Conquering Burdock

On my recent tour, I had to prepare a barbecue for the group.  I wanted to include Japanese ingredients,  so I bought some gobo, burdock root which appears in many Japanese dishes. 

6 courageous chunks of burdock simply refuse to give in to force of fire.

Burdock is a tough lanky root vegetable.  It grows up to 2 metres long, and has an earthy pungent flavour.  Long absent from English cooking, it deserves a revival, although I might need some help on how. 

On the tour, I barbecued the burdock for two hours, about 10 hours short of what was required.  “It`s like chewing a cork”, one lady kindly commented.  My kitchen-shy Devonian hands did not do the burdock justice.  

On Sunday night, I visited a man who could.  Kagami runs my local kushikatsu, a deep-fried food standing bar.  I usually ask him for lotus root, pumpkin or banana.  This time I ordered burdock.  

Within minutes, Kagami had battered, then deep-fried 3 short chunks of burdock on a kushi stick.   They tasted superb, chewy but chewable, with a sharp distinct flavour;  this earthy robust root deserves a bigger audience. 

Battered incinerated burdock finally concedes its earthy flavour to me.

So grateful for the revelation,  I bought Kagami a beer.  For some reason, he drank half it through his nose.  Battering burdock all night  must do strange things to you.

Burdock conqueror snorts his reward.

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