Japanese Vegan Recipe: Deep-fried Burdock.Age Gobou.揚げ牛蒡


Burdock or Gobou.牛蒡 in Japanese is also called greater burdock.
Its Latin name is Arctium lappa.
Although it is a root vegetable with great nutritious and even medical properties, it is commonly eaten only in Japan and Taiwan.

This species is native to the temperate regions of the old world, from Scandinavia to the Mediterranean, and from the British Isles through Russia, and the Middle East to China and Japan, including India.

It is naturalized almost everywhere and is usually found in disturbed areas, especially in soil rich in nitrogen. It is commonly cultivated in Japan.

It prefers a fresh, worked soil, rich in humus, and should be positioned in full sunlight. Burdock is very reactive to nitrogen fertilizer. Propagation is achieved through sowing the seeds midsummer. The harvest occurs three to four months after the seeding until late autumn, when the roots become too fibrous.
In shizuoka it is more and more cultivated in organic fashion with natural/organic fertilizer and no pesticides.

Here is a simple way to prepare it that should please vegans and and vegetarians alike!
Bear in mind to use a vegan dashi for the recipe!
This is a basic recipe. I will leave the proportions to your liking!

One piece of advice: when you buy burdock roots, choose them with soil still on them! Important!


Cornstarch (katakuriko or kudzuko in Japanese, but any cornstarch should do)
Black pepper



First wash, brush/scrape skin off, rinse and cut the burdock root in small enough pieces.


Now, the most important point in the rcipe:
marinate the cut burdock root in dashi in a vinyl pouch or Tupperware box for at least half a day!


Drain the burdock root thoroughly. Roll in plenty of cornstarch.


Once fried to your liking shake oil away as quickly as you can, season with salt and black pepper and eat them like fried potatoes while hot. Great with beer!

Simple, satisfying and healthy!


Shop with Intent by Debbie
Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

9 thoughts on “Japanese Vegan Recipe: Deep-fried Burdock.Age Gobou.揚げ牛蒡”

  1. My mother tend to use these to cook herbal soups and I never seem to like the texture for some reason it feels like potato but more flaky when being boiled in soup.


  2. This recipe looks so good!

    If I can find the root in England I will definitely be trying this!

    What you mentioned about this root being native to places like the British Isles got me thinking about a drink common here “Dandelion and Burdock”.

    Sure enough it’s made from the same plant, though it isn’t available to buy as is for cooking!

    I wonder if anyone still grows it in the UK for the drink or if artificial flavourings is the closest to the taste!


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