Yeongeun (연근, “lotus root”) jorim (조림, “reduced”) is a basic, everyday banchan (반찬) found at both home tables and restaurants. It’s a simple dish of sliced lotus roots boiled then reduced in soy sauce and sugar or corn syrup. Although this dish is often called “candied lotus root” in English, it should not be confused with true candied lotus root, or Yeongeun-Jeonggwa, which is a variety of hangwa or Korean traditional confectionery made by boiling fruits, plant roots, or seeds in honey, mulyeot (물엿, “liquid candy”) or sugar. For a more restaurant-like glaze, you can substitute Korean rice malt syrup (조청 – jo cheong) in place of the brown sugar. Rice malt syrup tastes sweet with a hint of a malty-earthy back note, and adds nice color and depth of flavor to the finished dish. However, you can achieve similar results with a little regular corn syrup.
- 160 oz. fresh lotus root (about one 16 oz. package of pre-sliced fresh or frozen lotus root)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon apple juice
- 4 cups water
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
For Stir Fry Sauce:
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon apple juice
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1⁄2 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds (optional)
- 1 finely chopped green onion (optional)
Prepare the lotus:
- If using whole root– Wash and peel lotus root. Parboil and cool (this will make slicing easier), then carefully slice lotus root (it may may still be a bit tough) into approximately 1/8 to 1/4 inch slices.
- If using frozen lotus root– thaw and rinse lotus slices.
Once you have sliced the lotus root, heat water to boiling, add then add lotus root, vinegar and apple juice to pot, and boil for 20 minutes.
Prepare the stir fry sauce:
In a small mixing bowl, combine the brown sugar, soy sauce, apple juice, and water. Mix until the brown sugar is mostly dissolved. Add the honey and mix well.
Cooking the finished dish:
Heat the sesame oil in a round bottomed stir fry skillet over high heat. Add the lotus root and stir fry for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Reduce heat to medium, add the stir fry sauce, and stir continuously until there is almost no liquid remaining in the skillet.
Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
Optionally, you may garnish each serving with a light sprinkling of chopped green onion and toasted sesame seed.
Serve as a snack or as one dish in a traditional Korean banchan array.
last updated August 17, 2023