random musings

March 16, 2012

My version of Candied Lotus Seeds for CNY

One treat I really (reallyreallyreally) like for Chinese New Year are candied lotus nuts. If you live in a part of the country that sells these in the Asian food markets, they come in packages that look like this:

However, at the 3 asian food stores in town, I couldn't find anyone who even knew what they were! My go-to treats for CNY that I had taken for granted living on the west coast apparently is not as popular with people recently immigrated from Mainland China or Korea..... woe was I! So being the resourceful gal that I am, I decided to make my own. I followed some tips found here, here, and my own previous experience making candied ginger and lemon peel. CNY is well past, but here's to planning for next year :-P

sunflowerfoodgalore's direction is to use the whole, white, lotus seeds. I had some brown ones in the freezer I keep to use in soups and used those instead.

1/4 c lotus seeds
1/2 c granulated sugar + 2 T water
powdered sugar for coating
2 t baking soda
water, for boiling

  1. rinse and soak the seeds overnight in water. the next day, rinse and drain. if you see any green thingies in the middle of the seed, remove those. they will add a bitter flavor to your candy.
  2. transfer the seeds into a saucepan and cover with water and baking soda. boil for a couple minutes until the nuts are cooked. they should have the texture of boiled peanuts. drain and cool.
  3. At this point you can use a paper towel or spoon to rub off the brown coating, like for hazelnuts. I found this to be tedious, picky and only semi-productive. 

(left) unpeeled boiled lotus nuts (right) peeled
  1. in a clean pan, bring sugar and 2T water to boil. add the seeds, stir to coat. Turn the heat off and let sit at rt for a few hours (I went to work for the day)
  2. drain the seeds well, reserving the syrup. in a small fry pan heat 2 T of the syrup to soft-ball stage. add the seeds and cook, stirring constantly until the sugar caramelizes. remove from heat and spread in single layer on wax paper.
  3. toss with powdered sugar. allow to cool completely and toss again. keep stored in an airtight container. nomnomnom

Save any remaining syrup to sweeten your tea! it is infused with yummy lotus seed flavor.

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