Sesame Burdock Root Salad is made with braised Japanese gobo root and carrot with light and creamy sesame mayo dressing.
Crunchy, creamy and the perfect starter for any Japanese meal. The natural sweetness of the carrot combined with the super crispy earthy and slightly sweet taste of the burdock makes it an addictive starter or picnic addition. If you are looking for a great dish to pass for all of your BBQ functions without mayo, be sure to try our Soba Noodle Salad with Yuzu Dressing.
What the heck is a burdock root?
Have you ever tried burdock root? Burdock root is called “gobo” (ごぼう) in Japanese (Nihongo). This long-dried root is covered in a light brown covering similar to the coating on a ginger root. You can easily peel this with a back of your spoon or peel with a knife. Burdock is used as a root vegetable used in many recipes. It can be eaten raw, braised, boiled, fermented and in many unique recipes. It can also be brewed as a tea and also used in as an herbal medicine. Burdock is crunchy, slightly sweet and slightly bitter.
How to prepare burdock root?
Burdock root can be eaten raw, boiled, poached, stir fried and everything in between. We like to remove the skin as that can be tough, but you can leave it on if you wish. Julienne sliced burdock root is the perfect way to easily eat with your chopsticks. Burdock root oxidizes quickly when exposed to air. You are going to want to soak your burdock root in water to prevent this oxidation. Soaking, for about 10 minutes, also helps to remove a little of the bitterness. For our Sesame Burdock Root Salad, we blanched the carrots first for 2 minutes and then the burdock root lastly. Burdock root is a little tougher and takes a bit longer to cook (about 3-5 minutes) and it is a little stronger in flavor. If your burdock root is older and not as fresh the cooking time can be even longer.
Burdock Root Uses in Traditional Chinese Medicine
Burdock root is a cooling food according to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Our post called, “Introducing the Five Energies of food”, will help refresh your memory on this topic as it correlates to certain foods. Depending on your body disposition and any imbalances you may have, cooling foods will be either good for you or not good for you. We balance the cooling effect of this Sesame Burdock Root Salad with a little spice and heat from Shichimi togarashi. Shichimi togarashi is a 7-flavor chili pepper mixture that is used in Japanese cooking. If you do not have this spice but want to add a little heat, you can try a little white ground pepper. Are you generally cold and have cold hands and dislike the cooler weather or are you warm and always hot? Maybe, you are somewhere in between?
The burdock root is slightly bitter and has a cleansing action on the body by clearing heat, drying dampness and promoting elimination via urination or bowel movements. We say everything in moderation. However, if you are on diuretics, are dehydrated, have diarrhea or are pregnant, use with caution. You do not want to become further dehydrated. Also, if you have a predisposition to being too cold, do not over-consume as you do not want to cause an imbalance between your yin and yang.
Why we love Sesame Burdock Root Salad
Sesame Burdock Root Salad can be made in advance and chilled. This makes it a super handy recipe when entertaining guests. The simple mayo sesame dressing has a little Japanese mirin, soya sauce, Kewpie Mayo, sesame oil, toasted sesame seeds a little touch Shichimi togarashi for a little spice. Sesame Burdock Root Salad is a little bit sweet, a little bit savory and a little bit spicy with a fantastic crunch. If you are craving salads, be sure to try our Lemon white Balsamic Vinaigrette , Easy Summer Millet Salad, and Summer Salad with Strawberry Rose Dressing.
Fabulous starter, appetizer and side dish
Sesame Burdock root salad is a great dish to serve on the side or as a starter to a delicious Japanese meal. The delicious crunch and zip pf the salad really wakes up those taste buds.
Japanese Summer and Spring Recipe Ideas
Be sure to check out our other Japanese Recipes for inspiration.
Sesame Burdock Root Salad
- 2 cup Burdock root or 2 stalks peeled and julienned
- 1 Carrot
peeled and julienned
- Water for boiling
- 3 tbsp mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp Soy sauce
- 1 tbsp Mirin (Japanese cooking wine or can use cooking sherry)
- 1 tsp granulated sugar or sugar alternative of choice
- 1 tsp Sesame oil
- 1 tbsp Sesame seeds
- 1/4 tsp Shichimi togarashi (optional) or to desired heat level
- Peel, slice on a diagonal thinly and julienne slice burdock. Soak burdock in water for 10 minutes to prevent oxidation. Peel, slice and julienne carrot. Set aside.
- In a medium sauce pan bring water to boil. Add julienned carrot slices and parboil for about 2 minutes. Remove, rinse with cold water and set aside.
- In the same boiling water add the julienned burdock root and parboil for about 3-5 minutes or until crisp to the tooth but tender enough to chew. If your burdock root is old, the time needed to get the burdock root to tender can be much longer… maybe up to 10 minutes. The only way to truly tell if your burdock root is ready is to eat a slice. It should be crisp but tooth tender. Remove cooked burdock root from pan. Rinse with cold water. Set aside.
- Dry your cooked and cooled burdock root and carrot julienned slices very well. Don’t miss that step as you do not want a watery dressing.
- In a medium bowl add you dried burdock root, carrot, mayonnaise, soy sauce (or tamari if you need to keep it gluten free), mirin, sugar or sugar alternative, sesame oil, toasted white sesame seeds and Shichimi togarashi if desired. Mix well.