Lotus leaves are the large bright green leaves from the aquatic lotus plant. Fresh lotus leaves are used to add a perfumey flavor to foods. The dried leaves although slightly less potent are used as a food wrapper as well.
If you are looking for where to buy dried lotus leaves try an Asian market otherwise you can buy them online at Gourmetsleuth.com.
Fresh lotus leaves are much harder to find in the U.S. You can sometimes find them fresh in small local markets in Hawaii.
If you can't find lotus leaves you can substitute:
Fresh leaves must be soaked for about 20 minutes to an hour before use. Wrap food against the underside unless you want the food to be tinted green.
In Chef Lam Wan Loong's recipe for Lotus Leaf Wrapped Chung, the chef suggests layering, 2 dried (soaked) bamboo leaves, chris-cross over the soaked lotus leaves, which helps to keep glutinous rice mixtures from sticking to the leaves.
Lotus Leaf Wraps - Warmed lotus leaves are filled with rice, mushrooms, chicken, shrimp, and seasonings.
Sticky Rice Wrapped In Lotus Leaves - The rice is flavored with dried shrimp, mushrooms, shallots and soy and sesame sauce.
Brandon Jew's Lotus Leaf Wrapped Sticky Rice - Lotus-leaf-wrapped sticky rice with Chinese sausage, peanuts, sweet sticky rice and chives.