Lotus is a water plant and many parts of it are used in Chinese cooking. Lotus root it self is the root of the lotus plant and it is growing in the soil of the river bottom. It is the most beautiful looking edible plant I have ever seen. The root can be eaten raw or cooked, it is crispy, tastes delicious and is VERY healthy!
The most common way of preparing lotus root is in soups, stir-fries and candied lotus root filled with sticky rice. The later one is served on the New Years Dinner where candied lotus root symbolizes sweet relationship between husband and wife and sticky rise means they will stick to each other. How sweet!
I found a recipe called "Stir-fried lotus root slices" in the cookbook called "Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook: recipes from Hunan province" written by Fuchsia Dunlop. It is a REALLY good book with lots of wonderful authentic Chinese recipes. I adapted the recipe by using one whole lotus root without breaking apart the sections.