Renkon or ” lotus root ” is a root that is popular in many Japanese dishes such as nimono ( braised vegetables), kinpira ( sautéd in sugar and soy sauce) and tsukemono ( Japanese Pickles). It is a popular root used in macrobiotic cooking and it is starting to become familiar in the US as well.
The Japanese character for renkon is “蓮根” 蓮 (ren) means lotus while 根 (kon) means root. Renkon is said to be good for people who suffer from respiratory problems such as asthma or tuberculosis. It is also good for colds. There are a few macrobiotic remedy drinks that use the liquid from raw lotus root combined with arrowroot powder or other ingredients. This is supposed to help people suffering from asthma or the common cold. However, in my experience, people suffering from eczema (atopy) should be careful when drinking raw lotus root juice as it may cause eczema to worsen.
What I find most interesting though, is how renkon is harvested. I have been buying it in the stores and using it in my cooking but until now, I had no idea how it was grown or harvested. This video shows how they are harvested. Although it is in Japanese, I don’t think you need to understand what they are saying in order to get the picture. Check it out: