If you cannot find fresh lotus stems or ones preserved in brine, try this recipe with freshly steamed asparagus tips.
half a cucumber
8oz jar preserved lotus stems, drained and cut into 2in strips ( Asian markets)
2 shallots, finely sliced
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, shredded ( i didn't have anything so I used red onion instead)
fresh cilantro leaves, to garnish ( optional)
For the dressing
juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp nuoc mam (fish sauce)
1 red Thai chili, seeded and chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tbsp sugar
1.To make the dressing , mix together the dressing ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
2. Peel the cucumber and cut into 2in batons. Soak the batons into cold salted water for 20 minutes. Put the lotus stems into a bowl of water. Using a pair of chopsticks, stir the water so that the loose fibres of the stems wrap around the sticks.
3. Drain the stems and put them in a bowl. Drain the cucumber batons and add to the bowl, then add the shallots, shredded basil leaves and the prepared dressing. Leave the salad to marinate for 20 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves.