Vietnamese Recipes & Cuisines (Salad)

Lotus Stem Salad Recipe

The Vietnamese love the lotus plant because it symbolizes purity and perfection. Every part of the plant is used : the flowers are laid at shrines and temples; the stamens are steeped to make a soothing tea, the seeds are dried for desserts and cakes; and the stems and roots are sliced up for soups and salads, where they absorb the flavors of the dressing while retaining a crunchy texture. You may be lucky enough to fine fresh lotus steams in an Asian market, or as here, you can use the ones preserved in brine.

Ingredients : Serves 4


225 g


24 g

1 sprig


For the dressing


15-30 ml


1 clove

1 tablespoon


Jar preserved lotus stems, drained and cut into 5 cm strips

Shallots, finely sliced

Fresh basil leaves, shredded

Fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves, for garnishing



Lime, juiced

Nuoc cham

Red Thai chilies, seeded and finely chopped

Garlic, crushed


Method :
  • To make the dressing, mix together the dressing ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

  • Peel the cucumber and cut it into thin 5 cm strips.

  • Soak the strips in cold salted water for 20 minutes.

  • Put the lotus stems into a bowl of water. Using a pair of chopsticks, stir the water constantly so that the loose fibres of the stems wrap around the sticks. Drain the stems and put them in a bowl.

  • Drain the cucumber strips and add them to the bowl, then add the shallots, shredded basil leaves and the prepared dressing. Leave the salad to marinate for 20 minutes before serving.

  • Garnish with fresh coriander leaves.

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