Gifts of a lotus

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The emblematic flower of Vietnam is delicious and nutritious

A combination of lotus seeds and longan can help people with depression, poor memory and insomnia

The lotus grows in muddy water but its fragrance is always fresh and sweet. It has a diamond-in-the-rough quality, always emerging as a symbol of crystal clarity amid murky swamps.

It rises above the surface of the muck to bloom with remarkable color.

In Vietnam, the lotus has become a symbol of purity, fraternity and familiarity. Vietnamese people respect the lotus and use it in much of their fine cuisine as well as in precious traditional health remedies.

The lotus root, flower and stem can all be used to make delicious foods. Lotus dishes bring with them the fragrance and color of the flower, which is not only simple and rural, but also elegant and noble.

Vietnamese cooks love preparing lotus stem salad with shrimp and pork, stewed duck with lotus seeds, stir-fried steamed rice with lotus seeds, stewed pig's feet with lotus roots and sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaves.

Lotus stem salad with shrimp and pork is the most popular of all lotus dishes.

The salad combines the crispiness of the white lotus stem, springiness from the pork ear, sweetness from the fresh shrimp, sourness and sweetness of vinegar, and the pungency of various herbs. Those tastes mingle together to make a wonderful and delicious dish.

Sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaves is another delicious delicacy made from lotus.

For this dish, the cook must be careful to choose the best rice and lotus leaves. The rice must be delicious, soft and glutinous.

The leaves not only make the sticky rice more delicious and fragrant, but also ensure that the dish stimulates digestion, relieves headaches and helps insomniacs sleep well.

Natural remedy

The lotus can also be used to make exceptional medicine without side effects.

Enjoying lotus, eaters absorb rich nutrients mainly through lotus roots and seeds.

The roots can help rid the body of toxins and prevent it from overheating. Lotus seeds have abundant vitamins, including C, B1, B2, protein, calcium, phosphorus, and iron.

The seeds can also calm one's mind and stop diarrhea. The center of the seeds can also lower blood pressure.

The flower can relieve stress from the summer heat and help blood clotting. It can be used to brew lotus tea, which relieves heat-related illness.

The leaves can cure stomach ailments, help clotting, make the spleen healthier, make a person more energetic and relieve excess body heat. The leaves are often used to make rice wraps.

Lotus is very healthy for white-collar workers who have overstrained brains or those who are emotionally distraught, shy, timid or forgetful.

The best lotus dishes can be found at the following restaurants in HCMC:

Vietnam House
93-95 Dong Khoi Street, District 1

171 Pham Ngu Lao Street, District 1

Ba Mien
122B Tran Quoc Thao Street, District 3

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