Yeongeun jorim (연근 조림) is a popular fall side dish that’s made with lotus roots. It’s sweet, savory and crunchy!
Lotus roots (yeon-geun) are widely used in Korea and other Asian countries. This sweet soy braised dish is one of the most popular dishes made with yeongeun in Korea. It surely deserves a spot on your favorite basic side dish (mit-banchan, 밑반찬) list.
As I mentioned in my stir-fried lotus root post, lotus root is the stem of the lotus plant, which is high in dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals. It has a mildly sweet taste, and a fibrous, starchy and crunchy texture.
How to make yeongeun jorim
This dish is prepared similar to other Korean sweet soy braised dishes such as kongjang and jangjorim. For yeongeun jorim, you first peel and slice the lotus roots and then pre-boil in water with a little bit of vinegar before braising. This is a technique Korean home cooks use to reduce the starch level and remove any bitterness from the lotus root.
As for the braising liquid, I simply used water as a base, but dashima broth or dried shiitake mushroom soaked water would add another layer to the flavor. You can also add a few slices of garlic or ginger if you like.
The cooking time I used here gives the right amount of crunchiness and chewiness to the lotus root to my taste. If you like it crunchier, reduce the pre-boiling time from the recipe. Likewise, if you want it softer and chewier, pre-boil longer.
Yeongeun jorim (Sweet Soy Braised Lotus Roots)Side Dish
- 1 pound lotus roots (yeon-guen, 연근)
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds - optional garnish
For the braising liquid - see note 1
- 4 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice wine
- 2 tablespoons sugar 1.5 T for less sweet
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 2 tablespoons corn syrup, oligodang (올리고당), or rice malt syrup (jocheong, 조청) or 1 tablespoon honey (or to taste)
- 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
- Cut the tough ends of the lotus root, and peel the skin with a potato peeler. Thinly slice the lotus root, about 1/4-inch thick.
- Add the lotus root slices to a medium size pot with enough water to cover them and a tablespoon of vinegar. Bring it to a boil and cook, uncovered, for about 10 minutes (or 20 minutes for softer yeongeun). See note 3.
- Drain, and rinse with cold water.
- Return them to the pot. Add 1 cup of water and the soy sauce, rice wine, sugar, and cooking oil. Bring it to a boil.
- Continue to boil, uncovered, over medium high heat until the liquid is reduced to about 4 tablespoons, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir occasionally to rotate the lotus root slices.
- Add the corn syrup and sesame oil, and stir well for 3 to 4 minutes. Keep your eyes on the pot to avoid burning the lotus root. Sprinkle with the optional sesame seeds to serve.
- Keep the leftover in the fridge. Coat with the sauce at the bottom when serving.