Rachel Lambert: forager, author, guide
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Sesame-fried burdock roots

Here I am going to share with you recipes for three, quick savoury snacks using burdock roots (Artium lappa and Artium minus). They are simple, easy to follow and tasty.

About Burdock

Burdock roots are renown as a skin cleanser from acne to eczema when used externally. Hippocrates, the Greek physician know as the 'father of medicine' believed that food should be medicine. So these are recipe to eat rather than than place on the skin. Burdock roots are used extensively in Japanese cooking.

Let food by thy medicine and medicine be thy food. Hippocrates

Recipes for burdock roots

Burdock Roots in Soy Sauce Recipe

This was the first recipe I ever used for burdock roots and is from Roger Philip's book; Wild Food. Based on a Japanese vegetable dish, it is very straight-forward to make. If you like salty flavours, this recipe is for you! The result are soft strips of burdock, but still with a crunch and earthy burdock flavour.

Serves 1-2 (as a side dish)

Ingredients

  • 60 g burdock roots
  • 150 ml water
  • 1-2 tsp soy sauce

Clean the burdock roots, if they are large they may need peeling a little. Slice into thin strips and place in a small pan. Add just enough water to cover the roots and a good splash of soy sauce. Simmer for 15-20 minutes and allow the liquid to evaporate and the  soy sauce flavour to be  absorbed in the roots. I like to eat these on their own alongside a tapas of other Japanese snacks, like the nori rice balls from my seaweed book or even as a side dish to beef stew and black mustard mashed potato from my wild food foraging book.

Simple recipes for using burdock roots

Deep-fried Burdock Root Chips Recipe

These are easy to cook and are lovely as a crispy, fried treat. If you like chips, you'll love these! The flavour reminds of really earthy potatoes, with a slight hint of something else.

Serves 2-4

Ingredients

  • 250 g burdock roots
  • Oil for frying
  • Sea salt (to taste)

Prepare the roots in the same way as the previous recipe. Cover a plate or two with kitchen paper and place by your cooker. In a frying pan, heat the oil over a medium to high heat. To test whether the oil is hot enough, add a small piece of burdock root, when it floats to the surface and the oil is bubbling, it is ready! Use a slotted spoon to add the strips of burdock roots. Be careful, hot oil can burn! Allow the roots to fry for a few minutes until they are crispy and slightly browned on the outside. Use the slotted spoon to remove and place on the kitchen towel. Sprinkle with a little sea salt and serve. These are delicious with crispy fried gutweed seaweed, from my wild food foraging book.

Preparing burdock roots for making chips

Deep-fried Burdock Roots with Sesame Recipe

This recipe is, again, influenced by Japanese cooking. I love the added crunch and flavour of sesame and this recipe transports me from 'British chips to fancy Asian fried delights'. Recommended to serve alongside other sushi-style savoury treats (see above).

Serves 2 (as a side dish)

Ingredients

  • 100 g burdock roots
  • Oil for frying
  • 1 tbsp corn flour
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • A little sea salt

Follow the recipe above for burdock chips. Before frying, prepare a small bowl of corn flour - you'll just need enough to dip each root and coat it. Plus another bowl of sesame seeds, about a similar amount and blend with a little salt. Dip the raw burdock strips into the corn flour before frying. Serve immediately by tossing into the sesame seed mix and enjoy.

Plate of deep-fried burdock with sesame

Want to find out more?

Feel free to browse my blog for more information, I also run monthly foraging courses with tasters, which is the ideal way to learn in a small group. Or perhaps you'd prefer a bespoke foraging experiences which will allow you to explore the wild foods that particularly interest you.

I also post regularly @rachellambertwildfoodforaging or sign up to the newsletter for regular updates about posts and events.

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