Wednesday, July 2, 2014

How to cook with MN Common Burdock: Burdock Stir Fry recipe

This is one of my favorite foraging goodies thus far! Not only is it so plentiful throughout Minnesota, the taste is very similar to celery--making it easy to add to your soups, salads or stir fry! 

  1. Identify: There are several kinds of burdock in Minnesota. Common Burdock and Great Burdock. Common Burdock is the most prevalent but both are edible. We decided to be a little lazy this weekend and  to cook with Common Burdock. It can easily be identified by, ironically, looking for its dead foliage.  The burrs will appear in bunches while on the Great Burdock, the burrs are each connected individually by different stems. See below:
Common Burdock                                                    Great Burdock
Great Burdock: each burr connected separately to stems
Common Burdock: example of burr bunch

         2. Prepare Common Burdock for cooking
Petioles on main stalk
a. Cut the main stalk at the base of the plant.  Cut away most the petioles (the stems that come off to a leaf) until you reach the midway point of the stalk.

Preparing the petioles:

1. Remove leaves

Preparing the main stalk :

                       3. After all is the stalks have been peeled and cut, make sure to rinse them to remove any the bitter taste of the stalks. 

4. Cooking with burdock:

Cook your stalks with pieces of bacon and carrots. The fat of the bacon helps to mellow the bitter flavors of the burdock. Add your favorite stir fry items and enjoy!

** WARNING: Always consult an expert or identification book written by an expert when eating wild plants. Do not eat any wild edible plant unless you are 100% certain of its identification

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