Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Renkon Hambaagu (Lotus Root Cakes)

Renkon Hambaagu (Lotus Root Cakes)

* I think lotus root "cake" sounds better than "steak" so I changed the title and the caption. Thanks Ilane :)

My colleague at the language school bought a macrobiotic cookbook recently. She let me read it while at work, and this recipe caught my attention. The dish is called renkon hambaagu. Renkon means lotus root in Japanese, and hambaagu is the Japanese name for hamburger steak or Salisbury steak.

Basically, what this is is fried lotus root pate (if I can call this a 'vegetable pate') with soy-based sweet-n-salty sauce. Grated lotus root is the main ingredient. And the neat trick is that crushed yaki-fu is used in place of bread crumbs.

So what is yaki-fu? It is dry baked wheat gluten, according to wikipedia. I usually use it for soup or simmered dishes, but never thought about using it for something else. And crushing it to use it as a substitute for bread crumbs was a totally new idea to me. Yes, I like this idea very much now.

Renkon (Lotus Root) and Mochi-fu

The baked wheat gluten I used this time was mochi-fu, a chewy type of yaki-fu. Maybe that was why my renkon hambaagu turned out pretty soft and elastic. I liked that. And the roasted sesame seeds I added to the pate (though it was not mentioned in the original recipe) was a good accent.

The ingredients of my sauce were soy sauce, water, mirin, minced ginger and a little sesame oil. The original recipe called for mushrooms, which I omitted this time. I will give it a try next time.

Another thing I really want to try next time is adding chopped shrimp to the pate. I think it would add a nice flavor and go well with the sauce, too.

* Original recipe from: "Macrobiotic Hajimemashita"

P.S. I got a daytime job today. FINALLY! So starting next Tuesday, I'll be working at a small supermarket in the neighborhood. Wish me luck. :)

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Anonymous said...

Congrats on your new job... Obachan..!! and good luck..! what an interesting way to cook lotus roots.. ;) I only know how to make soup with it.. muahhaha!!

K and S said...

yeah! you got a new job...congratulations. this is a new way to cook lotus root, I never thought to add "fu". :)

Anonymous said...

congratulations on your new job! those lotus hamburgers look so delicious. juicy and tasty!

Snug said...

Congratulations and good luck on your new job!

Those patties look great, almost like an asian recipe of a vegan recipe i have (which i havent tried yet). mine calls for chickpeas though :). I'd like to try out those lotus steaks one day.

Hollywood Tai Tai said...

congrats on your new job! wow, you are so industrious. Even when not working, you will read up on food photography. Passion.. :)

The lotus root cake looks like the yam cakes that I get back home with shrimp. yummies!

Anonymous said...

How was the taste? I have never tried Lotus root. Your photos make it look so delicious, I bet it is fairly healthy too?
Congrats on the new job! What will you be doing there? do you still have a night timejob?

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on the new job! Enjoy the rest of your time off before going back to the grind. These lotus root cakes look really good.

Good luck,

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Those Lotus Root Cakes looks very tasty! Oh, yummy!



Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your new job and may you find a lot of new items from there for your cooking adventures!!!
Until I was much older I never knew the real use for yaki -fu, My dad only got them for feeding his fishes. I love them in my soups.:)

obachan said...

Mama bok
Thanks. I don't know what to expect about this new job... but I should be lucky that I got one now.
If you're interested, deep-fried lotus roots are pretty good, too.

K & S
I never did, either. But looks like there are many other ways to use fu (even for making sweets!)

Thank you. :)

Thanks. I was not a vegan fan before, but I guess I'm going to try more vegan recipes this year.

Passion? Maybe... I just needed something to make me feel good. Hahaha. So if there are yam cakes with shrimp, lotus root cakes with shrimp may not be such a crazy idea.

Wine makers wife
The taste was delicate, and I thought the sesame oil in the sauce was the key. I don't think this dish contains unhealthy stuff, but I'm not sure how nutritious it is.

I still have the night time job. And at the supermarket in the daytime, I'll be cooking take-home side dishes starting at 7 am!

Anonymous commenter
Thank you. I'm a bit worried about the new job, but I have to earn my living...

Thank you. :)

obachan said...

Hi Keona,
Yeah, that's true here, too. We usually feed carp with fu!

Rei said...

Hello Obachan,

What wonderful news a new job and how convenient to be close to home. Congratulations!

Your Renkon Hamburger presentation is great. What an inticing and different combination of ingredients. I like your watermark too.

I have never used mochi-fu in cooking before. I'll have to look more closely for it when shopping.

Btw did you received my email about your art work?

Thank you for your site. Its still my favorite.

poon said...

Congratulations on the job, Obachan!! The lotus patties (?) look very yummy. What is macrobiotic?

Pinkity said...

Congrats obachan on your new job!!!

I'm going for an interview soon and I hate the waiting part after the interview and I hope this time I'd get a quick answer too!! :D

congrats again!!!

P/s: That renkon burger is making me feel really hungry!! :p

obachan said...

Thanks. Yesterday I went to my new workplace to get my uniform, see the kitchen and be introduced to the people I'll be working with. I think I like this new work place. (But of course, there are things that you never know until you actually start working there.)

Yeah! I received the email. So it was from you!! I thought it was one of those fake things so I did not respond. (You know spammers send weird emails these days... I even heard from a Sanrio character offering me a job!) My wotercolors are actually not that great and the cheap paper from 100 yen shop is all wrinkled up. But thanks anyway.

Well, I didn't really know what it was, either. See this page.

Yeah, I know what you mean. I hated that part, too. Good luck!

poon said...

Okay, thanks a lot, Obachan!