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  • Serves 4-6

  • 40 mins

  • Easy

  • 1 lotus root bulb, peeled & cut into 4-5mm thick slices

  • 40g dried large red chillies, roughly torn

  • 6 cloves of fresh garlic

  • 300 ml cold water

  • 50ml vegan fish sauce (or substitute light soy or tamari)

  • 50g brown sugar

  • 150ml rice vinegar

  • 1 tbsp self-raising flour

  • 1 tbsp rice flour

  • 1/2 tbsp gram flour

  • 1/4 tsp baking powder

  • 1 heaped tsp garam masala powder

  • 180ml sparkling water

  • 1/2 tsp salt

One of my favourite food journeys in Thailand was from Mae Sot, following the Burmese border north onto Mae Sariang and then Mae Hong Son. You can read more about our journey here. We ate alot of delicious fried snacks, as the Burmese have their own versions of pakoras and so many delicious salads. A kicking chilli and garlic sauce is nearly always served on the side. So here's a little Burmese inspired recipe for you to enjoy at home. If you can't get lotus root, just substitute any crunchy vegetables such as carrots, cauliflower or turnips.

  1. To make the quick dipping sauce, add the chillies, garlic and 300ml water to a small pan, bring to boil and simmer gently for 5-10 mins. Remove from heat, then add the vegan fish (or soy sauce if using), sugar and rice vinegar.
  2. Blend the mixture using a stick blender or food processor. Return to heat and simmer for another 3-4 minutes until starting to thicken. Then leave to cool.
  3. Whisk together the flours, baking powder, garam masala, salt and sparkling water to make a smooth batter. Leave to stand for 10 minutes.
  4. Add 500 ml veg oil to medium pan and heat on medium high. Check oil is hot enough by dropping a little batter into the hot oil and making sure it sizzles.
  5. Working in small batches of 4 or 5 pieces, dip the lotus root slices in the batter and gently lay in hot oil. Fry for 7-8 minutes until golden brown and crispy on both sides. Drain on kitchen paper.
  6. Serve immediately, as a snack or starter, with spicy chilli and garlic sauce for dipping. 
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