Burdock (Gobo) Stir Fry

우엉 Sweet and savory side dish to serve with rice. Burdock also known as salsify is julienned to matchstick pieces then stir fried with a simple soy sauce seasoning. This is one of the dishes that can be made ahead and served as a side dish at each meal.


1 burdock, julienned (1/2 – 3/4 pound)

2 tablespoons canola or olive oil

2 tablespoons sake (rice wine) or water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons mirin* or light corn syrup
2 teaspoons granulated sugar

2 teaspoons roasted sesame seeds
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

*available in Asian markets

Trim off the two ends then cut the burdock into 9 inch sections.
Peel them using a peeler, wash in cold water.

Using a sharp knife, cut each piece into 3 inch sections.

Hold it securely and cut a thin strip. This provides a flat surface so that it doesn’t roll around. Cut into thin strips. Gather them together and fan them out, then thinly julienne so that you have matchstick pieces.

Have a bowl of cold water ready and place the pieces as you cut them in the water. This prevents the burdock from turning brown.

If using a mandoline, cut the burdock into 12 inch sections, peel, wash then cut on a diagonal.

Once all the pieces are julienned, take the bowl to the sink. Rinse and drain the burdock. Repeat 2 – 3 times until the water runs clear. Drain in a colander.

Heat a wok or a large pan in high heat. Once heated, pour the oil.

Place the burdock in the pan, keeping the heat on high, saute for about a minute, stirring constantly.

In small bowl, comgine the sake or water, soy sauce, sugar, and light corn syrup. Pour over the burdock.

Cook on high stirring constantly for another minute or until the sauce has been absorbed and each piece is coated and glistening.

Stir in the roasted sesame seeds and freshly ground black pepper and turn off the heat.

Serve right away with rice or transfer to an airtight container, cool and refrigerate. It can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Combine julienned carrots and burdock, then stir fry following the same instructions.