Crispy Lotus Root Chips (Renkon Chips) fried to perfection and sprinkled with Himalayan pink salt and Japanese aonori seaweed powder.
My favorite local Japanese restaurant Izakaya Ginji in San Mateo offers these Renkon Chips or Lotus Root Chips. After ordering this menu a few times, I knew I had to make these at home. With a pinch of Himalayan pink salt and sprinkle of Aonori seaweed, these fried crispy root vegetable will be your favorite type of chips!
What is Renkon?
Renkon (蓮根) is a Japanese word for lotus root. We often use this root vegetable in a simmered dish, like Chikuzenni (Nishime), or Tempura. It has a crunchy texture like typical root vegetables, and the most unique part is that the root has a bunch of holes.
When you slice the root, you will see the beautiful pattern. When you deep fry thin slices of lotus root to a golden color, they will turn into a beautiful appetizer. It’s actually a very simple dish to make, too.
They are crunchy and crispy, and once you eat some, you cannot stop eating. So addicting! You might want to double the recipe! 😉
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Lotus Root Chips (Renkon Chips)
- 1 lotus root (renkon) (½ lb, 227 g)
- 2 cups water (for soaking lotus root)
- 1 tsp rice vinegar (unseasoned) (for soaking lotus root)
- 1 cup neutral-flavored oil (vegetable, rice bran, canola, etc.) (for shallow-frying)
- Himalayan pink salt
- aonori (dried green laver seaweed)
- Gather all the ingredients.
- Rinse the lotus root well (I don't peel the skin, but it's up to you). With a sharp knife or a mandolin slicer, cut the lotus root to ⅛ inch (3 mm) or even thinner slices. thin slices (see below).
- Prepare a bowl of 2 cups water and 1 tsp rice vinegar. Soak the lotus root slices in the vinegared water for 5-10 minutes. The vinegar water will prevent the lotus root from changing color and make the color white.
- Rinse and drain well.
- And pat dry on a paper towel – make sure to wipe off all the moisture.
- Heat the oil to 340ºF (170ºC) on medium-high heat. Drop a slice of lotus root to see if it’s ready. If it comes right up, then it's time to deep fry.
- Deep fry until the lotus root slices get crispy and golden brown.
- Once they are nicely fried, spread on a wired rack or a paper towel to remove excel oil. Season with salt and aonori and serve immediately.
To Bake in the Oven
- Baked Renkon Chips won't be as crispy as the deep-fried version, but if you prefer this method, here are the instructions. Preheat oven 350ºF (170ºC). For a convection oven, reduce cooking temperature by 25ºF (15ºC). Lay each lotus root slice in a single layer on the prepared baking sheets lined with parchment paper and lightly brush both sides lotus root slices with oil. Bake for 15-20 minutes, flipping halfway through. The cooking time varies depending on thickness. When the slices turn nice golden brown, remove them from the oven.