When you buy fresh burdock root (in natural food stores, Oriental markets, and some supermarkets), look for firm, unbroken roots with taut skin. Slender roots tend to be more tender and less fibrous than thick ones. Avoid floppy roots or dry, brittle ones with wrinkled skins.
To prepare, scrub the root thoroughly but lightly with a stiff vegetable brush and remove any rootlets. It is best not to peel burdock except for overly tough roots, since the skin contains much of the flavor and nutritional value. Burdock's whitish flesh quickly becomes dark after being sliced. To avoid discoloration and eliminate the slightly bitter taste, immediately immerse sliced burdock in cold water for about 15 minutes or until ready to use.
Since burdock combines well with oil, it is often sautéed alone or with other vegetables, or deep-fried as tempura. It is also good simmered in a seasoned broth. Burdock requires lengthy cooking. When combining it with other vegetables in sautéed or simmered dishes, be sure to add burdock first and cook until it starts to become tender before adding other ingredients.
Mitoku offers dried burdock root, which can be reconstituted and used like the fresh root.
Kinpira - see recipe in Tamari section of this web site
Mochi Soup (O-zoni) - see recipe in Brown Rice Mochi section of this web site