Burdock is a root vegetable and an ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine. Originally grown in Northern Asia, much loved in Japan, it is gaining (and regaining) popularity as a food ingredient in many parts of Asia, and beyond.
In the photo above is a pack of fresh Burdock root I got from local Asian market. Including this vegetable in our meal preparation means more variety in our diet. When it comes to good and healthy eating, I believe variety is the king!
Burdock is versatile. They can be stir-fried, steamed or put in a soup. Compared to common root vegetables such as carrots or potatoes, raw burdock root is packed with denser fiber and contain a lot less water, which make it a rather robust vegetable when cooked – it won’t lose shape or get soggy easily. A longer cooking time and added liquid are all it takes to render the burdock tender, with a unique and pleasant flavor; easy to handle and can hardly be over-cooked! Check out one of my recipes to make a Chinese style vegan risotto with burdock.
How To Prepare Burdock Root For Cooking
- Prevent browning: Once peeled and exposed to the air, burdock will turn brown rather quickly. Before you start peeling or cutting the roots, have a bowl of water ready. Put cut or sliced burdock in the water as soon as possible to prevent them from being exposed to the air. Adding a few drops of vinegar in the water can further prevent the sliced burdock from browning.
- An easy way to slice: You will need thin and uniformed slices for fast-cooking recipes such as stir-fries. Instead of using a knife, I find it the easiest to use a good peeler to peel the burdock roots into thin slices.
Have a question or a tip to share about burdock? Please leave a comment!