Forgotten Feast Friday: Burdock Sushi
If you've ever eaten sushi before, you may have noticed an orange vegetable that looks like carrot, but tastes more tangy, nutty, and perhaps resembling the flavor of parsnips. If so, you may have actually eaten burdock root! To add some brightness to the sushi, pickled burdock is often dyed orange. But burdock root adds enough flair to sushi without the added dye. Bittersweet and pleasantly crunchy, pickled burdock is a delicious way to give your body a tonifying boost..
In Wednesday's post, we explored how to harvest burdock root and some of its amazing medicinal benefits, including anti-inflammatory properties and function as a blood-purifying agent. Additionally, burdock root is a great medicinal addition to your regular diet due to its ability to relieve digestive discomfort, promote healthy blood pressure and to keep your blood sugar levels in balance. If you've never pickled anything, this is a great vegetable to start with, since its so versatile: you can eat it on its own, topped with sesame seeds, as a substitute for cucumber pickles on your veggie burgers... or you can use it to make today's recipe for sushi!
Pickled Gobo (Burdock)
4 medium burdock roots, cut into matchstick-sized strips
rice wine vinegar
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp of minced ginger
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp red pepper flakes
3 pint-sized mason jars
First, prepare your burdock root! Wash away the dirt and gently peel the thickest portions of skin off the root. The skin is very flavorful, however, so try not to clear it all away entirely! Then, cut into matchstick-sized strips. Add your strips to a pot of water, with water just covering all the vegetable, and boil for about 3 minutes to soften.
While the burdock is boiling, mix your crushed garlic and your minced ginger together in a bowl with the red pepper flakes. Then, once softened, remove the burdock from the water and add to the mixture, setting the water aside.
Divide your mixture into 3 parts and add one third to each of your mason jars. Cover your burdock and spices with equal parts hot water from your pot, rice wine vinegar, sake, and tamari, then cap and shake vigorously. Store in the refrigerator, allowing the burdock to absorb the flavors for 3 weeks before using.
Now, you're ready to roll! Sushi roll!
Vegan Burdock Maki Rolls
1 cup cooked sushi rice (my favorite brand is Nishiki!)
Japanese seaweed sheets, or nori 1/4 tsp white sugar 2 tsp rice wine vinegar
cashew cream cheese, cut into strips
pickled burdock root
grated carrot cucumber, cut into matchsticks scallion greens
sesame seeds wasabi soy sauce
Cook your rice in plenty of time to let it cool. Fluff and cover, keeping rice moist.
When it's time to cook, mix your sugar and rice vinegar together. Once the sugar has completely dissolved, add it to the rice and mix well.
Lay nori onto the sushi roller or parchment paper and then spread the sushi rice in a thin, even layer over top of the nori with a damp paddle or icing spreader. Make sure its wet enough to keep the rice from sticking to it!
Next, in the very middle of your nori and rice sheet, add rows from top to bottom of your strips of burdock, "cream cheese", cucumber, scallion greens, and grated carrot. Roll your ingredients into an even cylinder with all your "filling" in the middle. Cut into 6 bite-sized pieces.
You can serve up your maki rolls with a small salad and drizzled with soy sauce, as pictured, with wasabi. If wasabi is too strong, but you would like a zesty sauce to dip into, simply add a little bit of powdered mustard and grated horseradish to some soy sauce and mix it to your personal tastes.
Enjoy! Your body will thank you.