Quick Marinated Burdock Root Salad

23Oct09

BurdockPicklesL

Burdock root is a very familiar ingredient in Japanese cooking, and is apparently just as popular in Korea and (according to Wikipedia) Italy, Brazil and Portugal. It is low in calories, and high in minerals and dietary fiber. I was at loss how to explain the taste, so I’ll just quote from Wiki: The root is very crisp and has a sweet, mild, and pungent flavor with a little muddy harshness that can be reduced by soaking julienned/shredded roots in water for five to ten minutes. The harshness shows excellent harmonization with pork in miso soup (tonjiru) and takikomi gohan (a Japanese-style pilaf).

When I use burdock in simmered dishes, I always soak the burdock in water for a few minutes, otherwise it turns the whole dish brown. In today’s recipe, however, the burdock doesn’t need pre-soaking. It has a fragrant, forest-y fragrance and flavor that Japanese people nostalgically associate with home-cooking and comfort food.

Ingredients:
2 burdock roots (12-18 inches long, and about 1 inch wide), scrubbed clean, but not peeled.
2~3 whole chili pepper pods, seeds removed
soy sauce……3 tablespoons

Directions:
1. Cut the burdock root into 2.5~3 inch segments.
2. Hit the segments with a wooden rolling pin, just firmly enough to cause the segments to split in half.
3. Bring a small pot of water to boil, toss in the burdock, and boil for about 5 minutes.
4. Drain the burdock, and pat it dry with a tea towel or paper towels.
5. Place burdock in a sturdy zip-lock bag along with the de-seeded chili pepper pods and soy sauce.
6. “Massage” the ingredients in the bag well. Then seal the bag and let sit for one hour up to half a day before serving.

BurdockPickles1M

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Different chili peppers may result in different levels of heat. Find the type and amount that suits you. This is a great accompaniment to steaming white rice.

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2 Responses to “Quick Marinated Burdock Root Salad”

  1. Looks delicious and not as hard to make as I had thought, it is one of my favorites from the deli section of supermarkets here in Japan.

  2. It isn’t at all hard, or time-consuming, to make. The ready-made stuff at the supermarket is handy, but it’s always nice to make it yourself so you know exactly what has gone into it.


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