Karashi renkon is lotus root stuffed with mustard miso. This nutritious dish was said to be first created by a Zen monk for a Japanese lord who had a poor appetite. It needs a bit more preparation work but the actual cooking time is rather short. Enjoy the process!
Remove excess water from momen tofu by wrapping it with paper towels. Place it in a shallow bowl. Weigh it down evenly with a plate. After 30 minutes, peel off the paper towels and mash tofu.
Prepare konbu dashi. Add vinegar, sugar and salt and bring to the boil. Then add lotus root, lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool.
To prepare the mustard miso stuffing, mix karashi powder with warm water well. Add miso and momen tofu and mix them well to form a mound.
Press the lotus root onto the mound such that the stuffing is forced to fill up the holes of the lotus root. Repeat this action until the stuffing is pushed to the top. Scrape off the excess stuffing at the top and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Remove any excess stuffing and dust the lotus root with flour. Hold the lotus root with 2 skewers inserted at its side (to coat with tempura batter and hold in oil while deep frying). Coat the lotus root with the tempura batter.
Heat oil and deep fry coated lotus root for about 1 minute or until light brown. Remove and drain on absorbent paper.
Cut lotus root into 8 slices. Arrange equal portions on 4 individual serving plates. Serve.
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