1 gobo
2 cups dashi
2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp soy sauce

6 tbsp white sesame seeds, roasted and ground
4 tsp rice vinegar
4 tsp sugar
2 tsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp salt

Tataki Gobo (pounded burdock)

This dish is served during Oshogatsu, the New Year’s holiday celebration. Burdock is a deep root that symbolizes stability. Here, it is cut and pounded (tataki), splitting the ends, which is believed to split and multiply good fortune, then tossed with sesame dressing. Here, it is served in an oribe mukozuke. Refer to the vegetable page for more information and a photograph of the whole unprepared root.

Clean gobo well, scrubbing with a scouring pad to remove dark spots and dirt. Cut into 2-inch lengths. Boil in 6 cups water and 1 tbsp rice vinegar for 10 to 12 minutes, or until firm but cooked. Drain. Smash the gobo with a rolling pin from end to end. This allows the simmering liquid and dressing to penetrate the fibers of the gobo. Cut into quarters, lengthwise.

Return the gobo to the pot with the dashi, sugar, salt and soy sauce. Simmer over low heat for 15-20 minutes, or until most of the liquid is absorbed and the gobo is tender.

Combine ingredients for dressing, pour it over the gobo and mix well. Serve at room temperature in communal bowls. This keeps for up to a week in the refrigerator.

Serves 6-8