Lotus Root Soup Recipe (Canh Cu Sen)


The authentic recipe for lotus soup, called canh củ sen in Vietnamese, calls for pork broth, dried scallops, dried octopus and various dried fruits and nuts. With my family being mostly vegetarian, I adapted it to fit everyone’s diet.

I tried to mimic the meaty broth with Okinawan potatoes (purple-fleshed Japanese sweet potatoes) and preserved daikon radish and flavored it with the usual dried black dates called jujube (or plum), dried South almonds, peanuts and gojee berries. Lastly, fresh lotus root is sliced thinly and added to the broth until softened. Some people like it on the crunchy side, but I prefer it very tender.

1. Info for Lotus Root Soup Recipe (Canh Cu Sen)

  • Cook Time: 55 min
  • Total Time: 1 hr 30 min
  • Servings: 8
  • Calories: 140 kcal

2. Ingredients for Lotus Root Soup Recipe (Canh Cu Sen)

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (or any neutral oil)
  • 1 (8-ounce) piece firm tofu
  • 1 (12-ounce) piece fresh lotus root (2 attached segments), peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 Okinawan potato
  • 2 pieces preserved radish
  • 2 tablespoons dried gojee berries
  • 1 (6-ounce) package dried south almonds
  • 5 dried jujubes
  • 1 chunk rock sugar (about 2 ounces), (to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon mushroom seasoning salt (or regular salt)
  • 2 tablespoons peanuts, halved
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper, freshly cracked

3. Directions:

  1. Peel and dice the Okinawan potato into small pieces.
  2. Fill a large stockpot with 4 quarts of water. Bring to a roaring boil. Add the preserved radish, onion, dried almonds and dried jujubes to the pot. Bring the liquid  back to a boil. Cook for about 20 minutes. Gather a few potato pieces, then strain the broth (discard the solids) and return to the pot.
  3. Peel the lotus root and thinly slice.

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