here. thanks for the introduction nami! =)

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  20. Hi Nami – those look fantastic! I love lotus root so much… the kind of soft crunchiness it has… so good! I was wondering, if renkon is lotus root, and daikon is radish, does that mean that “kon” means “root”? If so, what does “ren” and “dai” mean?

    I’ve never seen a whole root like this for sale before – only pre-sliced root, but I’ll definitely try and find a whole root to give it a try!

    54
    • Charles, very good guess! “kon” (根) in Kanji/Chinese character means “root”. Each kanji has meaning, so here dai = big, ren = lotus flower.

      Daikon (大根) = big + root

      Renkon (蓮根) = lotus flower + root

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  21. Shame on me! I always see this vegetable in the market and never bother to try it. It looks so delicious and since I never tasted it before, I assume it might taste like potato chips or maybe better, judging from the clicks :)

    56
  22. Hi There, Wow…this recipe is looking wonderful and so good. I’m loving it so much…!!! A very well made post with beautiful pictures.Today I was out of ideas and was wandering what to make. Got the answer now :) I can’t wait to try it on my island. Thanks for sharing awesome recipes. Have a wonderful week ahead. Love & Regards, Sonia !!!

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  23. We make curries using lotus root, but this fried version looks to die for!!How simple yet so crunchy and flavorful :)I’m going to try this very very soon :)

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  24. After two weeks on my trip I started dreaming about Asian food and you know what kept me awake some nights? A big bowl of really good tonkatsu ramen. Yep. I’ve been home a couple of days now and before the week is over, I will stop at Santa Ramen in San Mateo. It will satisfy the craving I’ve had for what seems like weeks! Then again, these renkon chips will do the trick, too. I’m also due for a visit to the Asian market–I think I’ll put lotus root on the list. :)

    61
  25. When I was studying in the States, I tried to avoid Greek restaurants there because unlike this one the dishes had very little similarity with the ones we eat here. It is so good that you found a restaurant that carries original Japanese flavors. I know that you can make most of these dishes but it is always nice to go out and be able to enjoy flavors from your homeland, at least i would be! These chips look very tasty! My mother in law has a lotus tree in her summer cottage. If I can get my hands to a couple of its fruits perhaps I could make these delightful chips!

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  26. I did not see this post in my reading list, so I guess I have to sign up again.
    Crunch.. crunch.., I want them. Once I tried microwaving the chips, they were good but not crunchy as the fried ones are.

    72
  27. I’m not really familiar with lotus root other than knowing what it is, but anything that fries up into a crispy snack can grace my table any time! There are some things that just needs to be fried, but koodos for at least trying to bake them. Since you were trying to recreate the restaurant’s (a very fun thing to do!), frying was definitely the way to go. These look very, very tasty!

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  28. Oh Nami, these Renkon chips look so good, I’m sure I could not eat just one!
    I would love to give these a try, probably should make a double batch so there’s no fighting over the chips;-)

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  29. I love renkon! いいですねえ。私はチップスの人じゃないんだけど、これ美味しそう!蓮根を買ってこなくては。 明日のお弁当は何かしら?

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  30. donna mikasa

    Such an interesting snack! I love renkon and would like to try this for my family. I’ve seen frozen renkon–do you think I could use that or is fresh better? Thanks, Nami!

    79
    • Is frozen renkon thinly sliced already? I think that will work. Be careful when you fry. :) I think the final result shouldn’t matter much if renkon was frozen or not, especially if you can only get frozen one. :)

      82
  31. Lora @cakeduchess

    That’s how I feel about going out to an Italian restaurant. Our favorite food to eat out is Japanese or Thai:)I just love these crispy renkon chips.

    81
  32. Nami, this is just the prettiest snack food I have ever seen – and I love the step by step explanations, you even thought about mentioning that there is no need to peel the lotus root – so I just told my husband (who was looking over my shoulder) that we will take the kids to my favorite Asian market today. I need to find a few of the ingredients that you use in your recipes and my shopping list gets longer all the time. I cannot wait to see whether they carry fresh lotus root, I would love to prepare this recipe!

