1. The inside of the renkon or lotus root has a beautiful decorative pattern which makes it ideal as a decorative and delicious chirashi sushi topping.
2. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the skin of the renkon and cut-off both ends of the renkon. The ends will be dry and thick. Similar to a potato, the renkon will have what look like “eyes” which must be removed. They resemble dark or discolored patches. Slice the renkon lengthwise in half, then thinly slice horizontally.
3. Soak uncooked renkon slices in a bowl of cold water and 1 tablespoon rice vinegar for 10 minutes. This process is called, aku-nuki in Japanese, where any unwanted residue or bitter flavor from the renkon is drawn-out in the vinegar-water solution. Drain the renkon.
4. In a small glass bowl, prepare the amazu marinade by combining the dashi, rice vinegar, sugar and a dash of salt and gently stirring with chopsticks. Set this aside.
5. Next, in a small sauce pan, boil water and add the drained renkon and blanch for 2 minutes. Transfer the blanched renkonAdd the drained renkon to this ama-zu marinade. After the renkon cools, transfered to a plastic storage container and store in the fridge.
I had leftovers and happily snacked on these vinegary renkon and also enjoyed them as a side dish. I must warn you that these are quite tart, and more sour than sweet, so if snacking on them isn’t for you, I definitely recommend throwing them all into your chirashi sushi. It’s tartness compliments the sushi quite well.