Whoever first tried burdock roots-called gobou in Japanese, must have been starving. It is not at all attractive with a stick-like appearance and lacking in flavor by itself. This fiber rich root vegetable survived initial consumption and became one of the well played side dishes In Japan and neighboring Asian nations. I don’t know why it has never caught on here in the US.
I made an interesting sweet using this vegetable before. I like it but it didn’t receive a curtain call or anything from my family. Not all dishes I make get a standing ovation, unfortunately.
Burdock’s goodness is its texture-often chewy and occasionally crunchy. The earthy aroma is a turn off for some however. What do you expect from its upbringing? They all came from dark and dirt you know. For me, this ‘down to earth’ personality is part of the charm. Above ground, the dark green leaves are well pronounced and start crowding out the other vegetables. My husband pulled a few out then brought them inside. How in the world! They look like branches not the slim, straight, stick figure usually sold at the store. Honey… you better cut down on feeding.Flowers are interesting looking too.
Fried mix vegetables is one of my favorite ways to eat burdock roots. All though my recipe is vague, it ends up in a happy ending. How’s that for a non-committal person like me? With cooked rice and some Japanese style pickle, the burdock takes center stage!
Fried mixed vegetable
- 1 burdock root-Wash it thoroughly, remove skin by either shaving it with a knife or use a peeler. Cut into match-sticks then soak in cold water for 5-7 minutes. Change water if it turns brown. Drain and pat dry with paper towel.
- 1 medium size carrot- wash it thoroughly but no need to peel. Cut in same style and lenghth as burdock.
- 2 stalk celery-Cut in same style and length as burdock and carrots.
- 3-4 tablespoons corn starch
- 2 egg yolks
- Cold water about 1/2 cup or more
- Salt-1 teaspoon or more
- Oil for frying
- Put all vegetables in a large bowl
- Sprinkle in corn starch, mix well
- Add egg yolks and mix well.
- Add cold water and combine well. It should look like pancake batter but not be doughy. Add more water if it is too stiff.
- Add salt, mix well.
- Heat oil in thick pan, preferably cast iron skillet at medium high. You know it’s ready to fry if when you put the chopstick in the oil, tiny bubbles appear around it.
- Fry bunched up mixed vegetable a few at a time for about 3-4 minutes. Do not over crowd. Lay 2-3 paper towels in large plate to soak up excess oil. Best eaten while it’s hot, dipped in tempura sauce.
Tempura dipping sauce (Tentsuyu)
- Hon mirin 50ml.
- Dark soy sauce 50 mil
- Dashi soup stock 200ml
In a small sauce pan, combine all and boil for about 1 minute over medium heat. Ready condiments like grated white radish at the table if you like. Remember 1-1-4 ratio when you are doubling or tripling. Or already made tentsuyu is available in Japanese super market.
My husband, I and the kids went to OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry). Our grandson slept on the way over there and woke up 5 minutes before going home.Stop by the Grand Central Baking and bought some croissants. Made sandwiches. Theirs are flaky and big.
I took kids to McDonalds because I don’t want to cook and I’m too exhausted to entertain them. Babysitting is a hard job at my age. I can’t wait for their parents to come home.Luckily, they entertained themselves for quite while until the little one need to be changed. Of course I forgot the diaper bag! Doh!
I was in the local newspaper. It was really nice article and I’m grateful for that.