Chinese Lotus Root and Pork Soup | Gluten Free Asian Recipes | Healthy gf Asian (2024)

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Chinese Lotus Root and Pork Soup is one of the most common and popular Chinese home cooking soup. They also called this soup Leng Ngau Tong in Cantonese. Most of us in a Chinese household would have fond memories of having this lotus soup regularly while growing up. This lotus root and pork soup is not only very simple to prepare but tasty with high nutritional values too. Traditionally, we make with fresh lotus roots, pork spare ribs, dried cuttlefish and red dates. We also frequently add some raw peanuts with skin on and dried goji berries to this soup.

In fact, lotus root and pork soup is a celebratory soup for Chinese New Year. As lotus root means wealth and prosperity for every year. Likewise, some Cantonese restaurants serve this soup as a free courtesy soup before the main meals. For my naturally gluten free lotus root and pork soup recipe, I am using bone on pork shoulder. Plus frozen lotus root, raw peanuts with skin on and red dates. This recipe is also low carb, dairy free, soy free, corn free and egg free.

Furthermore, you can make this lotus root soup nut free without the peanuts if you have nut allergy. Just substitute with 2 tablespoons dried goji berries instead. In addition, I have included two cooking methods for this lotus root soup. Namely, using either a pressure cooker or a pot on stove top.

You may also like my other soup recipes:

  • Chinese Chicken and Black Eyed Peas Soup;
  • Chinese Pork and Black Bean Soup;
  • Homemade Fish Balls with Seaweed Soup; and
  • Pork and Prawn Wonton Soup
Chinese Lotus Root and Pork Soup | Gluten Free Asian Recipes | Healthy gf Asian (1)
Chinese Lotus Root and Pork Soup | Gluten Free Asian Recipes | Healthy gf Asian (2)

What is Lotus Root?

Lotus root (Nelumbo nucifera) or renkon in Japan, is an edible rhizome (the subterranean stem). Likewise, it is an aquatic perennial plant that produces white or pink flowers. And it is part of the Nelumbonaceae family. Moreover, the Hindus and Buddhists believe that Lotus root is holy. Because of this, many commonly referred to lotus root as Sacred Lotus, Sacred Water Lotus and Chinese Arrowroot. Nearly the whole plant is edible including its seeds, leaves, flowers and tubers. In addition, lotus root plant grow in the mud of ponds, swamplands and flooded fields.

Lotus roots are cylindrical in shape and brown in colour. But once sliced across, it looks like wheel shaped with small holes. Likewise, they are crunchy and starchy with sweet and mild nutty flavour. The young lotus roots are more delicate and mainly consumed for culinary uses. Whereas, they usually dry and package the mature lotus roots. Similarly, you can purchase lotus root peeled and packed in brine, frozen or dried. Albeit, many people use lotus root as an ingredient in soups, stir-fries, salads, steam or braise dishes. Alternatively, you can fry lotus root as tempura or crispy chips.

Where and How to Purchase

Lotus roots are available all year round either fresh, frozen or dried at Asian groceries stores. As well as fresh at wet or farmers markets. When purchasing fresh lotus roots, choose roots that are vibrant brownish colour. As well as stout and heavy with firm texture and smooth skin with on blemishes. You need to thoroughly wash and clean lotus root as fresh lotus roots grow in mud. It is also important to consume only cooked lotus roots to prevent any parasitic contamination.

Chinese Lotus Root and Pork Soup | Gluten Free Asian Recipes | Healthy gf Asian (3)

Unusual Characteristic

One unusual element about lotus root is when consuming the stems, as you bite into them. You will detect some stringy lotus fibres that resemble spider webs. Equally, they are long fibre strands that are soft and delicate threads. In Myanmar, they create lotus fibres and make them into exclusive robes for senior monks for their yearly Buddhist celebration.

The fabric produced from lotus fibre bear a resemblance to a hybrid of silk and linen. Nonetheless, naturally stain-resistant, waterproof and soft to the touch. Today, luxury goods brands and high end fashion houses or designers worldwide are also researching the characteristics of lotus fibre. Because they can sell clothing made from lotus fibre at a premium price.

