Recipe: Burdock root
How do I eat that?
We have burdock root in our shares this week! What to do with it?
First, some information:
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, burdock has been used as a "blood purifier" to clear the bloodstream of toxins, as a diuretic (helping rid the body of excess water by increasing urine output), and as a topical remedy for skin problems such as eczema, acne, and psoriasis. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, burdock is often used with other herbs for sore throat and colds. Extracts of burdock root are found in a variety of herbal preparations as well as homeopathic remedies.
In Japan and some parts of Europe, burdock is eaten as vegetable. Burdock contains inulin, a natural dietary fiber, and has also been used traditionally to improve digestion.
Despite the fact that burdock has been used for centuries to treat a variety of conditions, very few scientific studies have examined burdock's effects.
Now, a recipe:
adapted from Elizabeth Andoh’s Washoku: Recipes From The Japanese Home Kitchen
Stir-Fried Spicy Burdock Root
makes 4 servings as a side dish
1 medium burdock root (gobo), about half a pound
2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons sake
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
shichimi togarashi (Japanese 7-spice blend) or crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
white sesame seeds, toasted, for garnishing (optional)
- Shichimi togarashi is a piquant Japanese spice blend that has many variations. Red peppers, sansho peppers, dried orange peel, hemp seeds, poppy seeds, dried seaweed bits, and sesame seeds are some of the most commonly used ingredients.
- Substitute carrots, parsnips, or other crisp root vegetables for some of the burdock root.
- Avoid using a peeler when preparing burdock root — the nutrients and flavor are concentrated in the outer layers.
Rinse the burdock root under cold running water. Using a stiff brush or the back of your knife, lightly scrape the burdock root, carefully removing any rootlets and trace amounts of dirt.
Use a cutting technique where the burdock root is sharpened like a pencil to produce thin slivers.
Sasagaki cutting technique: like sharpening a pencil.
Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or skillet over high heat. Stir-fry the burdock root until slightly softer, about 3 to 5 minutes. Lower the heat to medium and add the sake, sugar, and soy sauce. Continue simmering over medium heat until the liquid is almost completely reduced to a glaze.
Add the shichimi togarashi or crushed red pepper flakes, to taste.
Serve hot or at room temperature. Sprinkle with additional shichimi togarashi and garnish with toasted white sesame seeds.
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Posted: to Recipes on Wed, Feb 16, 2011
Updated: Thu, Apr 28, 2011