Gobo (Burdock) is extremely high in fiber as well as a good source of iron, calcium and potassium. It's also low-calorie and popular in the macrobiotic diet. It has an earthy taste, but can be bitter if not soaked or peeled first. You should be able to find burdock at most Asian markets, though I have also seen it at health-conscious grocers (such as Whole Foods). Asian markets often have frozen burdock, already sliced into matchsticks as well.
Kinpira is a Japanese sauteed/simmered salad made with this healthy root; the carrots add a touch of sweetness as well. Popular in bentos, kinpira freezes well and is filling yet healthy.
Kinpira Goboadapted from Setsuko Yoshizuka
2 tsp sesame oil1/2 lb gobo (burdock root)
1/4 cup carrot, sliced into matchsticks
1 red chili pepper, seeded & sliced into thin rounds (optional)
1 1/2 Tbsp mirin
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 Tbsp sake
1 Tbsp soy sauce (or tamari for vegan)
1 tsp sesame seeds
Lightly shave the burdock skin or scrub with a vegetable brush under running water. Shred into fine strips. I use a plain vegetable peeler to remove the skin, and a julienne peeler to cut the strips. Soak in lightly vinegared water, then drain and rinse well.
Heat the oil in a frying pan over high heat; quickly stir-fry the burdock & carrot (I cheated and used matchstick carrots) until coated with oil. Add the chili pepper and mix well. If using dried chili peppers, soak in lukewarm water for 3-5 minutes until soft before slicing.
Reduce the heat to medium and gradually add the mirin, sugar, sake and soy sauce. Continue stir-frying until all of the liquid has reduced and is almost gone. Coat the kinpira with the remaining cooking liquid and transfer to a flat dish to cool.
Serve topped with sesame seeds if desired. I forgot to add them before taking a picture, so just imagine them on there! :)