Cooking with Burdock Root: What is Burdock, and Why Should I Eat It?

By | February 10, 2018

I would like to share some ways I’ve tried cooking with Burdock root, but first let’s get familiar with what the Burdock plant looks like, and some reasons it could be a good idea to eat it. Burdock Leaf

Greater burdock is also known as Gobo root in Japanese cooking. Where I come from in the Appalachian Mountains of the USA, Burdock root is known as just plain old cockleburr’ cockle bur. When I first heard of anybody eating Burdock, I didn’t know what the plant was until I saw a picture of it. I thought, “Why in the world would anybody want to eat a cockle bur plant?” Then I got to researching to see if there were any health benefits in cooking with Burdock root.

I found out that Burdock root is considered to be a blood cleanser because it helps trigger the cleansing of cells. Burdock is frequently combined with Dandelion Root because Dandelion clears waste from the cells.

Burdock Seed

Think of it like this-Burdock Root is the Broom, and Dandelion Root is the Dustpan!

This purifying action helps clear up skin conditions such as acne.

Burdock root has been used to boost the immune system, and to relieve gout and arthritis.

Dried Burdock Seeds

Some ways that I’ve tried cooking with Burdock Root is to just cook it in the same way as I would other root stock vegetables. You can substitute it for another root stock vegetable, or just add it to other veggies that you are cooking. This gives you extra vitamins, minerals, and health benefits. I make a stir-fry dish with various vegetables, and even some fruits. I add Burdock Root to this when I have it.

Every Vegetable You Have on Hand Stir Fry

1. 4 Big White Potatoes

Leave the skins on the potatoes. Wash and cut these up in strips as if you were going to make broiled potato wedges. If you have small potatoes, cut up enough potatoes to make 3 or 4 cups.

2. 2 Medium Red or Orange Sweet Potatoes

Wash and cut these up in strips as well.

3. A good-sized piece of Turmeric Root

Turmeric Root is similar to Ginger Root, only its color is bright orange like a carrot. It is the root where Curcumin comes from. Some natural foods stores carry it, and it is possible to grow it yourself. Peel and wash the Turmeric Root, and then chop or slice.

4. A good-sized piece of Ginger Root

Peel and wash, then chop or slice thinly.

Take all the vegetables that you have prepared so far, and place them in your favorite LARGE frying pan. Put about 4 TBLS of Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Coconut Oil (oil that smells like coconut tastes really good) in the skillet and let it warm a minute on Medium Heat. When the oil can be spread around in the pan, place the cut vegetables in to start cooking slowly. Now to the rest of the vegetables!

5. A 1/4 of a head of Cabbage

Cut the cabbage into chunks or shred-whichever you prefer.

6. An Onion

You can use a red, yellow, or white onion, or any combination of onions. I use about a cup of sliced onion, then I cut the slices in half again.

7. Green Onion or Chives, or Both

If you have green onions and chives available, these are tasty added, too! Just wash and chop into the desired-sized pieces.

8. Burdock Root

You can put 1 or 2 pieces of Burdock Root that is 8 or 10 inches long into this recipe. It adds distinctive flavor and nutrients. Peel and wash the roots, and cut into short strips.

9. Peppers

You can put any kind of sweet or hot peppers that you like. Wash the peppers, and cut them into strips. You can either discard the seeds or sprinkle them into the rest of the vegetables.

10. 2 or 3 Apples of your choice

Wash and cut the apples into pieces. For added nutrition, leave the peeling on the apples.

11. A medium Zucchini

Wash and chop into chunks.

12. A Yellow Squash

Wash and chop into chunks.

13. A couple of fresh Tomatoes

Wash and slice into wedges.

14. A 1/2 of a Head of Broccoli

Wash and cut the broccoli tops into bite-sized pieces.

15. 10 or so Radishes

Wash and slice the radishes.

By this time, you will have probably stirred the frying vegetables several times. They should be somewhat soft. Now, add the new vegetables to these and mix them up some. To speed up the cooking time, I put a piece of aluminum foil, or a pizza pan over the skillet for about 5 minutes to help steam the vegetables slightly. Watch the vegetables, as they are not meant to be mushy in the least. You want the second round of vegetables to still have a little snap to them, when you remove the pan from the heat. You probably can remove the pan from the heat after 10 or 15 minutes.

I don’t usually peel any of my vegetables, except the Burdock Root. The peelings add fiber and nutrients to the meal. It is a matter of choice, however. If you don’t like any of the peelings left on the vegetables, you can remove them.

This recipe is meant to give and example of how you can make a tasty dish that incorporates Burdock Root with many other common vegetables. However, you can make adjustments as to the amounts of vegetables that you add to the stir fry. If you are cooking for only 1 or 2 people, these amounts of vegetables will be far too many. Just edit the amount of vegetables to fit your needs. You can also substitute any of the vegetables to suit your tastes.

This stir fry can serve as a full meal in itself, or your can serve it alongside meat.


Burdock seeds, or burrs, gave Swiss inventor, George de Mestral, the idea to invent what became known as Velcro!

6 thoughts on “Cooking with Burdock Root: What is Burdock, and Why Should I Eat It?

  1. Kseniya

    I drink burdock root tea every now and then…I read somewhere awhile back that it’s great as a blood purifier and we all need such in this day and age where toxins are everywhere – in our food, in our air, etc.

    In addition, I really like drinking roasted dandelion (as mentioned in your post) root tea- its very earthy and great for cleansing the liver.

    I really like all the great recipes you’ve integrated with burdock! I’ll def have to give them a go, since I’m already consuming the tea.

    Thanks, for such informative post!

    1. admin

      Hi, Kseniya,
      You’re absolutely right about the toxins in today’s world.
      I hope you enjoy the recipes! Just put any kind of vegetables together that you enjoy. You can’t go wrong!

  2. Valerie

    Thank you Angela for a very informative article. I have never heard of Burdock. In the image at the top of your article, the shape of the leaf reminds me of a Rhubarb leaf, although different in color.

    I find it amazing all the wonderful plants I learn about on the internet. I grew up in a family where we had a huge and great vegetable garden. My father was a Seedsman by trade and he gardened all year round. There was an abundance of fresh vegetables. However, the use of herbs or related plants was minimal.

    I enjoyed reading not only about Burdock root, but that you stir fry so many vegetables. It’s a while since I stir fried vegetables but I honestly think that is best way to cook them. Not only do we get great flavors, but most of the nutrient are retained. I’m not a fan of overcooked vegetables which can easily happen with other cooking methods.

    Best wishes

    1. admin

      Hi, Valerie!
      I’m very happy that you enjoyed the article about Burdock Root. Plants are truly amazing!

      My family always grew a large garden, also, when I was growing up. My brother, mother, and I ate mostly from the garden all summer.
      I hope you get a chance to try Burdock Root sometime. It has a good flavor.

      Thank you very much for your comment, Valerie.


  3. Jeremy

    Wow sounds delicious and nutritious! I love the way you set out your recipe to incorporate the root.

    I think i’ll have to go out in the wild searching for a good burdock plant to feast on. Can you buy these at a local supermarket?

    Thanks for the great post:)

    1. admin

      Hi, Jeremy!
      Glad you enjoyed the article. Unfortunately, in my neck of the woods, there is only one health food store that I know of that carries the Burdock Root as a vegetable like a potato or carrot. Most health food stores in my area carry the tea, capsules, or dried root already ground. I’ve never seen Burdock Root in my local supermarket, but who knows? Maybe one day…
      Best wishes,


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