Chinese Lotus Root and Pork Soup | Gluten Free Asian Recipes | Healthy gf Asian (4)

Nutritional Values of Lotus Root

Lotus roots are rich in dietary fiber, very low in cholesterol and saturated fats. Besides, they are a good source of essential vitamins and minerals. Specifically, vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), copper, manganese, phosphorus and potassium. Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners use lotus roots extensively to cure bleeding like nose bleed, vomiting of blood and diarrhea. They have also demonstrated to have anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, anti-pyretic (reduce and treat fever) and anti-anxiety properties.

Health Benefits of Lotus Root

Overall, the health benefits of lotus roots may include:

  • Promote healthy digestive system and regular bowel movements;
  • Boost the immune system;
  • Help regulate blood circulation and blood sugar level;
  • Reduce risks of cardiovascular disease;
  • Aid in weight loss management;
  • Assist in lowering cholesterols level;
  • Help in stress reduction; support mental health;
  • Prevents water retention; promote healthy skin and hair; and
  • Support healthy bones.
Chinese Lotus Root and Pork Soup | Gluten Free Asian Recipes | Healthy gf Asian (5)
Chinese Lotus Root and Pork Soup | Gluten Free Asian Recipes | Healthy gf Asian (6)

Chinese Lotus Root and Pork Soup

A classic and popular Chinese home cooking soup that is simple to make, nourishing and delicious.

5 from 2 votes

Print Pin Rate

Course: Soup

Cuisine: Chinese

Diet: Gluten Free

Keyword: Corn Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Lotus Root, Low Carb, Pork, Soy Free

Prep Time: 15 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes minutes

Total Time: 1 hour hour

Servings: 10 people

Calories: 322.25kcal

Author: Daphne Goh


MetricUS Customary

  • 1 kg pork shoulder bones on (get your butcher to cut into large 3 inch pieces)
  • 400 g fresh or frozen lotus root slices (for fresh lotus root, peeled, washed and sliced into 1cm thick slices lengthwise)
  • 350 g raw peanuts skin on
  • 10 dried red dates seeded
  • 4 litres water
  • 2 teaspoons salt or to taste


Method 1 – Instant Pot Using Pressure Cooker Function:

  • Place pork, lotus root, raw peanuts and dried red dates into a large instant pot. Gently mix the ingredients well together.

  • Add water to maximum level indicated by the instant pot. Cover the instant pot and lock lid.

  • Using the pressure cooker function. Cook for 35 minutes. Then turn off the heat.

  • Let the instant pot rest for another 10 minutes, carefully release pressure. Unlock lid and add salt to taste and serve.

Method 2 – Stove Top Cooking:

  • Blanch pork in some boiling water to remove scum. Drain and set aside.

  • Place 4 litres of water into a large covered pot and bring to a boil.

  • Add raw peanuts and dried red dates and bring to a boil again. Then turn the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.

  • Then add pork and lotus root and bring to a boil again. Then turn the heat to low and continue to simmer for 1½ hours or until pork and raw peanuts are soft. Add salt to taste and serve.


Allergens: “Nuts”.

Fresh or frozen lotus roots, raw peanuts skin on and dried red dates can be purchased from Asian groceries stores.

For NUT FREE version of this recipe, exclude the peanuts, just add 2 tablespoons dried goji berries instead.

Nutrition Facts

Chinese Lotus Root and Pork Soup

Serving Size

1 people

Amount per Serving



% Daily Value*






Saturated Fat





Polyunsaturated Fat



Monounsaturated Fat

































Vitamin A




Vitamin C















* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Did you make this recipe?Tag me on Instagram @healthygfasian or tag #healthygfasian!

Chinese Lotus Root and Pork Soup | Gluten Free Asian Recipes | Healthy gf Asian (9)
Chinese Lotus Root and Pork Soup | Gluten Free Asian Recipes | Healthy gf Asian (2024)


Is lotus root soup good for you? ›

Lotus root is a healthy source of carbohydrates and fiber that is low in fat and sugar. Lotus root contains several essential vitamins and minerals, such as potassium, calcium, copper, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and iron.

