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Lotus Root Stuffed with Minced Meat (Renkon Nikuzume)

Course Main Course
Cuisine Japanese
Keyword healthy, renkon lotus root, seasonal, yakitori
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Author Matt


  • 1 section renkon lotus root, peeled and sliced medium-sized (approx. 7-10 cm in length)
  • 1 tbsp red pepper, seeds removed and finely chopped approx. 1/6 of medium-sized pepper
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped Japanese cucumber*
  • 100 g minced chicken = about 1/4 lb
  • 1 tsp extra virgin coconut oil
  • sea salt to season


  1. Wash and peel lotus root. Also, peel or slice off the ends where the holes are to remove any browning or black parts.

  2. Cut lotus root into 7 - 8 slices approximately 1 cm wide.

    renkon lotus root
  3. Dry off slices with paper towel to remove some of the moisture.

  4. Place slices in a frypan (with no oil). On low heat, uncovered, precook lotus root.

  5. When the bottom side begins to brown, carefully turn slices with chopsticks or a spatula and heat the other side. When both sides have slightly browned, remove from pan and set aside. If sides are not browning after a few minutes, turn up heat slightly.

  6. In the meantime, finely chop cucumber, red pepper, and ginger.

    lotus root recipe
  7. Using paper towel, remove as much moisture from the cucumber as possible.

  8. In a frypan, cook chopped red pepper and ginger on low to medium heat. Stir regularly. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until ginger begins to brown slightly. Then, remove from heat and set aside.

    Japanese lotus root recipe
  9. Put minced chicken into a small bowl. Add chopped cucumber, red pepper, and ginger. Mix with a spoon or using your hands.

    Japanese lotus root recipe
  10. Pre-heat frypan on low heat and coat with coconut oil.

    Japanese lotus root recipe
  11. Measure one heaping teaspoon of minced chicken mix and press it against one side of a slice of lotus root.

  12. With the slice of lotus root in your palm, press down with your fingers to flatten the minced chicken against the lotus root so it holds tightly and fills into the holes.

    stuffed lotus root renkon
  13. Repeat with each slice of lotus root until you run out of minced chicken.

  14. Place each stuffed lotus root into the frypan with the meat side down. Cook on low to medium-low heat.*

    how to cook lotus root
  15. When the meat begins to turn golden brown (2-4 minutes), flip and cook the reverse side until it begins to brown.

    lotus root recipe
  16. Once the minced chicken meat is fully cooked, remove each stuffed lotus with a spatula or chopsticks.

  17. Place on "tempura paper" or paper towel to remove some of the oil.

  18. Serve warm.

Recipe Notes

*If you use regular cucumbers, such as what's available in the US, rather than Japanese cucumbers, I recommend removing the seeds to reduce the moisture.

*When cooking stuffed lotus root in frypan, I use sound as an indicator of the right cooking temperature. I listen for a soft sizzling sound from the fry pan to know the temperature is just right.