Burdock (Arctium) root is a tasty addition to a stir-fry. You can use either Greater Burdock (Arctium lappa) or Lesser Burdock (Arctium minus).
IMPORTANT: When harvesting burdock root, make sure that you gather it only from first-year burdock. Second-year burdock is past its edibility prime and is not recommended as a foodstuff.
Also, make sure when collecting Burdock that you harvest from an area that is flush with the plant. Never completely harvest the whole patch, always leave some plants to continue to grow. Remember this isn’t strip-mining its sustainable food gathering.
Further reading: Traditional and Modern Use of Burdock
Burdock Root Recipe – Step 1
First off, find a nice patch of burdock.
Burdock Root Recipe – Step 2
Reach down into the stems and push the foliage aside.
Burdock Root Recipe – Step 3
As you can see the stems are very visible.
Burdock Root Recipe – Step 4
Dig straight down uncovering the root as you go. The root can be very long, so take care not to dig in your spade and chop off the root before you have got to the bottom of it.
Burdock Root Recipe – Step 5
Take enough plants to last you a mean. In the picture above, I harvested enough burdock for a stir fry and to make a herbal decoction (medicine).
Burdock Root Recipe – Step 6
In your kitchen, clean and trim the burdock roots.
Burdock Root Recipe – Step 7
Now peel the skin off just like you would a carrot.
Burdock Root Recipe – Step 8
Place peeled burdock roots into a bowl of water with a cap full of cider vinegar. This prevents the root from discolouring.
Burdock Root Recipe – Step 9
When ready to cook, slice the root into matchstick pieces, along with some carrot. Amounts will vary depending on how many people you are feeding. I use the same amount of burdock root as I do carrot for each person.
Burdock Root Recipe – Step 10
Fry the burdock root and carrot in a heavy frying pan or wok. Add a small amount of Tamari or Soya Sauce, and continue stir frying your dish. Mine took between 5 to 7 minutes until it was ready.
Burdock Root Recipe – Step 11
What I like is for the dish to slightly caramelise, but play with the recipe.
Burdock root is also nice peeled, sliced and eaten raw with a little sea salt. I find it reminds me of raw celeriac.