Glossary - Ingredients

Gobo / Burdock Root


In season twice a year, between April to May and November to February.


Burdock root is a rich source of dietary fiber, and has a characteristic crunchiness. Carbohydrates contained in 100 g (3.5 oz.) of its edible part are mostly inulin, a dietary fiber said to boost kidney function.


The skin of burdock root is aromatic. When selecting, if there is a choice between unwashed (covered in soil) and washed, select unwashed burdock root. If too large, burdock root can become hollow with a slight groove down the middle, stiff and hard, so try to select thin roots. The best burdock roots are those which are straight, have few fibrous roots attached and smooth skin. Store between 15 to 22℃ (59 to 72℉) to prevent drying out.

Cooking tips

When preparing burdock root, soak in vinegar-added (small amount) water to prevent color change due to oxidation. Burdock root is recommended for sautéed and simmered dishes as well as boiled dishes.

Cooking Basics

Burdock root - peeling

Since the flavor of this root vegetable is located between the skin and the root itself, peel off the skin as thinly as possible. For recently picked and fresh roots in soil, a quick scrub with a natural bristle scrubber or vegetable brush is sufficient. For older roots that have become hard, scrape with the back of a kitchen knife to remove the skin. Burdock root has a high lye content. Cut and soak in water for about 5 to 10 minutes to remove excess lye. However if soaked for too long or if the water is replaced, the flavor also will seep out.

Burdock root - shavings

Scrape off the skin, lay a kitchen knife against the burdock root in a manner to start shaving off from the end and then proceed to shave off thin pieces. Have a bowl full of cold water ready to directly catch the burdock root shavings.

Burdock root - matchstick juliennes

Scrape the burdock root with a knife, and cut into 5 cm (2 in.) length pieces. Then place in water and cut into planks of around 3 mm (0.1 in.), gradually sliding and stacking these planks. Lastly, thinly julienned into widths of around 3 mm (0.1 in.).

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