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  33. What a coincidence! I have tasted this week renkon for the first time in my life (pickled) and I love it. Its crunchiness and the delicate taste… I can imagine how wonderful the renkon chips taste! I must try making them one day.

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  34. Dear Nami,

    I share the same sentiments with you about visiting Malaysian restaurants because unless it is stir-fried noodles that require powerful commercial wok burners to bring out flavours, I prefer to cook my own version of Malaysian food at home. I have tried these renkon chips and they are seriously addictive, especially when I had it with a few icy cold and dry Asahi beers at Japanese restaurants.

    87
  35. I love Fried lotus roots. I like your addition of pink Himalayan salt and ground nori flakes. Maybe we can all just come and enjoy Nippon tapas at your home… just kidding but boy that would be quite a delicious experience! Have a super week. Ja Mata, BAM

    91
  36. Nami, have I ever told you my mom would make this in soups when I was little, and I refused to eat it because the shape and holes reminded me of a pig’s snout? Now I see she went about it all wrong — if mom had fried them into chips I would have eaten them! :) I want to try these! I like how you tried to bake them to make them healthier . . . sometimes you just have to fry.

    99
  37. Hey Nami, this is just too funny! I just made these “chips” for my diner party last Saturday and they were gone in seconds! So easy and jummie! Can’t believe I never thought of it before. Hope you’ll have a great week ahead. X

    100
  38. Judy

    Hi Nami
    I love renkon so I am definitely going to try this. One question, where did you find Himalayan Pink Salt? I am from Northern California and frequently visit relatives in the bay area. I have never heard of this salt.

    101
  39. Hi Nami, I linked to this post on my blog. I tried these and they were delicious on their own as well as eaten with a simple broccoli and potato soup. I used furikake instead of the sea salt and aonori since it’s what I had on hand. Thanks for the great recipes.

    105
  40. Jinilia

    Hi nami, first i wanna say that i love your website and have followed many of your recipes. They are all great. So keep up the good work. And i love now u also make videos 😉
    Anyway i have a question about this renkon chips. Do they have to be eaten right after fried? I made them yesterday and they taste great. Just like potato chips, i have never tried renkon chips before i only use renkon in chinese soup. i keep them in tight lid container and today they are not crisp anymore. Instead they got chewy. Am i doing it wrong? Thanks before.

    107
    • Hi Jinilia! Thank you so much for following my blog and testing many of my recipes. I’m so happy! 😀

      Regarding the deep renkon chips, it’s just a natural nature that fried food gets soggy . It’s not just the air (even though you use air tight package). The food has moisture inside (renkon here) and once you leave it out, the moisture starts to appear from the veggies hence it gets soft and soggy. Only way to make it crisp is to fry again. I’m too lazy to do it, so I use a toaster oven. By heating up, the oil on the renkon is heated and make the batter crispy again. But you should eat it soon this time. Hope that helps. :)

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  41. Imelda Lim

    Dear Nami,

    It looks yummy and crunchy. Do u need to put the renkon to the sun to dry it before frying or slice it directly into the oil. I once did it but it wasn’t as crispy . I tried with banana too but it also turned out soft after sometime. Any tips for both.

    110
    • Hi Imelda! You do not need to put renkon under the sun, but you need to drain well and pat dry with paper towel. Water and oil doesn’t mix well, you know. :) You can dust potato starch (or corn starch), but then it’ll be more starchy texture. I get crisp texture without it. Make sure the oil temperature is not too low, then it’ll get soggy for sure. Good luck! :)

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  42. Jilianne

    Hi Nami, how long can these chips be kept? I’m excited at just the thought of making it and might wanna make more and put them in containers

    113
    • Hi Julianne! To be honest, deep fried food is the best when it’s just deep fried. Tempura or any type of deep fried food will get wilted once it’s been cooked. It’s just the nature… So to enjoy this, I’d highly recommend to make ones that you would enjoy and I won’t keep it. It’ll be soggy and not crispy. I really wish it stays crispy though!

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  43. The Nat

    Bought renkon for the first time today after going crazy over these when I was in Japan. Tried this recipe and it feels like I am in Japan again. Can’t wait to go back. :)

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