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Hi,

I've been perusing the posts as usual, and ran across the word "burdock" as I was going down the lists. And funny, my sister and I were watching "The Iron Chef" last night (heeheehee), and they were using burdock as one of their ingredients. Neither of us were entirely sure as to what it is, so could you enlighten me?

Much appreciated. :smile:

"There is no worse taste in the mouth than chocolate and cigarettes. Second would be tuna and peppermint. I've combined everything, so I know."

--Augusten Burroughs

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It is a very long (15-20 inches) & skinny (1/2 in diameter)brown root. It is used in Japanese cooking the most either sliced or julienned before cooking. I think you have to soak it in something to get some of the bitterness out. I forgot what, I know someone can probably help me explain this better, either Jin or Torakris...

In Chinese cooking it is used more for herbal/medicinal purposes, and used as a tea or soup.

When it is young, it tastes more potato/yam-ish, especially when fried. When it is not as young, it develops a stronger flavor.

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Thanks much, that explains a lot. I'll have to keep my eyes peeled for it, but around here, I doubt I'll find it about in the supermarkets. :rolleyes:

"There is no worse taste in the mouth than chocolate and cigarettes. Second would be tuna and peppermint. I've combined everything, so I know."

--Augusten Burroughs

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My favorite use of gobo is either in kinpira(a quick saute with soy sauce, sake, and chile pepper) or in a soy based simmered dish (like sukiyaki, etc), they also make great pickles.

After cutting gobo is should be immersed in cold water to prevent discoloration, adding a little vinegar will help whiten it. The skin has the best flavor so you don't really want to peel it, rather scrub it with a stiff brush.

I don't know how much luck you will have finding it out of a Japanese market, I think I remember reading somewhere that the Jaapnese are the only people who actually consume it as a vegetable, other countries use it solely for medicinal purposes. I wonder why?

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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I think I saw that Iron Chef as well - they were rolling the gobo up inside a kind of wrapper made from mochi? If it's the same one, the dish didn't go over so well with the judges, if I remember correctly.

Gobo kimpira is great, and I also like it in a goma ae (sesame-based sauce). It's also a defining flavor in tonjiru (miso-based pork soup) and in kakiage, a type of tempura.

Something about the earthiness of gobo just makes it really distinctive, and I'd like to use it more often in my cooking. Any ideas for more non-conventional uses for it? Any way that it could be incorporated into non Japanese flavored dishes?

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In Elizabeth Schneider's book from Amaranth to Zucchini, she has recipes for Burdock, Leeks, Mushrooms, Braised with Wine and Lemon, Toasted Barley Baked with Burdock, Shallots, Celery, and Walnuts, she aslo says to try it in a gratin with a bechamel sauce.

It is really such a wonderful earthy flavor, I don't know why it hasn't caught on outside of Japan.

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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  • 6 months later...

It is really such a wonderful earthy flavor, I don't know why it hasn't caught on outside of Japan.

I am still wondering this.................

I made a huge batch of gobo and carrot kinpira the other day and then I hid it from my family and snacked on it for 2 days! :biggrin:

This stuff is really addicting, I wish people would start using it more............... :blink:

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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I never really got the taste for this, but it's also in the fried surimi patties (sorry, I forget their Japanese name-may have already been mentioned).

One of the websites I looked at mentioned using salsify as if it was a parsnip, so I may try that tactic with gobo/burdock next time.

BTW, in case any of you do some research, http://www.goboworld.com/ is not about all things burdock.

~Tad

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  • 2 weeks later...

My favorite gobo dish, I have only had once. At a sushiya in San Francisco, I once had what the itamae called tataki gobo. It was tataki in the sense of being hashed or pounded, not seared. As I recall, it was dressed with a very simple goma-ae type dressing. Absolutely wonderful.

I don't know if this is a common use in Japan, but I would kill for another taste.

Jim

Jim Jones

London, England

Never teach a pig to sing. It only wastes your time and frustrates the pig.

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My favorite gobo dish, I have only had once.  At a sushiya in San Francisco, I once had what the itamae called tataki gobo.  It was tataki in the sense of being hashed or pounded, not seared.  As I recall, it was dressed with a very simple goma-ae type dressing.  Absolutely wonderful.

I don't know if this is a common use in Japan, but I would kill for another taste.

