Shredded Burdock Root
Yesterday morning, I took and passed the final exam for New York’s food protection certification. Not a difficult hurdle, but it’s nice to have that under my belt at last. If you’re at all interested in ever working in food preparation in New York, I suggest you go out and get the certification now, while it is still free. It has no expiration date! You can take the class online, and then you just have to spend an hour at 160 W. 100th St. to take the test. It will cost $105 in a few months, is why I suggest going for it now.
Yes, I do have a secret project in the works. I’m not quite ready to unveil it, but I’m almost there. Sure makes blogging difficult in the meantime, though!
So, here, let me distract you with tasty tasty burdock. Burdock root tastes like a sort of nutty artichoke, it’s really quite wonderful. Doesn’t look like much in the store, but it’s marvelous once you get it home and play with it.
This was mildly inspired by a cold Korean burdock dish I had as part of the banchan at Moim in Park Slope, and by a number of Japanese burdock (aka gobo) recipes I skimmed over while trying to figure out how to make what I had in mind.
Burdock prepared this way ends up crunchety, tasty, and just a little bit on the sweet and sharp side from the rice vinegar and sugar. It works really well with a number of dishes, but the first time we made it we ate it with a simple roast chicken with shallots that had been roasted in with the pan drippings, basmati rice that had been cooked with more grated burdock in, and fresh pea shoots. It was one of those really sublime quick weekday dinners.
Shredded Burdock Root
1/2 lb burdock root
Oil for frying
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp mirin
1 tsp japanese soy sauce
2 tsp rice vinegar
A drizzle of sesame oil
Lightly scrub the burdock root to clean it, but do not peel it, as the skin has much of the flavor. Shred it very thinly, using a box grater or benriner.
Add some oil to a pan and stir-fry the burdock at high heat for about 3 minutes, until crispy-ish.
Lower the heat to medium-low, add the rest of the ingredients (except the sesame oil), and continue cooking, stirring often, until all the liquid is gone.
Stir in a little drizzle of sesame oil at the end.