Bamboo-Leaf Sasagaki

Japanese cuisine embraces a variety of cutting techniques, depending on the types of ingredients, their texture and flavor, and cooking method. Burdock root, for example, calls for the sasagaki cutting style, so-called because of the way finished slices resemble bamboo leaves. Sasagaki slivers are easy to eat, and bring out the flavor of the burdock root.

  1. To clean the surface of burdock root
    Scrape the burdock with brush or knife. The flavor of the burdock is found between the skin and the flesh, so it must be peeled as thinly as possible. If the root is newly harvested or still has dirt on it, scrubbing with a brush is sufficient. If time has elapsed and the surface is hard, scrape using the blunt edge of a knife.(photo1, 2)
  2. To make sasagaki slivers
    Using a knife, shave thin slivers, rotating the burdock as you cut. Allow shavings to fall directly into a bowl of cold water. Soak for 5-10 minutes to remove harshness; soaking for too long, however, results in loss of flavor. (This is the authentic sasagaki technique; alternatively, a peeler can be used.)(photo3, 4)
photo1 photo2 photo3 photo4