Jim

very common and it will be coming up during the eGCI Japanese cooking course! :biggrin:

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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If you want to try something other than Kinpira, try to saute gobo with mayonnaise. Just slice gobo and saute with QP mayonnaise and pinch of salt. It's easy to make and very delicous! (if you don't like mayonnaise, maybe i don't know if it is a great idea....)

Check out the latest meal!

Itadakimasu

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If you want to try something other than Kinpira, try to saute gobo with mayonnaise.  Just slice gobo and saute with QP mayonnaise and pinch of salt.  It's easy to make and very delicous!  (if you don't like mayonnaise, maybe i don't know if it is a great idea....)

I have never sauteed in with mayo, but I do love the gobo salad (often combined with carrots) that has a mayo based dressing.

My kids eat this like there is no tomorrow! :biggrin:

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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  • 10 months later...

When I was in Nara I visited the TV chef Ayo Okumura. He was amazing, making dishes from the old Nara period. He also made a delicious mackerel dish; letting mackerel fillets simmer with fresh ginger and burdock root in a mixture of sake, mirin and shoyu. Do you get the burdock-root outside Japan? Is it possible to think of replacements?

Then I have another recipe with crazy salt. Would that be MSG or something else?

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outside japan? like in the u.s.? or in another country?

in the u.s., burdock root (gobo) you can find in many japanese, some korean, health food and specialty/gourmet markets (like whole foods). fresh is wonderful, frozen is an ok substitute (although i feel its mushy).

krazy salt is seasoned salt and any seasoned salt from other companies should do okay for your recipe.

however, you might be looking for janes krazy mixed up salt. froogle lists some vendors: froogle link. ive even seen a bag of mayonnaise karl with krazy mixed up salt in it. if you really are in a jam and need some krazy salt, just use salt, not msg.

"Bibimbap shappdy wappdy wap." - Jinmyo
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I have burdock plants growing all over my property in upstate NY. Is it the same thing you are looking for? What is the scientific name of what is used in Japan?

*****

"Did you see what Julia Child did to that chicken?" ... Howard Borden on "Bob Newhart"

*****

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I have burdock plants growing all over my property in upstate NY. Is it the same thing you are looking for? What is the scientific name of what is used in Japan?

here is some more information and a picture of the plant:

http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/BODY_MV035

I have seen it in the US in Asian markets and at gourmet/speciality stores, just recently at one called Mustard Seed Marketplace near Cleveland.

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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That's the one, Arctium lappa. Growing all over the place here. Considered a major pain-in-the-neck weed. The burrs get into my horse's mane and tail if I don't comb the pasture every spring and get rid of them.

I checked on google and found out that it grows almost everywhere in the US except the deep south. I suspect if you take a country drive and if you can recognize the plant, you'll find many of them along roadsides.

Right now the plant is flowering and the flowers look a little bit like purple thistles.

Here is a link to a site with several pictures to help you recognize the plant:

http://www.wildmanstevebrill.com/Plants.Folder/Burdock.html

Good luck finding it!

*****

"Did you see what Julia Child did to that chicken?" ... Howard Borden on "Bob Newhart"

*****

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If you go to look for wild ones, remember they are bitterish, but if you ask someone where there's field of 'cockleburrs' they will be able to tell you. Don't gather anything beside roads--too many residual chemicals from motor traffic. And be ready to work for them...they are tightly bound if not the cultivated ones.

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When I was in Nara I visited the TV chef Ayo Okumura. He was amazing, making dishes from the old Nara period. He also made a delicious mackerel dish; letting mackerel fillets simmer with fresh ginger and burdock root in a mixture of sake, mirin and shoyu. Do you get the burdock-root outside Japan? Is it possible to think of replacements?

Then I have another recipe with crazy salt. Would that be MSG or something else?

My Mum, who lives in England, has had success growing burdock (gobo) in her garden. Since the burdock root is long, she grew them in stacked up old tires and dug them up easily.

I'm sure I've seen burdock root sold in regular grocery stores in NC. As for substitutes if you can't find it, I'm afraid I dont' know. Their might be an East Indian vegetable that's similar.

Foodie Penguin

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  • 2 months later...
There is a tempura fish cake that my mom buys that has gobo in it. It's really good. She puts it in her yakisoba.

gobo-ten right?

http://www.e-ohsumi.co.jp/gobouten.jpg

I never thought to put it in my yakisoba.... sounds good!

I really love the gobo-maki used for oden

http://seitengai.com/tsukiagean/images/goboumaki-c.jpg

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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