Five-spice lotus chips

Our favorite beach snack gets a makeover

MAKES About 5 cups (4 oz.)

TIME 45 minutes

The humble chip is getting a lot of attention from chefs these days: Étoile Restaurant at Domaine Chandon in Yountville, California, uses lotus root, Jerusalem artichoke, and Japanese eggplant chips as garnish, while Avila Restaurant in Seattle bakes up leafy greens like kale, leeks, and Swiss chard.

Here’s our own take on lotus chips.

  • 1 large fresh lotus root* (about 1 lb.)
  • 3 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 tsp. five-spice powder
  • Oil for frying

1. Peel lotus root with a vegetable peeler and cut into 1/8-in. slices. Soak in a large bowl of water with lemon juice 20 minutes, then drain and pat dry. Mix salt and five-spice powder together in a small bowl.

2. Pour enough oil into a medium pot to come 2 in. up sides. Heat oil until it registers 325° on a deep-fry thermometer.

3. Fry chips in small batches until golden, then put on a plate and sprinkle each batch with a little five-spice mixture while chips are still hot.

*Buy lotus root at Asian markets.