Kanako's Kitchen

Gobou fries

Posted in mid-afternoon snack, Recipe by Kanako Noda on September 25, 2010

I guess a food blogger shouldn’t say this, but it’s a fact: I’m a big fan of junk food. Of course I don’t eat greasy snacks every day but, sometimes, I do get these cravings for some things you’ve heard of (potato chips, fried chicken) and others you probably haven’t, like Gobou Fries.

Of course, I’m aware that fried snacks have an image problem, but I go by Michael Pollan’s Food Rule #39: you get a free pass on any junk food you make at home, from scratch. When you make your own junk food, it becomes what it should be: a rare treat, rather than a health destroying habit. Plus gobou is full of fibre, so even when fried it’s much healthier than potato chips.

In case you’re wondering, Gobou is the taproot of the Burdock plant – you know, the one with the bulbs that stick to your socks when you walk in the woods. The roots have a highly distinctive appearance: brown and earthy just like an ordinary root, but very thin and very long. In Montreal you can always find gobou at Kim Phat. Elsewhere, many Asian Stores carry it, so don’t be afraid to ask.

I often serve Gobou Fries to guests as a snack to go with beers before dinner, sort of the way you serve peanuts. In my experience, most Western people are totally unfamiliar with it, but once they taste it, then they keep picking at it until it’s gone. Delish.


  • Gobou root -one
  • Chicken stock – one cube
  • Flour – two tablespoons
  • Frying oil


  1. Shave off the skin of the gobou with the sharp end of a knife. And rinse it with cold water.
  2. Cut the gobou into slices. For this recipe, I personally prefer thick rather than thin slices.
  3. Soak gobou chips in lukewarm water for about 5 minutes.
  4. Drain.
  5. Crush the chicken stock into powder with your fingers, then mix the powder with the gobou slices. Rub together to homogenize.
  6. Powder the flour over the gobou and mix them well.
  7. Heat the oil and fry the gobou about 5 minutes.
  8. When it browns take it on the newspaper to absorb excess oil.
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4 Responses

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  1. Neko Tonegawa said, on October 7, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    I am mexican, and I live in Mexico City. I love cooking, and I love japanese food. I have many mexican friends who like Japanese cooking. So I want to ask you for permission
    to put some of your nice recipes in my blog and translate them to spanish.

    • kanako said, on October 11, 2010 at 9:54 pm

      Dale, Neko
      no hay ningún problema.

  2. Jenn said, on January 12, 2011 at 9:50 am


    Have missed new recipes from you! I still check the website often…..please come back when you have time to update on some new recipes for your followers!

    On a side note, I have been enjoying your articles on menism!


  3. miruna ama said, on February 17, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    foarte frumoase retete,si interesante.

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