Stir fried Niu Bang (Burdock root) recipe

niu bang recipe

Since we are visiting my parents in Taiwan, we get to enjoy my mom's delicious home cooking more. Here is one healthy dish I like to share: "Stir-fried Burdock Root", or "Chao Niu Bang". Niu Bang is a very popular ingredient in Taiwan because of the health benefit. It is often called "poor man's Ginseng". It tastes a little bitter but full of nutrition. 

"Niu Bang Zi" (Seed of Burdock root) is a Chinese herb that expels Wind-Heat and relieves the sore throat. What we buy from the market for cooking is "Niu Bang Gen" (Root of Burdock). It has a similar cooling function and is great for summer heat.

Niu Bang Root

Niu Bang Root

How to cook

1. Wash and peel the skin.

Niu Bang is usually a very long root. Cut 1-2 long roots into shorter sections for easier handling. Wash with running water and peel the skin off.

2. Chop into thin slices or use the peeler to peel the whole root into thin slices. 

Thinner slices are easier to cook, but some people prefer the chewy texture of thicker slices. Make sure to sink the slices in the water or Niu Bang turns dark quickly after contact with air.

3. Prepare ginger and chili pepper.

Slice some red chili pepper and ginger for seasoning.

4. Add some oil in a wok or frying pan, add Niu Bang, ginger and chili pepper.

Stir fry a little bit and cover for a few minutes to cook the Niu Bang fully. When Niu Bang turns half transparent, it is ready. 

5. Add some soy sauce and sugar

Soy sauce adds color and flavor, and sugar will make the dish less bitter.

6. Add white sesame seeds at the end (optional)

Sprinkle some white sesame seeds on top after the stove is turned off. Sesame seeds can be crushed a little first for better fragrance.

Done and enjoy!