Seasoned minced prawns are put between lotus root slices, then deep fried. Deep Fried Lotus Root and Prawn Sandwiches can be an appetiser, a side or a main. It all depends on how much you want to make and serve.
Deep Fried Lotus Root and Prawn Sandwiches (Renkon no Hasami Age) is a curious looking dish. But if you have ever had lotus roots before and you liked them, you will know before tasting this that it’s going to be a great dish.
Crunchy lotus roots on the outside, meaty prawns inside with great flavour. I can guarantee you that you won’t be able to stop munching them.
Variations to Renkon no Hasami Age (蓮根のはさみ揚げ)
When one ingredient is sandwiched with another ingredient and deep fried, Japanese people call it hasamiage (はさみ揚げ). The word hasami (はさみ) comes from the verb hasamu, which means putting in between two things, and age (揚げ) means deep frying.
Renkon (蓮根) is lotus root and the name of the ingredient that the other ingredient is placed between. It is one of the commonly used ingredients to make hasamiage.
Another vegetable often used to make hasamiage is eggplant. Eggplants are cut vertically into halves or quarters with the stem end intact. Then other ingredients are stuffed between them. I will one day post Eggplant Hasamiage.
The ingredients that are put between the vegetables are either seasoned prawns or minced meat (ground meat), usually pork or chicken. I used prawns today to go between the lotus root slices, but pork mince is equally as popular to make Renkon no Haamiage.
Ingredients of Deep Fried Lotus Root and Prawn Sandwiches
If you don’t count the seasonings included in this recipe, there are only two ingredients to make today’s dish – lotus roots and prawns. And these two ingredients shine in their own way.
Fresh lotus root is sliced thinly to 3-4mm thick. The sliced lotus roots need to be left in water with a small amount of vinegar so that they do not discolour.
Fresh prawns are minced, mixed with some chopped shallots/scallions, and seasoned with ginger, sake, soy sauce and salt.
When you mince raw prawns, they become quite sticky so you don’t even need to add cornflour or flour to bind the prawn mixture. This is what makes the prawn flavour of this dish so strong.
Making Sandwiches with Lotus Root Slices
The prawn mixture is pretty sticky, but the lotus root slices retain some moisture. To ensure that the lotus root slices stick to the prawn mixture well, they are coated with cornflour on the inside of the sandwich.
It is quite a simple process to make a sandwich:
- Pat dry two lotus root slices and drop each slice onto the cornflour on a plate.
- Hold one of them with the cornflour side up and put a mound of prawn mixture on it.
- Place the other lotus root slice on top of the prawn mixture with the cornflour side facing down.
- Press the lotus root slices inwards to flatten the prawn mixture. At the same time, tidy up the prawn mixture to ensure that there are no empty spaces inside the sandwich.
- Roll the round sandwich on the plate of cornflour so that only the side face of the thin cylinder is coated in cornflour. The flat surface of lotus roots facing outwards should not be dusted with cornflour.
The best part of today’s dish is the crunchiness of the lotus roots. Sliced fresh lotus roots are deep fried without flour or cornflour around them.
You don’t need a sauce to eat Deep Fried Lotus Root and Prawn Sandwiches (Renkon no Hasami Age) as the prawn mixture is seasoned very well. I didn’t add any garnish to go with it, but you could use lemon wedges if you wish.
My lotus root was quite small so I served the sandwich as a whole. But if your lotus root is large, you may want to cut the sandwiches in half after cooking as seen in the photo above.
I also tried frozen lotus root slices instead of using fresh lotus roots. To my delight, it worksed well too. However, the frozen lotus roots are not as crunchy as the fresh ones when cooked.
Any deep-fried food is great to eat while hot but Deep Fried Lotus Root and Prawn Sandwiches (Renkon no Hasami Age) is delicious even if it is at room temperature. It’s a great dish to go in a bento box.
P.S. Don’t forget to see the section ‘MEAL IDEAS’ below the recipe card! It gives you a list of dishes that I have already posted and the new recipe in this post that can make up a complete meal. I hope it is of help to you.
Seasoned minced prawns are put between lotus roots slices, then deep fried. Deep Fried Lotus Root and Prawn Sandwiches can be an appetiser, a side or a main. It all depends on how much you want to make and serve.
- 50g/1.8oz lotus roots (note 1)
- 2 tbsp cornflour/corn starch
- Oil for deep frying
- 150g/5.3oz uncooked peeled prawns/shrimps , deveined (note 2)
- 1 tbsp (heaped) shallots/scallions , finely chopped (note 3)
- ¼ tsp grated ginger (juice only)
- 1 ½ tbsp sake
- ½ tsp light soy sauce
- 2 pinches of salt
- ½ tbsp water
- Nasturtium (edible flower & leaves)
Peel lotus root skin and slice it to 3-4mm/⅛" thick round slices (note 5). As you slice lotus root, put it in a small bowl of water with 1 tbsp vinegar (this prevents the lotus root slices from getting brown).
Mince the prawns finely and place them in a bowl (note 6).
Add the remaining Prawn Mixture Ingredients and mix well. It should be a bit sticky.
Pat dry lotus root slices and place cornflour on a plate.
Take a pair of lotus root slices and place each of them on the cornflour so that the inside of the pair is covered with cornflour.
Hold one of the slices, cornflour side up, and place about 1 tablespoon (note 7) of the Prawn Mixture on it and spread evenly. Place the other slice on top with the cornflour side attached to the prawn mixture.
Repeat steps 5 and 6 for the remaining slices of lotus root. Do not discard cornflour as you will use it again.
Heat oil in a deep pot or a pan to 180C/356F.
Roll each lotus sandwich in the left-over cornflour so that the side of the sandwich where prawn mixture is showing is coated with cornflour.
Put a few lotus root sandwiches in the oil, one at a time and fry for 1-1.5 minutes.
Turn them over and cook further 1.5 minutes.
Transfer the lotus root sandwiches to a plate lined with a couple of layers of kitchen paper.
Serve hot or at room temperature with garnish.
1. My lotus root was thin, 5cm/2" in diameter.
2. You can use frozen prawns.
3. Use the white part if possible.
4. Garnish is optional but given that the dish is brownish with mot much variations, I thought something needs to accompany it. I grow nasturtium, so I used it today, but it can be a sprig of parsley. A wedge of lime would be good, too.
5. Depending on the thickness of the lotus root, the number of slices you get from the root varies. Try to get an even number of slices as you need to make a sandwich.
When placing in the vinegar water, try to maintain the order of the slices so that you can pair the slices that were next each other.
6. You can use a food processor but the intention is not to make a paste but to chop them into small pieces so that you get lumps of meat when cooked.
7. With my lotus root slices of about 5cm/2" in diameter, I could make 10 of them. If your slices are much larger, you will need less slices but more prawn mixture per sandwich. Then cut the sandwich in half after cooking.
8. Nutrition per serving.
serving: 138g calories: 181kcal fat: 7.8g (12%) saturated fat: 0.7g (3%) trans fat: 0.1g polyunsaturated fat: 1.4g monounsaturated fat: 5.2g cholesterol: 98mg (33%) sodium: 677mg (28%) potassium: 196mg (6%) carbohydrates: 13g (4%) dietary fibre: 0.9g (4%) sugar: 0.2g protein: 11g vitamin a: 3.4% vitamin c: 12% calcium: 4% iron: 2.8%