In late summer in China, lotus is blooming. It is a pretty sight – and a time, as the seeds grow, for lotus seeds to be eaten as snacks.

The Problem with Lotus Seeds

As with so many things food-related, is is a pleasure. If you know what you are doing.

The secret of the lotus that determines pleasure or pain: The seed embryo inside tastes extremely bitter. One can find those, dried, as a medicinal tea, but wouldn’t want to eat them.

How to “Prepare” Lotus Seeds

So, to eat lotus…

First, pick a seed pod that is plump enough to have nice big seeds inside. And still green enough for the seeds to be fresh and soft, not turning woody and hard.

Crack open the pod and extract the seed.

Start peeling.

First, there is a thicker green layer around the seed that needs removing.

Under this is a skin-like translucent layer which does not disturb so much, but is still nicer when also peeled away. It comes off easily with brushing motions, anyways.

Then, crack the seed open into its two halves.

Inside, you will see the dark green embryo, which you’ll want to remove.

The two white halves of the seed, those are the lotus “nut” to enjoy.

Repeat as long as you like; realize just how much Chinese are willing to take time for some enjoyable food :-p