Lotus seeds are one of the common ingredients in Asian cuisine, not only because their sweet flavor matches really well with many dishes but also because of their nutritional values. In 100 grams of lotus seeds (yielding about 350 calories of energy), there are 63-68 grams carbohydrate (mostly starch), 17-18 grams of protein, and only 1.9-2.5 grams fat; the remainder is water (about 13%), and minerals (mainly sodium, potassium, calcium, and phosphorus). As a protein source, they are relatively good, with a one ounce serving (of dried seeds) providing 5 grams.
In our country, we love adding lotus seeds in sweet dishes or slow cooking them with meat, usually chicken, with some Asian spices. My Slow cooked Chicken with Mushrooms and Lotus Seeds today is a simple recipe, I didn’t use the spices because the dish will become too… healthy, and honestly, those spices aren’t my favorites :”>
1. Chicken (cut into large pieces or use the whole small chicken)
2. Lotus seeds (don’t forget to remove the lotus embryos because they’re a little bit bitter. But if you have sleep difficulties or headaches, they will help you really effectively)
3. Chicken bones (or unused chicken parts, like neck or legs), washed
4. Shiitake mushrooms (if you use dried ones, soak them in warm water for 30 minutes before using)
5. Spring onions, chopped
6. Fresh water
7. Salt, fish sauce
8. Egg noodles
1. In a large saucepan, pour in fresh water, following by the chicken bones (or unused chicken parts) and a pinch of salt. Bring it to a boil then reduce the heat, simmer for at least 30 minutes. That’s a super easy chicken broth.
2. Add the chicken pieces or the whole chicken and lotus seeds in the saucepan, make sure the chicken is well covered by the broth. Season with salt and fish sauce (I like to use both because their saltiness are different). Simmer until the chicken are tender and the lotus seeds are soft and can be easily crushed by a fork.
3. Meanwhile, in another saucepan, bring fresh water to a boil. Add a pinch of salt and put in the egg noodles. Quickly stir until the noodles are tender (just 1-2 minutes) and put them in a colander. Keep warm.
4. When the chicken and lotus seeds are done, put in the mushrooms and bring everything to a boil again. Season if needed. Turn off the heat.
5. Serve: In the serving bowl, put in the egg noodles. Sprinkle with chopped spring onions. Pour the chicken broth into the bowl, following by the chicken pieces, lotus seeds and finally shiitake mushrooms.
Good luck and have fun realizing this dish at home,
Love, Trang Quynh