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Burdock root soup

burdock root soup, burdock soup, gobo, greater burdock, Chinese soup, toddler, food-4tots


Burdock is a biennial plant, cultivated for its root to be consumed as a vegetable. Burdock root 牛蒡 (other popular names: Arctium lappal, Greater burdock, edible burdock, Lappa burdock) is also called “gobō” in Japan and “u-eong”u-eong” in Korea. When I first saw burdock root at the wet market, I had mistaken it with a tuber called huai san 淮山 or shan yao 山药   (also referred as nagaimo, a Japanese mountain yam). Burdock root can grow up to 1 meter long (2.5ft to 3ft) with a diameter between 2cm to 4cm. It has a sweet but slightly muddy flavour.


Burdock root is rich in nutrients such as proteins, vitamins (Vitamin A, C, B1, E, K and folate), minerals (iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium and phosphoros) and dietary fiber. Given its high nutritional value, burdock root is also regarded as “Oriental Ginseng” (东洋参).


burdock root, burdock root soup, burdock soup, gobo, greater burdock, Chinese soup, toddler, food-4tots

Burdock root provides plenty of health benefits. It is used as a diuretic, diaphoretic and a blood purifying agent in traditional herbal remedies. It aids peristalsis of the intestines, prevents constipation and abdominal flatulence. It also enhances blood circulation, prevents high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, cerebrovascular disease and cancer. It’s also used to treat skin diseases (such as psoriasis and eczema) and burns. Burdock root oil is useful to strengthen and beautify hair by improving scalp circulation, combat hair loss and dandruff. Chinese medicine practitioners combine burdock root with other herbs to treat measles, tonsillitis, colds and sore throat.


Even though burdock root is loaded with nutrients, it may trigger certain side effects. Burdock root can cause allergy reaction to those who are already sensitive to daises, chrysanthemums, or ragweed. As a diuretic, it is also not recommended for people who are suffering from dehydration. Pregnant women should also avoid burdock root as it may cause uterus stimulation. Since burdock root may also affect blood sugar level, people on diabetic medication should also avoid it. More write-ups about these side effects can be found HERE and HERE. If you intend to use burdock to treat any specific ailment or consume it as supplement, it is recommended to consult a trained medical practitioner or doctor prior to using.


burdock root soup, burdock soup, gobo, greater burdock, Chinese soup, toddler, food-4tots


Burdock root has also gained popularity for its culinary uses in Japan, Korea and Taiwan. Burdock root can be cooked in a variety of ways such as an appetizer, stew, addition to soup, baked as bread and cakes, and even made into snack food.


So far, my son didn’t really show much interest for soups that I made with burdock root.  But, this burdock root soup I am featuring today is an exception. It is a combination of corns on the cob, carrot and burdock root. I used the natural sweetness of corns and candied dates to cover the earthy taste of the burdock root. Hence, the overall taste is very delicious and welcoming to kids. When my son took a sip of the soup, he got hooked immediately. After drinking the entire bowl of soup, he ate all the ingredients served in it, including the burdock root slices too! Wow! I couldn’t believe my eyes! My trick works!!


This “kid-approved” soup is very nourishing and full of nutrients. It makes a great start for those who are new to burdock root. If you drink the soup and eat the cooked ingredients,  then you will get to enjoy more health benefits from this soup and minimise any wastage.


Other reading references:

Dick Contino

Get the recipe for BURDOCK ROOT SOUP at PAGE 2 BELOW.


burdock root soup, burdock soup, gobo, greater burdock, Chinese soup, toddler, food-4tots

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  1. LK, this soup looks so good and is so nutritious too! Thanks for sharing your wonderful recipe 🙂

  2. Ching @ LCOM says:

    Very nutritious, I should buy burdock root more. 😉

  3. It must have been age ago that I had burdock root…the soup looks nutritious and delicious.

  4. Alice says:

    Thanks for sharing this recipe, I am searching for long time on how to make burdock root soup! 🙂

  5. Joanne says:

    I’ve never had burdock root before but from the way you’ve described it, I’m sure it’s delicious in this soup!

  6. tigerfish says:

    Indeed. Burdock seems to look like a “slender” version of 淮山 🙂 but they are different. I was planning to use them to cook soups too but have not got my hands to any burdock root yet.

  7. Japanese use Gobo (that’s how we call it) in many dishes. I really like this crunchy texture along with lotus root. It’s been my favorite vegetables for a long time. It sounds funny when I say I like “root” vegetable…but it’s true, I love them. 🙂 Your soup looks super delicious! It’s perfect for fall/winter comfort meal.

  8. Chris says:

    I have heard so much about burdock but just dont know how to cook. Now that you have shared, I shall try this one day.

  9. peachkins says:

    I think this is my first time to encounter birdock root…

  10. I shall conjure this up for my cousin then! He’ll love it probably ~ with his tastebuds that love healthy stuff. Cheers to you! Thanks ^^

  11. Alice says:

    My family definitely loves this 🙂
    Never cook soup with burdock roots b4, now I shall try this recipe – tq 🙂

  12. Lisa says:

    Hi LK,
    I love soup especially with Chinese herbs.
    I made burdock soup one night and it gave out a nice aroma.
    Will try to make more burdock meals it’s good for us!
    I find by adding corn to soup always a winner for the kids .. It’s the sweetness!
    Thank you,
    Cookng Sisters

  13. Ling says:


    Can I use black vinegar ?
    I find that handling the burdock is a challenge. It turns black easily.


    • food-4tots says:

      Ling: If you soak the burdock into black vinegar, wouldn’t the burdock look black even before it turns black? I haven’t tried it before but you’re free to do your experiment. 😉

  14. […] Burdock root soup via Food 4 Tots […]

  15. Elaine says:

    Hi can i know where to get burdock root? NTUC?

  16. Jacqui says:

    I am a vegetarian so can I substitute something else for the pork or chicken meat?

  17. Jayce says:

    Hi! I almost mixed this up with Hwai san when looking for it at NTUC. Where did you get your burdock root from? Can’t seem to find it in Singapore 🙁

  18. Alicek says:

    Why is it sticky ? Do I need to wash off the stickiness before cooking ?

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