This is a staple dish in a macrobiotic diet. It takes some time to prepare, but requires very little work. Just heat it up, and leave it to simmer. Be sure not to forget about it. I added a post-script regarding the use of a drop lid.
Ingredients: a good amount to keep stored in refrigerator and have on hand
Rinse and remove the soil from the outside of the burdock root using a scrub brush or other tool. Do not remove the peel as keeping it will add a pleasant aroma to the dish.
Decide on the pot you will use, and cut the burdock root to a size that will easily fit in the pot. Add the burdock, umeboshi pit, kombu, and enough water to cover the ingredients into the pot.
If possible, use an otoshibuta (drop lid), otherwise just use a regular lid for the pot.
Once the water comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the burdock softens. Check the burdock occasionally through this process. Try to simmer off as much of the liquid as possible.
I modified the amount of burdock as I found the kind I was buying at the organic supermarket was much smaller than the usual variety. (08/12/2006)
It is very important to make sure the liquid has been cooked off. If the umeboshi don't have much salt, the dish will be a bit bland, so make sure to add enough pits.
Ah, I really did it. I burned the burdock roots black. Nothing to do now but to peel them before eating.
Story Behind this Recipe
This is a staple of macrobiotic cooking. It's also a great dish to have if you're looking to detox your body. You can use whole umeboshi, but I just use the pits leftover after using the umeboshi in other dishes.
The flavor of this dish will change according to the salt content of the umeboshi. Use good quality ingredients. If it isn't salty enough, use a little of soy sauce. Try using the umeboshi pits leftover after making rice balls. Don't clean the pits, they should have some of the umeboshi still attached. Simmer the burdock root for at lest 2 hours. Make sure to check the pot occasionally to make sure there is not too much evaporation. Don't let it burn!