Growing up in Thailand, I was quite susceptible to MSG, yes, you got that right, monosodium glutamate. We basically put MSG on mostly everything, noodle soup, salad, chip, dipping sauce etc. The most popular MSG driven snack was to dip fresh asian guava into MSG mixture, which was the combination of MSG (duh!!), sugar, salt and red chilli pepper. Ask anyone who grew up in Thailand in the 90s or earlier, he/she would definitely confirm it.
Everyday after school when my neighbours and I played in the street in front of our houses, the same fruit cart would drive by to tempt us. And almost everyday we would stop it to buy that particular snack. Even though there were many different kinds of fruit to choose from, we usually bought that same thing, fresh asian guava with MGS mixture. What can I say? MSG tasted good on everything, hahaha
Nowadays, I have no tolerance for MSG. I would get sick the same day I accidentally consumed any food with MSG; I think I already used up MSG quota for this lifetime. 🙂 My body no longer put up with my favourite childhood snack. What a bummer!!!! Though once I eliminated MSG from that dipping mixture, I didn’t miss it at all. So I guess MSG is not the important ingredient, after all.
The similar mixture is created for these chips, without MSG, of course. Lime zest does give a great flavour at the tip of the tongue along with the mixture of sugar, chilli, and sea salt. I hope you try this recipe whenever you find lotus root at your local store. Lotus root is great for many different recipes, but this recipe has to be first to try if you have never cooked with this ingredient before. I do have another lotus root recipe coming to the blog later, and I will give you a link here when I post it. For now, hope you enjoy these asian chips while watching Jackie Chan movies, why don’t you? 🙂
- 500g. Lotus root
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon red chilli pepper
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon lime zest (option)
- 1 cup lemon juice (or vinegar)
- canola oil, for deep frying
- Mix sugar, red chilli pepper, sea salt and lime zest in a bowl; set aside. Adjust the taste per your liking, if needed.
- Peel & thinly slice lotus root (preferable with mandolin) into a bowl of 1:1 lemon juice/water to prevent them from turning brown. Before deep frying, patch them with paper towel to dry.
- Add about 1 inch of canola oil in a pan and heat it over medium high until the temperature reaches 350F. Deep fry them in batches, do not overcrowd the pan, for 2-5 minutes or until crisp and brown. Drain them on paper towel and sprinkle them with sugar mixture right away. Enjoy.
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