Japanese-Style Lotus Root Salad (GF)

This gluten-free lotus root salad is the perfect side dish for a rice entree. It features a nutritious and unique vegetable from Asia!

As the name suggests, lotus root is the edible root from the lotus flowers that float atop ponds, commonly seen in East and Southeast Asia. The roots have a crunchy texture, similar to a daikon, and a gooey interior that can be washed off prior to cooking. They’re pretty neutral in flavor so they are often pickled, sauteed, or used in salads with plenty of spices and seasonings.

Growing up, my mom would often saute lotus roots for dinner and I was somewhat put off by their appearance – vegetables with lots of holes – but I have since looked over that and have come to really enjoy lotus roots. Apart from being tasty, lotus roots are incredibly nutritious, packed with fiber, vitamin C, and other vitamins and minerals.

Lotus roots are often seasoned with intense flavors, but I opted for modest flavors in this Japanese-style lotus root salad. I used Japanese sesame dressing, mayonnaise, tuna, and seasoned with salt and pepper to taste. It’s a simple side dish that requires little time and effort to make. If you are unfamiliar with Japanese salad dressing, it is my all-time favorite salad dressing ever and it used to be difficult to find, but it is now more commonly sold and I actually purchased mine at Costco! There are several brands that you can purchase, but I always use the Kewpie Sesame dressing if I can get ahold of it. The dressing is slightly creamy, tangy, and has sesame flavor, making it a versatile sauce that can be used as a dressing, marinade, and more. If you cannot find this product, you can make your own with this simple recipe from Just One Cook book. The salad can be eaten by itself, but is best paired with rice or noodles, along with other side dishes.

Cooking lotus root tips:

  • Rinse lotus roots 2-3 times to wash off the gooey interior. This makes the roots more crispy.
  • Soak in a bit of vinegar water to preserve the color.
  • Boiling the lotus roots require only 1-2 minutes. To maintain the crispiness, do not over boil.

Japanese-Style Lotus Root Salad

yield: 3 side dish portions

total cook time: 15 min.


  • 1 medium lotus root (8 in. long)
  • 1 tsp. white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp. Japanese sesame dressing
  • 2 tbsp. canned tuna
  • 1 tsp. chopped green onions
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Slice the lotus root thinly. Wash the slices in water 2-3 times to remove the starchy and gooey interior.
  2. Place the root slices in a bowl and add 1 tsp. vinegar and enough water to cover the roots. Let the roots soak for 10 min.
  3. Drain the lotus roots and bring a pot of water to a boil. Add in the lotus roots and boil for 1 min. Turn the heat off and drain. Soak the slices in cool water.
  4. In a mixing bowl, mix the mayonnaise, sesame dressing, and tuna together. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add in the drained lotus roots and mix. Top with green onions and enjoy!

*Nutrition facts are estimates.

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21 thoughts

  1. Have you thought about doing a Japanese kinpira recipe with gobo (burdock) root? I am no cook, but am a huge fan of making huge bowls of it and keeping it in the fridge! I love renkon (lotus root), so glad to see someone spotlighting it as a nice ingredient!

      1. Hey Jamie, julienne the burdock root into thin strips, and soak in cold water for ten minutes, then rinse. Julienne the same amount of carrot. I flash boil the burrock root for a minute, dry and then stir fry, adding the carrot after a few minutes. I use sesame oil to finish but fry in any oil which is ok in high heat. Add one tbs shin mirin, same of hon mirin, 1/4 cup of konbu dashi. simmer until all the liquid has gone. I then add a tsp of sesame oil, and a dash of tamari, some sesame seeds, and togarashi- that dried hot Japanese chilli flakes. Hope it works for you! Make sure the gobo is peeled too, if you dont soak it, it is very harsh. Have a good day!

  2. Wow this reminded me on a game that I am currently playing where I was cooking an in-game recipe made with lotus root. Never knew that lotus roots could be really edible in the real world. Thank you for this. šŸ˜

  3. The name in Japanese is renkon. It is part of the New Year’s Day shogatsu in Japanese culture. The renkon is sliced, sometimes pickled, and used to “see the future” through the holes in the root. It can be done as tempura as well.

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