Random experiments – burdock, pad thai!

I bought fresh burdock the other day because it has some amazing healthful qualities.  I’ve made kinpira gobo before (burdock and carrot dish; Japanese) but I wanted to do something with the burdock alone.  I basically followed the kinpira recipe, but omitted the carrots and cut the burdock into discs.  It was great – kind of like burdock chips!


Burdock (the root) is a staple in a macrobiotic diet.  It’s a root veggie, but better for you than most root veggies (like white potatoes).  Burdock is high in dietary fiber (6g in a 100g serving), calcium, potassium, and amino acids; it’s also low calorie.  In traditional medicine, burdock is used as a diuretic, diaphoretic (sweat), and a blood purifier.  The oil extract is even used to cure baldness and nourish your scalp.  It can also be used topically as a cure for skin conditions (acne, eczema, etc…).  My mom used to make burdock tea during pregnancy; I’m not sure what it was supposed to do, but she birthed 3 healthy (and huge) babies – so it certainly didn’t hurt.

I’ve been having a lot of fun in the kitchen making “pad thai” – I use various veggies and shirataki noodles.  I have a recipe posted for Butternut Squash Pad Thai, and my current experiments are based off of that recipe.  I don’t have measurements, but here are the ingredients…  I saute the toppings and protein (fish usually), then add the noodles, kabocha, spices, and sauces.  It takes less than 10 minutes.

Sunday’s “pad thai” (best one so far):


  • base: grey shirataki noodles (boiled and drained)
  • toppings: sauteed in sesame oil – a tomato, mushrooms, sliced leeks, and lotus root; steamed kabocha
  • spices: chili powder, garlic powder, Asian 5-spice powder
  • sauces: water, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, PB2 regular
  • on top post-pic – PARM

Saturday’s “pad thai” (with “dried anchovies” from the Korean market).  It was way too salty.  Are these actually anchovies or is this a mistranslation?:


  • base: clear/white shirataki noodles (boiled and drained)
  • toppings: sauteed in sesame oil – mushrooms, bean sprouts, little fishies; steamed kabocha
  • spices: cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, oregano
  • sauces: water, soy sauce, PB2 regular
  • on top post-pic – nutritional yeast, and then PARM because the I did not like the nooch

Friday’s “pad thai” (with octopus!!):


  • base: tofu shirataki noodles (boiled and drained; this was 6 servings @ 15 cals per serving; Bobby got about 1 of those servings – he’s not a fan of tofu shirataki and neither am I)
  • toppings: sauteed in sesame oil – carrot, mushrooms, sprouts, octopus; steamed kabocha
  • spices: cumin, garlic powder, oregano
  • sauces: water, soy sauce, PB2 regular
  • on top post-pic – PARM

What’s great about all of these is that I can have “the same” thing for dinner each night… but it’s totally different every time.  Because I’m using shirataki noodles I have room for a starch on the side, and usually that starch is about 1.5+ pounds of steamed kabocha with parm.  I think I’m overdosing though; Bobby says I need to eat something other than kabocha every night.  Still haven’t turned orange, but I’ll keep watching out for it.  I just love kabocha too much.

What is the food you cannot live without?  For me – kabocha!

21 Comments on Random experiments – burdock, pad thai!

  1. Jen
    5 May, 2009 at 1:45 pm (8 years ago)

    Ahaha, people actually do start getting a tinge of orange/yellow when they have too high of a beta-carotene intake, right? Oh dear!

    And yeahhh, those are most definitely anchovies. They’re salted/dried and probably best with something really bland to even out the sodium levels:


    I have a package of shirataki noodles in the fridge waiting for me to use, but I’m not sure which way’s the best! This is a great idea though, yum. 🙂

  2. Kimberly
    5 May, 2009 at 1:47 pm (8 years ago)

    my mom use burdock to make soup, along with carrots, daikon, mushroom and other Asian goodness. 🙂 You can also stir fry burdock too!

  3. Lara (Thinspired)
    5 May, 2009 at 1:53 pm (8 years ago)

    I’ve always wanted to try burdock since reading about it in macrobiotic books, but I can’t seem to find it in many stores!
    My can’t-live-without food is definitely rice! 🙂

  4. Shelby
    5 May, 2009 at 2:04 pm (8 years ago)

    I’ve never tried that before, sounds delicious though! Mmm pad thai!

