One of our favorite soups is burdock root. The MIL would boil the root with radish and sometimes throw in some mushrooms and dried octopus for a more flavorful taste. The Chinese folks believe that the burdock root aka Gobo in Japanese or ngau pong in Cantonese is full of medicinal properties and health benefits.
The other day, the MIL tried julienned stir-fried burdock root with chicken slices for the first time and it was a great hit with everyone!
To rid the slightly muddy odor from the burdock root, she soaked the julienned roots for an hour before cooking them. According to Wiki, if you do not soak the root, it will have a rather harsh and fibrous texture. Ours turned out OK and our 3 fussy eaters had no complaints. This is definitely a healthy dish, full of nutrients and fibre to combat constipation.
Notice our menu for that night consisted of 2 roots — lotus root and burdock root? And a ladies fingers. Pretty healthy eh?
Food For Thought:
For several hundred years now, the burdock plant and burdock root have been used for purifying and flushing toxins from the blood stream. In its capacity as a diuretic, the burdock herb and root increase the output of urine, thereby flushing out excess water.
Fresh burdock roots contain polyacetylenes, which are phytochemicals (plant chemicals) that kill some types of bacteria and fungi; burdock has been used to treat both bacterial and fungal infections, including ringworm, urinary tract infections, and acne. Its antibacterial effects may also promote wound healing and help treat ulcers.
In addition, the consumption of burdock root benefits the treatment of gastrointestinal conditions, stimulates the digestive organs and also treats various stomach ailments.
Burdock is used as a tonic for its immune-strengthening capabilities. It has been used for centuries as a diuretic and to clear the blood of toxins by stimulating perspiration. When applied topically, it is used to relieve certain skin conditions, such as psoriasis, acne and eczema. Burdock is also being used to lower blood sugar, to treat digestive troubles, minor skin infections, colds, sore throat, flu, HIV and rheumatoid arthritis and to stimulate bile production. Historically, burdock has also been used to treat cancer. There have not been many studies performed on burdock, so evidence of its effectiveness is mostly anecdotal.