Healthy dining goes back to its roots

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 05 June, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 05 June, 2012, 12:00am


Burdock, native to Europe and Northern Asia, has eye-catching purple flowers when in bloom, but the plant's main attraction lies underground.

Its deep, slender roots have been used for centuries to treat a host of ailments. The University of Maryland Medical Centre says it's traditionally used as a blood purifier to clear the bloodstream of toxins, as a diuretic, and as a topical remedy for such skin problems as eczema, acne and psoriasis.

In traditional Chinese medicine, burdock is often used with other herbs for sore throats and colds.

The root's sweet flavour works well in stews and stir-fries - as in this recipe contributed by Bodhisattva Vegetarian Restaurant in Kowloon City Plaza.

Lettuce wrap with burdock root

Serves 2

A few lettuce leaves

1/3 piece burdock root (about 10cm)

300 grams soya bean sprouts

200 grams Chinese long beans

3 pieces shiitake mushrooms

1/2 tsp peanut oil

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp light soy sauce

- Cut out eight palm-sized discs from the lettuce leaves.

- Mince and roast burdock root until dry.

- Cook sprouts, long beans, mushrooms and lettuce in boiling water.

- Heat oil in a wok. Stir-fry soya bean sprouts, long beans and mushrooms until tender.

- Season with salt, sugar and light soy sauce.

- Serve a spoonful of the mixture on each lettuce disc.

Recipe provided by the Health Department as part of its campaign. For more information, go to