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Forage: How to harvest wild burdock and transform its roots into a tasty fried snack

First-time forager? According to chef Shawn Adler, this pesky edible is a great place to start.

First-time forager? According to chef Shawn Adler, this pesky edible is a great place to start

First-time forager? According to chef Shawn Adler, this pesky edible is a great place to start. 4:02

Anishinaabe chef Shawn Adler has been harvesting wild edibles since his mother first showed him how as a child. In each episode of Forage, he teaches us how to source in-season ingredients from our own backyards and sustainably forage them, before turning them into a delicious dish we can make and devour in our own kitchens.

If you’ve ever walked through the woods and emerged with a small collection of sticky, prickly plants covering your hair and clothes, then you’ve experienced wild burdock spurs in action. But have you experienced burdock in perhaps its most delicious form? In this episode of Forage, chef Shawn Adler encourages us to do a little digging, as this summer bloom — often regarded as a weed — is actually an ideal edible for first-time foragers to seek out, since it’s so easy to identify. Adler demonstrates how to safely and sustainably harvest burdock’s long, carrot-like taproot, before frying it up into a simple snack that rivals the noble potato chip. Check out the video up top for a full guide, then scroll down to grab the recipe. 

Fried Wild Burdock 

By Shawn Adler

Ingredients

  • 2-3 burdock roots
  • Canola oil (or any other frying oil)
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish

Preparation

Prepare freshly-harvested burdock root by washing it thoroughly in cold water and thinly slicing it on a bias. 

Fill a medium sized pot with an inch of oil and preheat it to 350˚F. 

Shallow fry the burdock for roughly 3 minutes or until golden brown. Drain in a bowl with paper towel and sprinkle with a little salt, pepper and parsley to taste. Enjoy with your favourite dips. 

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