We Love Gobo!!!

April 8, 2011 § Leave a comment

After all these years of eating and slurping it’s always a delight when you come across a food, a drink or an ingredient that you didn’t know about. When they fall in my plate I treat them like an extra terrestrial entity and should reassure them: “Come in Peace my Friend, I will chew you very softly”.

Living in Asia this kind of encounters happens quite often and I should tell you about this very peculiar discovery I made last week when dining at one of my favorite Japanese dumplings (餃子) restaurant…

From deep space, meet my new tasty buddy Gobo!

Gobo root is the Japanese name for the root of the greater burdock (Arctium lappa) plant. Utilized as both a vegetable and a seasoning agent, gobo root is also prized for the medicinal properties attributed to it.

Originating from the Siberian region of Northern Asia and in use as a vegetable in Europe during the Middle Ages, gobo root is particularly popular today in Japanese cuisine and Chinese herbal medicine.

Of the entire burdock, or gobo, plant, the long taproot is the edible portion that is valued for its culinary and medicinal attributes. Because it can attain a length of 3 to 4 feet (1 m) and a tapering width of 1 inch (2.5 cm), it is usually dug by hand to avoid damaging the root. The aboveground portion of the plant produces pinkish purple flowers that eventually turn to burrs, which will ultimately distribute the plant’s seeds.


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