LOTUS ROOT Leen ngau

This vegetable looks like stiff strings of fat sausages. The sections measure 2-3 inches in diameter, come in two lengths (short, 3-4 inches; long, 6-10 inches), and are separated from each other by narrow 'necks' whence the leaf shoots emerge. They are quite hard, usually encrusted with pond mud.

Examine lotus roots carefully, despite the mud, searching for soft spots and/or any sort of perforations in the skin. Soft spots suggest decay while perforations allow the mud inside; both conditions render the root virtually inedible. The sections elongate with age; the short sections are usually younger and more tender.