Burdock & Cumin Rice

Burdock (Gobo) is one of my favorite vegetable.

The “bur” part of burdock is more know in Canada to play with, but in Japan, we love eating the root.  Burdock is also a well know herb for detoxification in botanical medicine world. The whole plant can be used medicinally (even the bur!), and the root is know as a “blood cleanser” and it improves the eliminating function of skin, kidney and lymphatics. So I love the idea of eating burdock from a therapeutic point of view as well.

The actual taste of the burdock is surprisingly present to many people (I have cooked burdock to Canadians and people loved it!). This recipe is one of my favorite ones with a little Japanese and Middle Eastern flair to it. It goes well with many type of dishes and is also one of the less challenging recipes for the first time burdock cooking.

Healing herbs in your food, it’s a tasty way to improve your health!

Ingredients for 2:

  • 1/2 fresh burdock (gobo) root*, washed well
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seed (whole)
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1 1/2 cup water (this depends on the type of rice you are using, please adjust it!)
  • 1 tsp soy souce
  • Sesame seed and chopped fresh coriander leaves optional for topping

*In Toronto, you can get a fresh burdock root at most of the Japanese, Korean, or Chinese supermarket.


Using a peeler or knife, cut the burdock root into thin strips (note: you can use whole part of burdock and don’t need to peel it). Heat up the soup pot with a medium-high temperature, and put olive oil and cumin seed. Stir well until the aroma of cumin seed increases. Add burdock and stir well until the burdock gets tender. Add brown rice and mixed well with the rest, then add water and soy source. Cook until the rice is done (add more water as needed). For a garnishing, sprinkle sesame seeds and fresh coriander leaves.