Chef’s note: Lower East ferment their own sauerkraut from scratch for this recipe. This is a fantastic technique to learn, but you can substitute with store-bought if you prefer. Also, if you can’t find fresh lotus root, use a frozen alternative found in Asian grocery stores.
For the sauerkraut – remove the outer leaves of the cabbage and set aside. Finely grate the remaining cabbage and place with the rest of the ingredients in large mixing bowl. Massage the mixture with your hands until the vegetables release their juices and the mixture begins to soften, adding salt to extract more moisture if necessary.
Pack the mixture tightly into sterilised jars. Firmly push the reserved cabbage leaves into the top of the jar, removing as much air as possible, then seal with a lid. Ferment at room temperature for 3 weeks, or until the sauerkraut is soft but not mushy, and has a fresh, spicy and acidic flavour. Discard the cabbage leaves and store the jars in the refrigerator.
For the red rice – heat the coconut oil over a medium heat in a large, heavy-based pan. Add the shredded coconut and toast, stirring, until golden. Add the rice, coconut milk and water, then stir through the sugar and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cook for 40 minutes, or until all the liquid has been absorbed. Set aside.
For the beetroots – keeping some of the stem intact, place the beetroots in a pot of cold water over a medium-high heat. Simmer for 25 minutes, or until the flesh can be easily penetrated with a knife. Remove from the heat, cool and peel, then cut into quarters.
For the lotus root – slice the root into ½ cm pieces and fry in the vegetable oil over a medium-high heat until golden brown and crisp. Drain on paper towel and season with salt and pepper.
For the Asian greens – heat some vegetable oil in a hot wok until smoking. Toss the bok choy and Chinese broccoli in the wok for 2 minutes, or until tender. Season with salt and pepper.
To finish – arrange the sauerkraut, red rice, lotus root, beetroot, edamame and Asian greens in equal proportions in a shallow bowl. Finish with the two poached eggs in the middle and a sprinkling of salt and pepper.
1 bunch baby beetroots
220g fresh lotus root
250ml vegetable oil, for frying
1 bunch bok choy, roughly chopped
1 bunch Chinese broccoli, roughly chopped
4 eggs, poached
salt & pepper
1 tbsp virgin coconut oil
½ cup finely shredded coconut
1½ cups Thai red rice, rinsed
400ml coconut milk
2 tsp caster sugar
1kg green cabbage
1 cup carrot, grated
2 tsp ginger, grated
2 tsp garlic, minced
2 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp caraway seeds
2 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp sea salt flakes