Monday, September 12, 2005

Scrumptious Burdock Root

Who names these vegetables? I postulate that "burdock root" would be ever so much more popular in English speaking countries, if only it were blessed with a more melodious name.
It doesn't sound bad in Japanese. In fact, "gobo" sounds downright delicious to me. But I've always shied away from making any gobo dishes at home, because the actual raw item is a bit intimidating. It's typically sold as a meter (or more!) long hunk of root, complete with dirt still attached. Of course, these are modern times, and those inclined to do so can buy gobo all prettily washed and cut up, ready for your recipe. No more intimidation! I'm lazy about lots and lots and lots of other things, but bring on unusual vegetables with dirt chunks clinging, and I'm ready for some WORK!
Work I did, and the result is pictured above. This dish is called "kinpira gobo" and it's a very typical Japanese side dish. Still, I'm proud of it for two reasons. One mentioned above, which is that I started with a dirty hunk of root and went from there. The other, I made it from start to finish without looking at any recipe and it turned out splendidly! Perhaps this can be the first of many steps towards my secret goal: cook without looking at books.
Not that I mind looking at books, cookbooks and food magazines are definitely a weakness that I don't mind giving into. But cooking with my nose in a book takes WAY longer than just getting out ingredients and turning them into something palatable for dinner. And I don't have time to do that for every meal. So sometimes, once in awhile and then hopefully more and more often after that, I'll make something like this kinpira gobo.
Just because I can.


Mom said...

I'm especially impressed with this dish and can see why you were SO proud of it. Way to go! My only regret. . .I didn't get to taste it.

Stephanie said...

Lovely presentation.