  5. coco
    5 May, 2009 at 2:48 pm (8 years ago)

    what’s burdock?? I know you explained it but I am really curious about what is actually (chinese name?), it looks like sweet potatoes to me.
    Love all those pad thai variations…. so easy, versatile and I bet they’re delicious!!! What’s the definition of pad thai? noodles? fish? veggies of the sauce? It’s a new term for me! 😀
    1.5 pounds of kabocha every night and you didn’t turn orange??? woooooo….. I’m really jealous of you! You really made me crave it after seeing them over and over again! 🙂

  6. Cindy
    5 May, 2009 at 2:50 pm (8 years ago)

    Would have to say my can’t live without food would have to be pasta (any kind) AND
    cheese (any kind)

    I am going to Sprouts tomorrow… on the hunt for kabocha and something to simmer down some abdominal pain. not my best day

    BTW I eat pad thai noodles ALL the time (not home made though) I LOVE your pics..and I think I should look into finding how to make them for myself

    I really love my noodle “soups” and then I add as many veggies as I can (lots of sprouts and avocado)

    filling and so good

  7. Meredith (Pursuing Balance)
    5 May, 2009 at 3:24 pm (8 years ago)

    Love the pad thai variations! I had some on Saturday for lunch and then again Sunday night (gotta love leftovers!).

  8. Megan
    5 May, 2009 at 3:37 pm (8 years ago)

    ahhhh i love pad thai!! I just got some noodles today, i think one of these recipes is in their future 🙂

  9. Emily
    5 May, 2009 at 4:07 pm (8 years ago)

    i love some (vegan) pad thai!

    thanks for the burdock info! i’ve never tried it before. may have to!

  10. Run Sarah
    5 May, 2009 at 4:11 pm (8 years ago)

    Very neat, I need to look out for burdock at the Chinese market.

  11. K
    5 May, 2009 at 4:36 pm (8 years ago)

    I’ve never heard of burdock! Thanks for the info! That butternut squash pad thai sounds awesome 🙂

    I couldn’t live without mushrooms lately!

  12. Sharon
    5 May, 2009 at 4:40 pm (8 years ago)

    Oh wow, I don’t know if I have tried burdock before, but they look very familiar!

  13. Yasmin
    5 May, 2009 at 6:26 pm (8 years ago)

    Greek yogurt and pumpkin! Everyday staples for me that I could not live without 🙂

  14. Alison
    5 May, 2009 at 7:56 pm (8 years ago)

    Wow…cool pad thais! I will definitely have to check out burdock. I really want to try new veggies. Bitter melon is one thing I want to try this year.

  15. Hangry Pants
    5 May, 2009 at 8:40 pm (8 years ago)

    You teach me about so many new veggies and such!!! Where do you even get a burdock? And now I want Pad Thai so BADLY!!!!!!

  16. clare
    5 May, 2009 at 10:36 pm (8 years ago)

    inspirational recipes! im really intrigued by burdock and will look for it soon when i make a trip to the city.

    im constantly orange tinged! i love squash, pumkin, carrots… 😉

  17. Pearl
    5 May, 2009 at 11:14 pm (8 years ago)

    hmm i’ve heared of burdock before. how cool!

  18. The Dainty Pig
    6 May, 2009 at 1:36 pm (8 years ago)

    mmmm! those plates look DELICIOUS.

    I have been like you lately: I eat a LARGE amount of steamed kabocha throughout the day,( probably around the same amount as you). It is just SO satisfying! Mmmm. If I want it a bit sweet-like, I put cinnamon on top. Delicious!

    But my other got to have it food (other than chocolate, haha) is probably brown rice. I like it at any time of the day, with any flavourings (flax oil, seaweed, a bit of salt, brown rice syrup and cinnamon…you name it). Mmmm.

    As for the burdock, I STILL haven’t tried it. I saw some last week, but then chickened out getting it. I think i’ll pick some up next time i’m at the japanese market (hopefully soon). When you make it like in the above pic, do you peel the skin off after soaking it?

    What a wonderful post! i’m definitely inspired to try these dishes. Now I just need to find some shirataki noodles near me!


  19. Peggy (Mom)
    7 May, 2009 at 9:37 am (8 years ago)

    How did I miss this post until now. Burdock has a root that sometimes extends 3 feet into the ground! Even though it is beige/brown, the tea is a brilliant emerald green…but unfortunately the tea literally tastes like you are eating mud. Susun S. Weed describes all its healing properties very well in her book “Wise Woman Herbal” Haven’t made the tea in years…better get back to it!

  20. gliding calm
    10 May, 2009 at 8:10 am (8 years ago)

    i love love loveeeee octopus! And always order it at sushi restuarants! TAKO YUM!

    and omg the dried anchovies bring back MEMORIES. I used to eat those all the time growing up! Esp. since my god mother was from Singapore!

  21. Sam
    18 August, 2009 at 8:56 pm (7 years ago)

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