Red chili pepper (cut into small, bite-sized pieces)
1/4 - 1/2
Put all the ingredients except for the lotus root and red chili pepper in a pot, and let sit for 30 minutes. While waiting, proceed to Step 2.
Peel the lotus root and cut into 3-4 mm thick slices. Quickly place the cut slices into vinegar water and soak for about 15 minutes.
Cut small, angled 'V' shapes from the edges of the slices, between the small holes (see picture above). Round off the corners to make the slices look like flowers.
Heat the Step 1 pot, and remove the konbu before the mixture starts to boil.
When it comes to a boil, add the lotus root. Wait for it to come to the boil for a second time, and then turn off the heat immediately.
Add the red chili pepper and leave to cool (it will continue to cook a little in residual heat and become beautifully crispy).
Put everything, including the liquid, into a tupperware container (or similar) and put in the refrigerator. Leave overnight, and serve.
Story Behind this Recipe
I like vinegar, but I'm not a fan of food that so vinegary that your lips pucker when you put it in your mouth. So I came up with my own recipe for mildly vinegary pickled lotus root. I managed to make very nice pickles without having to dirty two pots, so I'm going to stick to making it this way.
Be sure to leave the lotus roots sit overnight before consuming.