by Tanya Zhu
The lotus is an amazingly delicious plant. Aside from the medicinal uses of the lotus plant, the entire plant is edible. After the flower blooms, the golden seed pod turns a vibrant green, which grows larger as the seeds fatten. Eating fresh lotus seeds from a newly picked pod is heaven on earth. The seed germ has not yet developed its signature bitter taste, so you can pop the whole thing in your mouth. The stem of the lotus can be sauteed, as can the lotus root. The root and seeds are the most commonly used parts, but the lotus leaf is great for eating (with scrambled eggs) or wrapping (zong zi!) or as a tea, while the flower can also be lightly battered and fried (not unlike elephant ears). Yum.