Pickled Burdock Root

I've been getting really into fermented and pickled foods lately so when I learned that you can pickle burdock root and it actually tastes good, I was stoked to try it! Between my jun, kombucha, sourdough starter, ginger bug, fermented sodas, and sprouted wheat, I'm starting to feel a little like this Portlandia clip:

I don't know how excited my family was about having another mystery jar taking up counter space, but I think they changed their opinions once they tasted this unique food. 

The reasons I was so excited about this is because burdock grows EVERYWHERE here, plus it is super healthy for you. Burdock's deep reaching root systems pulls up vitamins and minerals from deep in the earth, storing them in this carrot-like vegetable. Burdock is also high in inulin, a prebiotic that feeds your healthy gut bacteria and gives you a digestive boost. 

A freshly dug burdock root. 

Pickled burdock root isn't some new, trendy vegetable, though, known as Gobo, it has been a traditional dish in Japan for a very long time. It's difficult to describe burdock's unique flavor, although it is fairly similar to other wild root vegetable, such as sunchokes or groundnuts. It is rather nutty and flavorful and maintains a much crunchier texture than most other pickled foods. 

A 1st year burdock plant. 

Burdock root can found purchased fresh or already pickled from some asian specialty grocery stores, or you can simply go out and dig some yourself. If you do decide to do it yourself, be sure you only harvest the root of first year plants, which only have large leaves and no stalk, flowers, or burrs. Remember that digging up the root will kill the entire plant, so do so sparingly if you want them to continue to grow there (you may not if they are in your garden). The stalks are also edible, but I'll leave that for another post. 

Zak snacks on a freshly dug root. 

This recipe is not a traditional Japanese recipe, but it does have  a bit of an asian flair. It is also just a small batch for one pint mason jar, but is easily scaled up if you have more burdock than I did. 

  • 2 Cups Chopped Burdock Root
  • 1 TBS Grated Ginger
  • 1 TBS Grated Turmeric (or turmeric powder)
  • 3 TBS Chopped Garlic or Garlic Scapes 
  • 1/3 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar (or rice vinegar)
  • 1/3 Cup Soy Sauce or Tamari
  • Enough Water to Cover Burdock
To make, put chopped burdock in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook for 2-3 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Put ginger, turmeric, and garlic in your mason jar. Strain out burdock but do not throw away the water! Pack cooked burdock into mason jar and add apple cider vinegar and soy sauce. Pour in burdock water until everything is covered. Cover with a cloth and ring and let sit out on the counter for 2-3 days before putting on a lid and putting it in the fridge. Still have extra burdock water? Drink it as a tea, it has a lovely flavor and is great for your digestive system. 

Disclaimer: This blog is just my own opinion, nothing more. While I try my hardest, everything may not be completely accurate or complete. Sorry, I'm only human, so do not hold me accountable for anything you do to harm yourself or the world around you. I do make money from this blog (seriously not very much at all guys). If you click on any of the links in my blog I may make money from it, at no extra cost to you. I'm not sponsored by any of these people I just honestly love these products and want to give you the resources to find them. I am not a medical practitioner; consult a health professional before using any herbal remedies. I am not claiming to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any ailment.   

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