Burdock and Mushroom Rice

Burdock and Mushroom RiceUp until about a year and a half ago, burdock root was not something that I had used extensively in cooking.  Like at all.  These long-slender roots are about 2 to 3 feet long, up to an inch in diameter, and jam-packed with some outstandingly earthy flavors.  They pair perfectly with mushrooms to produce a rich, woodsy flavor that your really should try.  This dish, uses both, accepted by the mellow taste of leeks to great effect.  In my case, I used just cremini mushrooms, but this dish is excellent when you use a wide variety of mushrooms; shitake, oyster mushrooms, enoki.  I use a kamado-san donabe for preparation for a couple of reasons: firstly, the even heat steams the rice to perfection; secondly, it is just a super-cool pot; but most importantly, the even heat from the clay steams the rice but does not overcook the mushrooms or the leeks.  One of these days, I will get around to writing something about the relative merits of this particular pot.  Burdock root is available at most Asian grocery stores, and is identifiable as a long, brown root, usually bundled in sets of 2 or 3, wrapped in plastic wrap.  cut into convenient lengths and placed in a gallon ziploc, it keeps for a very long time in the refrigerator.… 

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