What is lotus soup made of? ›

To start the lotus root soup, add all the prepared ingredients to a stock pot or earthen pot: the (blanched) pork, seaweed/kelp, lotus root, ginger, dried goji berries (if using), and cold water. Bring it to boil, and then immediately turn it to down to a slow simmer.

Does hot and sour soup contain wheat? ›

Hot and sour soup is made with soy sauce, which contains some gluten due to the inclusion of fermented wheat. If you're making it yourself, just use a gluten-free soy sauce.

Who should avoid lotus root? ›

Special Precautions and Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if lotus is safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use. Surgery: Lotus might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery.

What are the side effects of lotus root? ›

Here are a few possible side effects of lotus root: 1. Allergic reactions: Some people may be allergic to lotus root. If you are allergic to other root vegetables or have a known allergy to lotus root, consuming it may lead to symptoms such as itching, swelling, hives, or even anaphylaxis in severe cases.

Why does lotus soup turn black? ›

Sometimes, lotus root does turn purple or brown when exposed to air or when cooked. From many official scientific studies, it is due to the naturally occurring of high level of Polyphenols in lotus root oxidizing with the air when exposed. This is similar to apple and banana browning.

Why does Chinese soup make you feel better? ›

Trusted for thousands of years, Chinese soups have been used as natural supplements to boost immune systems, ward of common ailments such as a cold, as well as boost energy levels of active adults and even athletes. The secret lies in the quality and potency of the natural herbs used.

What Chinese soup is best for you? ›

Hot and sour soup or egg drop soup

Both soups are low in calories — containing only 65–90 calories per 1-cup (240 mL) serving — and you can make them even healthier by avoiding the fried lo mein noodles that are often offered as a topping ( 2 , 3 ).

What Chinese dishes are usually gluten-free? ›

  • Chinese Dining: Gluten-Free.
  • Steamed Chicken/Shrimp or Seafood: Chicken, shrimp, or seafood usually steamed with.
  • Egg Drop Soup: Beaten eggs in boiled chicken broth with condiments (pepper, scallions)
  • Fried Rice: White rice, egg, scallions, carrots, and usually meat, pork, or tofu.

Can celiacs eat soup? ›

Spice blends or mixes may contain stabilizers, such as wheat flour or wheat protein. Often, the best course for people who have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity is a homemade soup that's packed with nutrition and fiber, like the recipes Pasia has provided here.

Is there such thing as gluten-free soup? ›

Progresso (a General Mills company) labels many of its soups gluten-free, including Traditional Manhattan Clam Chowder, Garden Vegetable, Creamy Mushroom, Lentil with Roasted Vegetables, and Traditional Split Pea with Ham.

What does lotus root do for the body? ›

Like burdock root, lotus rhizomes contain powerful antioxidants that help protect us from disease, and its nutrients boost the health of our digestive and cardiovascular systems. Just like another disease-fighting root called galangal, eating lotus root may help support brain health and reduce inflammation.

What are the health benefits of lotus soup? ›

It's good for boosting circulation and immunity, enhancing energy levels, and improving digestion. Lotus root is a “cold” ingredient in TCM, but it's commonly used in Chinese postpartum confinement to help new moms recovering from childbirth due to its health benefits.

What are 2 effects of eating lotus? ›

While there's limited research on the human health effects of consuming lotus, it's thought that these antioxidant compounds might protect against diseases that stem from oxidative stress. In particular, they may have anticancer effects, protect against Alzheimer's disease, and prevent liver damage ( 8 , 9 , 10 ).

What are the benefits of eating lotus root? ›

Adding Lotus Root to your diet can help in preventing allergies, infections and several fungal infections like ringworm, smallpox and leprosy. What's more, the leaves of this plant can be used to treat excessive sweating, bleeding disorders, nose bleeding and blood in urine.

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