Saturday, January 1, 2011

Kinpira Gobo

This week in my CSA (community supported agriculture), organic vegetable order, was a long thin root; I had no idea what it was. So I called yesterday and found out it was burdock. That still didn't help me know how to prepare burdock root. I did some research on the internet to learn more about it and find out how to cook it.

I learned burdock is in the thistle family and has many nutritional and medicinal values. I know I've seen it growing in fields before, I just never knew the root was edible. The root contains dietary fiber, calcium, potassium and amino acids. The oil is used to treat hair loss. And the bur or seed of the plant led to the development of velcro.

I located a recipe, Kinpira Gobo, which looked appetizing, so I decided to try it. I didn't have the seven spice blend, Shichimi togarashi, which usually contains red peppers, sansho peppers, dried orange peel, hemp seeds, poppy seeds, dried seaweed bits, and sesame seeds. Hemp seeds, hum, I've never seen those in the grocery store.

I did have most of the ingredients separately in my spice cabinet, so I decided to wing it as I usually do when cooking something new. I sliced up the root, leaving most of the skin on. Next I stir fried the root with red pepper flakes, dried orange peel, sesame seeds, and soy sauce. Oh and I used a little olive oil and a tad of butter for flavor. I might have sprinkled in a little dried, ground ginger too.

The jury is in, quicker than ever I might add. Gary and I both could have eaten several more servings of kinpira gobo. It smelled so good, I neglected to take a photo in a nice piece of pottery. Perhaps you can imagine eating from one. Next time you see burdock at your local grocery, get some and stir fry up a bunch. You won't be disappointed. This really hit the hunger spot for so many reasons, I won't mention them. You'll just have to try this recipe yourself to appreciate all the nuances of flavor.

Come back again, I'm cooking up another quick and easy stove top recipe I'll share with you. Meanwhile Gary's on a job interview this morning, can you believe it. He's hoping for part time work, every little bit helps. I just unloaded another bisque and all is well. Ready for some glazing. Happy New Year.


  1. Who would have thought that burdock could be tasty. It will have to wait around this neck of the woods. The temp with windchill is -25F. Enjoy Florida!!!

  2. I doubt our local store has them but maybe the food coop. It sounds good. I Love being introduced to new food ideas,so thank you!

  3. That is new to me but it is nice to know that if I do see some, I will be tempted to try instead of pass by. Thanks.
    Good luck to Gary.

  4. hi linda, i might have to try that. i've been curious but since i was a kid we always thought of burdock as a nuisance that would matt up the dog's ears when we went hunting. i've come a long way i guess from bitching about them to maybe eating them. i saw a refrigerator magnet at the bookstore a couple weeks ago that said... "try organic food, or as your grandparents called it..... food."

  5. Oh Linda, you are so daring when it comes to trying new food and recipes. That looks and sounds delicious. I love stir fry and especially anything with ginger!

  6. I have a friend who uses this all the time to make a soup.
    She says it is very good for you- worth a try!

  7. Hi Craig, thanks, yeah you can dig up your own food, what deal.

    Hi Teresa, thanks, I know so much about plants and never knew about the root of this plant considered a weed, so glad I am learning something every day.

    Hi Patti, thanks, I'm going to be on the lookout for this plant now too, has to be two years old though. I guess the roots are mature then.

    Hi Jim, thanks, yes what is old is new again that's for sure, back to basics of our forefathers.

    Hi Barbara, thanks, what could I do it was in my order of vegetables and I didn't want to be wasteful and so many times it ends up being something that actually tastes good.

    Hi Meredith, thanks, I will definitely look for this one, I think some of the weeds like dandelion and burdock are really good for us and if we find them growing in a field the price is right.


I love suggestions, questions, critiques, thanks for your comment