Teriyaki-Style Burdock, Carrots, and Leeks
(recipe, Peter Berley)
This sweet-salty side dish, often part of a Japanese bento box, features the earthy flavor of burdock and the nutty crunch of sesame seeds. My version gets a kick from ginger and lemon.
- ½ cup honey
- ⅓ cup soy sauce, preferably naturally brewed
- ⅓ cup mirin
- 2 tsp. finely grated peeled fresh ginger
- ½ cup water
- 2 Tbsp. neutral vegetable oil, such as canola or grapeseed
- 1 lb. burdock, scrubbed and cut into matchsticks
- 1 large or 2 medium leeks, white and tender green parts only, cleaned and cut into matchsticks
- Sea salt or kosher salt
- 8 oz. carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks
- 2 Tbsp. sesame seeds, lightly toasted
- 2 scallions, white parts only, thinly sliced
- Lemon wedges, for serving
- 1 bunch of watercress, tough stems discarded
- In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, soy sauce, mirin, ginger, and water.
- In a large heavy skillet, heat the oil over high heat. Add the burdock and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the leeks and a pinch of salt and cook and stir until the leeks wilt, about 2 minutes. Pour in the honey mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Stir in the carrots, cover the pan again, and simmer until the vegetables are tender, 15 to 20 minutes longer.
- Uncover the pan, raise the heat, and simmer until the juices have reduced to a glaze. Sprinkle the vegetables with the sesame seeds and scallions, and serve with lemon wedges on a bed of watercress.
Editor’s note: What’s missing from the Peter Berley recipes on Culinate are his hints on meal planning, tofu pressing, and sesame-seed toasting, as well as tasty tidbits on nori, mirin, and burdock. By all means, get your hands on his book for the full meal deal.