I've eaten a LOT of lotus root powder in my life. It never seemed exotic to me. My BF had never heard of it, despite also being from Taiwan. I Googled it and found nothing. None of my friends have ever eaten it.
Where did my family find this stuff? Is it really only eaten by people in Central Taiwan? That's a really, really, REALLY small geographic area! Anyone heard of, or even eaten, this? And if you have, is there any other way of cooking it? I was debating to post this here or on General Topics, but I'm really after a new way to cook it so it goes here.
To describe: it comes in flakes roughtly the size of sugar in the raw. It's color is pink/cream, like the inside of a raw lotus root.
To prepare, you first mash a spoonful of the powder in cold water to make a paste, then quickly stir while pouring in a cupful of boiling water. As you stir, the opaque powder becomes a transparent gel. The desired result is a bowl of light brown translucent jelly, which you eat with sugar either hot or cold. If you mess up this step, you end up with a white, sticky inedible mess that's powdery in the middle. I would liken it to eating a spoonful of uncooked boba (tapioca balls).
The flavor is slightly herbaceous, like Chinese medicine. That's why you add sugar. The texture is like slightly melted, mashed up Jell-O. You can make it extra thick and it will cool into a solid pudding, or you can make it very thin and sip it slowly.