Recipe: Spicy Burdock Root Salad

Remember how I love Delica so much? Delica is that awesome Japanese delicatessen located in the Ferry Building in San Francisco.

I finally figured out their recipe for the Spicy Burdock Root Salad. Their salad has lotus root, but I was all out. I subbed in water chestnuts instead. Theirs also has mizuna (a salad green), but I didn’t have that either so I just left it out. The ingredient list looks long, I know – but it’s really very simple. Texture is really important here, so make sure the onion and celery are both sliced very thinly. My mandoline helped me achieve the awesome textures, but a grater would work just as well; so would a lot of patience with a knife.

I kid you not – this will be the best salad you ever make.

FYI: Konnyaku is a Japanese yam… it’s the base of shirataki noodles. A block of konnyaku has 0 calories (just like true shirataki noodles – not the tofu kind). It’s great for digestion and overall health. I get mine at my local Asian markets. It’s next to the miso. I would also check near the tofu, or near the refrigerated noodles. If you can’t find it, I guess you could substitute a different veggie or maybe some seitan.

Maggie’s Spicy Burdock Salad

08 burdock salad

Ingredients (serves 4-5 normal people… or 1-2 crazy salad eaters)

  • 2 cups of burdock, sliced up (I used a mandoline)
  • 1 block of konnyaku, cut in small slices (or a different veggie or seitan)
  • 1 small can of water chestnuts (6 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon oil (sesame)
  • 1 inch of ginger, grated
  • chili powder and/or chili flakes, to taste (optional)
  • 1 medium onion, finely sliced (mandoline)
  • 4 stalks of celery, finely sliced (mandoline)
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon stevia (or other sweetener, to taste)
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons Bragg’s liquid aminos (or soy sauce)
  • salt & pepper, to taste


  1. Boil the konnyaku slices in water for 5 minutes. Drain and rinse.
  2. Heat the oil in a pan (wok) over high heat. Add the ginger and saute for 1 minute. Add the burdock, drained konnyaku slices, water chestnuts, and chili powder/flakes. Saute for about 5 minutes. You can reduce the heat to medium-high if you’re nervous about burning. When the burdock is tender enough to chew, remove it from the heat and let it cool.
  3. Mix together the water, vinegar, and stevia. Soak the sliced onion and celery in the mix for 5 minutes, then drain.
  4. Combine the burdock mix, the onion/celery mix, the carrot, sesame seeds, Bragg’s, and salt and pepper. Top with more sesame seeds, if desired. More sesame seeds are always desired by me.

09 burdock salad

Om nom nom. Bobby and I devoured this. He actually said it was *better* than Delica’s salad. You MUST make this. If you are scared of any of the ingredients (burdock! konnyaku!) – don’t be. Burdock is amazing for you. Burdock health benefits: it’s good for the reproductive system, the skin, the digestive system, and it’s even anti-cancerous. Other burdock or konnyaku recipes:

I adore Asian/Eastern food. I love eating with chopsticks (way cooler than forks). If it were up to me, I would probably eat Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Thai food for every single meal. Oh wait… I pretty much do πŸ˜€ The only difference is that I eat oatmeal or oat bran instead of rice, and I eat squash every single day. (Sounds kind of like a cool vegan lady I know.)

What are your weird food quirks? What is your favorite food (cuisine or dish)?

Stay tuned for a silly picture and updates from this weekend’s apple picking adventures!

20 Replies to “Recipe: Spicy Burdock Root Salad”

  1. I loooove spicy!! Great dish, yet again.

    Favorite food = posted about it πŸ˜‰

    Can’t wait for the “silly photo” – what are we in for, haha.

  2. Japanese restaurants serve this as an appetizer often. I had chestnuts last night as well. Love the crunch.

  3. hahha SAME as heab- so many! I feel like everyone has them, but they just become normal to you πŸ˜€ My roommate and I slather ketchup on everything, and our 2 girlfriends came over the other night and were fully disgusted by the huge ketchup bottle in our fridge, they NEVER eat it!!

  4. I had to look in wiki to know what’s burdock.. hahahah….. I’ve never had it before. I saw it in asian stores but didn’t know what to do with it. Now I know and I’ll definitely make this recipe, it sounds so good, my kind of meal.. πŸ™‚

  5. *gets down on knees and starts worshipping Maggie*

    Thank you for this recipe! It sounds amazing! Next time I’m at the Asian market, I’m getting these weird-ass-yet-amazing-and-nutritious veggies!


  6. wow that salad looks fabulous. I love your use of interesting ingredients. Are they expensive? Or do asian markets have good prices? There is Asian vegetable booth at my farmers market I am going to check it out next time I am there.

  7. That salad looks really great! I have to say I love eating most food with chopsticks, right down to a bowl of grapes~it is just more fun!
    I love anything made with noodles~there are so many different kinds, so it is always interesting.
    I also picked up a Kabocha, the flavor surprised me~was not expecting the smoothness and mildness of the squash.
    Thanks for the ideas! πŸ™‚

  8. The salad looks and sounds great. I have to admit that I usually shy away from long ingredient lists. (It’s probably because I’m not very good at following instructions in the first place…). BUT, I’ll make an exception and will put this salad on my “must make” list!

    My favorite meals are Asian-inspired too. The perfect lunch is brown & veggies seasoned with different hot sauces, sesame oil, sesame seeds, etc. & all wrapped up in seaweed…

  9. Ahhhh i absolutely LOVE burdock!!! I have to admit, I haven’t outright looked for it in the US yet, but half of it is because I think that it’s too hard to find. Your post has reminded me of how much I love this root – and that yes, I would fall into the camp of a crazy salad eater. hahah

    P.s. I’m hosting a ZenSoy puddings and soymilk giveaway, so drop me a line if you’re interested!

  10. that looks great! I love Asian food and unusual ingredients, but I’ve never heard of either burdock or that squash either.

  11. ohhhh i have never heard of konnayaku but it sounds fab – yams are my absolute favorite veg in the world! i love you for always introducing me to new things!

  12. oh wow thanks for the info about konnyaku! i so do not understand how it can have zero calories? love the shiritaki noodles so this is very interesting.

    i have a favorite fork. it doesnt match the rest of the forks. i always have to eat dinner with my special fork. if it isnt clean i wash it! not in a creepy way its just a comfort thing from childhood. my sister and i would always trade off who got to use the “pretty spoon.” it was a random spoon with floral designs in the handle part. LOL!

  13. Awwwwww times 1 million! Haha I just had kabocha at lunch. Too bad I didn’t read this first or I could’ve made an awesome salad to go with it (well, if I’d had burdock on hand). Your blog is so awesome, Maggie.

    (Excited for the photo!!)


  14. This salad does look very good! What brand of stevia do you use? You might want to list the specific brand because not all stevia tastes the same. I use SweetLeaf Sweetener (stevia). It’s awesome! It’s the only stevia brand or sweetener on the market with 0 calories, 0 carbs, and a 0 glycemic index!

  15. Thank you so much! I love Delicata, live in San Diego, and have been dreaming of this salad – I’m glad I can now make it myself!

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