Braised lotus roots

Yeon-geun-jorim 연근조림

Today’s recipe is for braised lotus roots (yeon-geun-jorim: 연근조림), something that my readers and viewers have been requesting for years! The roots taste somewhere between a potato and a radish, and braising them (cooking at low heat in sauce) like this makes for a sweet, salty, and chewy side dish. It’s for special occasions and not something that you eat every day. It takes some time to make but the texture is very unique: soft with some crispiness, but also chewy and jellylike. This recipe is new to my website but it’s in my cookbook published in 2015.

When I lived in Korea yeon-geun-jorim was something we often put in lunchboxes for school picnics. Just a few of them in the lunchbox, pretty and shiny like gems surrounded by other side dishes, make the whole lunchbox look beautiful. The braised root slices look like garnishes but are actually really tasty to eat.

Lotus roots are tough, so you first need to prepare them properly. You can actually eat the roots raw but for this recipe we soak and blanch before braising them. Soaking them removes excessive starch. The root has a subtly astringent taste, but a little bit of vinegar (any kind) will remove it. The vinegar also makes the root slices a little whiter.

Lotus roots can be found at a Korean, Chinese, or Japanese grocery store. These days, when I visit a Korean grocery store, I see pre-sliced lotus root packed in some liquid being sold. You can try them but make sure they aren’t sliced too thin. They should be¼ inch (0.6 cm) thick.

Choose roots that are smooth and evenly colored with no blemishes. It’s almost impossible to find a perfect one with no brown spots at all, so you need to compromise and get the one with the fewest freckles. : ) I like to get the roundest one I can so my yeon-geun-jorim ends up round like a circle. But writing this, I kind of feel bad for triangle or distorted shaped roots. Yeon-geun-jorim can be triangular, why not? You might like that better as long as it tastes the same as round one!


Serves 4

lotus roots


  1. Slice lotus roots into ¼ inch (0.6 cm) thick discs. Soak them in cold water for 30 minutes.
  2. Boil some water in a pot. Add vinegar and blanch the lotus root slices for 5 minutes, uncovered. Rinse in cold water and strain.lotus root rinsinglotus roots rinsed
  3. Heat up vegetable oil in a heavy non-stick pan. Stir fry the sliced roots for a few minutes until they get a little softer and translucent.lotus root frying
  4. Add 2¼ cup water, garlic, and soy sauce. Stir and cover. Turn down the heat to low, and cook for 40 minutes. Occasionally open the cover and turn them over to brown evenly. Add more water if necessary.lotus root soy sauce
  5. Add rice syrup and stir. Cover and let simmer for another 20 minutes.lotus root syrup
  6. Open and turn up the heat to medium high. Carefully stir and turn over the roots and braise for 10 to 12 minutes, until each slice gets shiny like jelly and almost all the liquid is evaporated.
    lotus root braise
  7. Remove from the heat and stir in sesame oil. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  8. Serve as a side dish for rice. If you have some leftover, put it in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge up to 2 weeks.


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  1. relig001 Germany joined 5/23 & has 1 comment

    Had this in China back in 08 when I was there for the Olympics. Found the Lotus Root at an Asian store here, got a recipe for it from here and made it. Tasted really good, and had kind of a sweet Thai BBQ flavor to it. I think it was a little too much work but I am still glad I got around to making it.

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  2. Kait_Ri United States of America joined 7/22 & has 1 comment

    Hello! How could I adapt this using frozen lotus root?

  3. freldici France joined 6/20 & has 33 comments

    first time tasting lotus! great recipe! The texture is incredible and the taste is very pleasant! thank you very much Maangchi . kisses from Paris, France

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  4. fanofmaangchi Ipoh, Malaysia joined 12/21 & has 1 comment

    May I ask the purpose of the vinegar? Is that something I should add to any vegetables when I blanch them in water?

  5. mrs. pineapple Indonesia joined 11/21 & has 1 comment

    Can I use corn syrup instead of rice syrup?? and how many portion that can be make from this recipe?? Thankyouuu Maangchi <3 I always adore u

  6. TukTukBokki Utah, USA joined 3/21 & has 1 comment

    I wanted something a bit more savory and spicy, so I added a spoonful of gochujang. It was very delicious, I ate it all in one sitting! Lotus root is now one of my go to vegetables ^_^

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  7. Jang-geum Charlotte, NC joined 9/20 & has 26 comments

    Prepared this (연근조림). My morning snackIts absolutely it!

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  8. a_westervelt Portland OR USA joined 10/20 & has 7 comments

    So yummy!!! Found lotus root at my local asian market. I used honey instead rice syrup (because I’m a beekeeper and have a ton of the sweet stuff!) :) Mine didn’t come out as dark and shiny as Maangchi’s, but it was still delicious!

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  9. tteokbokki Orlando, FL joined 4/19 & has 1 comment

    This is probably my favorite side. So good!

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  10. Maangchi, how do I make this with lotus root bought in a bag (pre-blanched I think)? Thank you!

  11. loraein Singapore joined 9/12 & has 5 comments

    Just made this.. but I think I totally dried out the sauce after turning to medium heat… other than that, taste not bad…

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  12. Min_MNF MALAYSIA joined 11/17 & has 2 comments

    Hi Maangchi,
    Thank you for the recipe. I had finished cooking my Yeongeun-jorim. Really like it even though i put to much soy sauce. Can’t wait to try other recipe.

    God bless you Maangchi.

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  13. Trini Queens, NYC joined 8/17 & has 1 comment

    This is probably the 100th Maangchi recipe I’ve made this month. My Korean husband insists I’m a “cooking genius”, but really I just have a Maangchi cookbook! Thank you so much for making me look good!

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  14. Can I use corn syrup instead of rice syrup?

  15. Mdefields Indiana joined 1/17 & has 11 comments

    These were SOOO good!! Thank you!

  16. Aniron Oklahoma joined 5/16 & has 6 comments

    Hi, Maangchi! I have packaged lotus root from my local Korean grocery. Is there any way to adapt this to work with pre-sliced? If not, any tips on what to do with them?

  17. cottony paradise joined 5/17 & has 7 comments

    hi, any burdock root recipes, please?

  18. Netherlands/United States joined 5/17 & has 2 comments

    I have been waiting for the Recipe in anticipation! It’s one of my favorite banchans! Thank you!! Will you be posting a video on how to make 우엉 조림???

  19. derekins Cambridge, MA joined 3/16 & has 2 comments

    Hi Maangchi. My store only sells lotus root that is already peeled and boiled. I skipped to step 3, but I’m not sure it came out right. Do you have recommendations when the lotus roots are already prepared in this way?

  20. theeggmel Toronto, Canada joined 3/17 & has 1 comment

    Such a good recipe! I always want to braise everything in soy sauce and rice syrup, it always tastes so good :)

  21. sanne Munich joined 8/14 & has 286 comments

    Don’t you skin them first? I did when I had frozen ones.
    I used to make that a lot from dried and skinned roots, but they aren’t available anymore…
    (Not much difference taste-wise.)
    A Korean friend introduced them to us at her birthday party many years ago. I knew what it was, but she pulled some other guest’s leg by telling her that she had drilled the holes…

  22. John in Baton Rouge Baton Rouge Louisiana joined 12/16 & has 40 comments

    You are posting so many videos lately :) Thank you!!!!!! <3

  23. Alan Chang Chicago joined 3/17 & has 2 comments

    The dish looks delicious! One question: there is currently no mention of vinegar in the “Directions” section. Is vinegar supposed to be used in the soaking step?

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