Actually, for real, that thing that becomes the spongy fibrous thing you scrub yourself with in the shower was once the root of the lotus plant. In food, it can be processed into a flour of incredible silky lightness or poached and pickled. Today, I just made a batch of the latter, inspired by the divine crunchy pickled lotus root we ordered at Dinesty restaurant in Vancouver.
Here's the jar, just set for cooling.
What went into that: one package of lotus root from H-Mart. I've never seen lotus root sold this way. In the long ago past, I bought the raw lotus root, oblong roots covered in a pale brown skin the color and texture pretty much of jicama. What H-mart had, and there wasn't a raw/fresh option, was this in the package which, for us grateful English-only speakers, had the additional word 'poached' on it. Typically, that's a step we'd have to do, cook it first, but they've done it for you. So presuming I could go straight to pickling, for a one quart jar I boiled together:
1 cup white wine vinegar
1 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
2 rounded teaspoons kosher salt
I rinsed and sliced the lotus root and stuffed it into a clean jar. The two roots in the package EXACTLY filled it, there was none leftover. And exact, so too, was my guess on the liquid needed--I had about two tablespoons leftover. For seasoning I dissolved a half teaspoon of dried ginger in the brine because I don't have any fresh and stuffed a few chilis and a fresh bay leaf into the jar. Everything's better with fresh bay leaf.
Will report back on the results in a few days.