The lotus flower, which is currently in season, plays a huge role in not just Vietnamese life, but also Vietnamese cuisine.
All the parts of the lotus flower are used when making various Vietnamese dishes that burst with local character. The distinctive flavour can be found in not just savoury food, but also desserts and various drinks.
Củ Sen Xào – Stir Fried Lotus Root Stem
This dish is available at Ưu Đàm Chay – 34 Hàng Bài. The stems of lotus roots are chopped into thin slice and stir fried with cauliflower, baby corns and cashew nuts.
Gỏi Ngó Sen – Lotus Roots Salad
This local favourite is also available at Ưu Đàm Chay – 34 Hàng Bài. Lotus roots are chopped into short small sticks and mixed with white wood ear, cucumber, carrot and lotus seed in a hot and sour sauce.
Cháo Gà Hạt Sen – Chicken Congee with Lotus Seeds
Pictures were taken at An Nam Cháo – 6 Ô Quan Chưởng. Chicken, lotus seed and congee are slow-cooked separately and later brought together in a claypot serving. Chicken legs (including thighs and drumsticks) are cooked with Chinese medicine ingredients. The congee is made of a mixture of rice and sticky rice.
Cơm Hấp Lá Sen – Steamed Rice in Lotus Leaf
Photo taken at Net Hue, 198 Hàng Bông. A vegetarian option can also be found at Ưu Đàm Chay (34 Hàng Bài)
The rice comes with a mixture of peas, carrots, and mushrooms which are steamed in a lotus leaf wrapping.
Chè Hạt Sen – Vietnamese Sweet Soup with Lotus Seeds
Like the look of this? It’s available at Chè Bốn Mùa – 4 Hàng Cân. Lotus seeds are cooked and either mixed with mashed mung bean or stuffed in deseeded longans (pictured below). The soups are served with grass jelly and coconut on a generous bed of snow ice.