Gobo No Satozuke (candied burdock root)
From February, 2011 Letter
Candied Gobo is what gives Hanabira mochi its distinctive crunchy texture. It is interesting to note that many candied vegetables appear on Chinese tables during the Chinese New Year, so, perhaps, this is the origin of this idea.
You can candy many vegetables and fruits this way.
- gobo (burdock root) 1 – 2 pieces (approx. 200 – 400gm [7 - 14oz])
- granulated sugar 250gm (8.8oz) to start and 450gm (1lb) for later use
- water 700cc (2.8 cups)
Select gobo that is fairly firm with a smooth skin. Rinse under cold water and either lightly peel the skin or scrape with the back of a knife. Cut into 4 1/4in lengths and keep under cold water so it doesn’t discolor. Cut each piece into smaller pieces that are approximately 3/16in to 1/4in in diameter. (One piece of 3/4in diameter gobo will yield approximately 14 pieces.) Place the gobo in a non corrosive pan (stainless steel or enameled cast iron) with plenty of water to cover. Bring to the boil, turn down the heat and gently cook until the gobo is tender, approximately 1 hour or so. It is important not to undercook the gobo as it will not get any softer once the sugar is added. Drain well.
In a clean pan add 700cc of water and 250gm of sugar. Heat until the sugar is dissolved and add the drained gobo. Bring up to a gentle boil and turn off the heat. Let sit in the pan to cool and then cover. The next day add 50gm (1.76oz) of sugar to the gobo and syrup. Turn on the heat and cook until the sugar is dissolved. Turn off the heat, let cool and cover. Repeat this daily over a 10 day period until you have incorporated all of the 450gm of sugar. (Note – This recipe can be cut in half but you must also reduce the amount of sugar added each day so that it happens over a period of 10 days.)
When ready to crystallize, heat the gobo and syrup until it is very hot but be careful not to let it boil too long or it will become caramel. Have a flat container ready that has granulated sugar in it. Quickly, but carefully, remove several pieces of gobo from the syrup and place in the sugar. Using chopsticks, move the gobo around the sugar until completely coated and then remove to a flat surface (tray or plate) to dry. When completely cool and dry store in an airtight container.