Fresh Corn and Fried Lotus

August 15, 2021 • Nancy Wolfson-Moche

“The corn is as high as an elephant’s eye… and it looks like it’s climbing clear up to the sky…” These are Oscar Hammerstein’s lyrics from “Oh, What A Beautiful Mornin'” (Oklahoma) one of my faves. In the northeast, that moment has come. Boiled (these are) or grilled, I can’t get enough corn on the cob right now.

For contrast and balance, the lotus root is sliced and fried. Lotus is a classic symbol of purity, enlightenment, self-regeneration and rebirth, all on my mind in these weeks. Even when the its roots are buried in the mud, the lotus’ super-long strong stem (the edible part of the plant) rises out of the water to produce a beautiful pure flower. Find them in most Asian grocery stores; be sure to buy them raw (not pre-boiled).

This dish is the perfect seasonal balance of East-West, vegetable-grain and cooking styles (fry-boil). Such a satisfying start to an August day.


Ingredients to serve 2

2 ears fresh-picked corn
1 lotus root
2 tablespoons grape seed or safflower oil
coarse sea salt


Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Husk the corn and set aside.
While the water is boiling, peel and slice the lotus root into paper-thin rounds. 
Warm a cast-iron or stainless steel skillet on a medium flame. Add the oil and heat for about 30 seconds.
Now pop the corn into the boiling water. It should boil for about 7 minutes (no more).
While the corn is cooking, place the lotus slices in the skillet. When lightly browned (keyword lightly) around the edges, turn them and fry until a light golden brown. Remove with wooden tongs and place on brown paper bags to release excess oil.
Sprinkle the lotus with coarse sea salt and serve with the corn on the cob.

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