Wash the burdock root thoroughly to remove dirt. Slice into small julienne strips about 4 – 5 cm long, or use the sasagaki method to slice into shavings. Soak in water to keep fresh, then drain and squeeze out any remaining liquid just before cooking. Meanwhile slice the carrot into julienne strips.
1 burdock root, 2 carrots
Heat the sesame oil in a fry pan over medium high heat. Add the burdock and carrot and stir fry for a few minutes.
1 tbsp sesame oil
Pour in half of the sauce and continue to stir fry. Once the liquid starts to evaporate, add in the remaining sauce. Reduce heat and simmer until sauce has reduced. Garnish with sesame seeds and serve immediately.
1 tsp white sesame seeds
Burdock - Burdock is a 2 foot long root vegetable that looks a bit like a long and flexible brown carrot. Where carrots tend to be juicy and sweet, burdock has an earthy crunch all of its own. While it’s sold in everyday supermarkets in Japan, it can be a little harder to source in other countries. Asian groceries or markets are going to be your best source for fresh burdock. We’ve found both frozen pre-sliced burdock and dried burdock pieces at different grocers in our area. Dried burdock probably be reconstituted and then chopped up into finer slivers, although we haven’t tried this yet, so please let us know if you do. If you can’t source any burdock, other crunchy vegetables make the best substitute - think carrot, parsnip, asparagus, lotus root slices or capsicums. They’ll all be equally delicious when cooked using this method.
To Slice Burdock
Hold the thick end of the burdock root, and cut vertical slices into the thinner end. Now hold the root on a 45˚ angle and shave with your knife - just like sharpening a pencil the old fashioned way. Rotate the burdock continually as you go.
When sliced this way, he shavings should be quite fine and thin - this will give you a delicious crunchy texture while allowing the burdock to soak up all the flavours from the seasonings.
Once you reach the end of your first round of vertical cuts, make new vertical cuts as before, then continue to shave on the 45˚ angle.
Once you reach the very end of the burdock and you can't make any more shavings, just slice up the rest of the root as thinly as you can.
Dashi Stock - To keep things simple we use dashi stock powder dissolved in hot water. It’s available in two main varieties - hon dashi (a more intense flavoured stock made with bonito flakes) or kombu dashi (seaweed only stock). Use whichever style you prefer.
Mirin - This is a sweet rice wine for cooking. If you can’t find it at your supermarket, you can omit or add in a tsp of sugar instead. You can sometimes find this in regular supermarkets, otherwise head to your nearest Asian grocer or online.
Cooking Sake - This is a type of Japanese rice wine for cooking. You can substitute with Chinese cooking wine, or a regular dry white wine if you need.
Garnishes - Sprinkle with white sesame seeds, shichimi togarashi spice blend, or a drizzling of rayu chilli oil to taste.