Monday, July 27, 2015

Lotus Flowers at Echo Park & Lotus Pickle

I love flowers. 
One of my favorite flowers are lotus flowers.

It is season of lotus flowers in July, here in Los Angels. 
Recently, I went to visit LA’s famous lotus flowers at Echo Park.

Echo park have been offering the Lotus Festival which started in 1972 to promote awareness of the contributions by Asian Americans to our culture and communities. The festival focuses on a different Asian ethnicity each year, this year they will showcase the Chinese culture.

I went to visit Echo Park to see the Lotus flowers for the first time in 2004 while I was still using a wheelchair to move around. The breathtaking beautiful lotus flowers heal my soul and gave me hope to walk again. I went to visit there almost every year, but when I went to visit in 2007, the Lotus bed seemed to be dying off. I heard that it died completely and was gone in 2011. I think it was probably due to pollution and temperature changes. They did not have the lotus festival for a while, but I got a news of the lotus flower bed was rebuilt and completed and they had the lotus festival again on July 11 and 12 this year.

I did not go to the festival, but went to see the lotus flowers the other day and I was so happy to see that they were beautiful lotus flowers as I remembered.
I hope you enjoy visit someday or go to festival next year.

If you have never seen lotus flowers, take a visit there or if you have seen a lotus flower you know special they are so make sure you go visit to have a special moment!


After I saw beautiful lotus flowers I felt like making my lotus root pickle for summer. I add orange and basil leaves from my garden for cooling opening effect. I hope you like them.


  • 1 piece fresh lotus root (Do not use pre-sliced and/or packed in water)  
  • purified water
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • ½ cup or more ume vinegar (must cover the lotus root)
  • a few basil leaves


  1. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the skin of the lotus and slice thin.
  2. Put them in a pot with water that cover them.
  3. Bring to a boil and cover and blanch for 2 minutes (This process is called, aku-nuki in Japanese, where any unwanted residue or bitter flavor from the lotus root).
  4. In a small glass container, put lotus root with basil leaves and add orange juice and then ume vinegar to cove the lotus root.
  5. Close the top of the container with cheese close or loose top and leave on the kitchen counter for a day to three days. When it is done keep it in the fridge until you eat.

with lotus gratitude,

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Making Summer Pickles

Pickling is one of the healthy cooking methods.

In the summer I like to create not just healthy delicious pickles, but healthy delicious colorful pickles.

Sweet Red Pepper is one of my favorite pickles in the summer.

Sweet Red Peppers are rich in carotenoid phytonutrients and contain almost eleven times more beta-carotene than green bell peppers, as well as one and a half times more vitamin C. Red Bell Peppers have a sweet, almost fruity taste. Pimento and paprika are both made from red bell peppers. 

Sweet Bell Pepper Lemon Pickles 

Pickles help our digestive systems, and adding lemon provides more Vitamin C to help ward off the harmful effects of ultraviolet rays.


1/2 sweet red pepper 
1/2 sweet yellow or orange pepper 
1/2 sweet  green pepper

*1 cup purified water

*1 teaspoon sea salt

*1 bay leaf

*3~5 black pepper

1/4 cup lemon juice
1~2 sliced lemon skin (julienne)

1. Slice lengthwise into half-inch wide strips
2. mix all of the other ingredients (except the lemon juice and lemon peel) and bring to a boil, then let it cool.

3. Use a sealable glass container sterilized with boiling water to put in the peppers, the ingredients from step 2, and the lemon juice.

4. Leave the container on the kitchen counter and shake it every day. The pickles will be ready to eat in 2~3 days (if the kitchen is warm then it will be ready in one day).

5. If you are not eating right away, store in the refrigerator.

You can make carrot pickles the same way.

Summer Pickling Class will be held at Studio Mugen on July 25th, 2015.
Detail is click here:



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