Burdock “gobo” beef roll 牛蒡の牛肉巻き

japanese cake

When I made sukiyaki 鋤焼, I used a portion of the sukiyaki beef to make this dish. This type of roll is very common in Japanese cooking and they are popular in izakaya as well as side dishes in a bento box. This time I used gobo and carrot in the center and seasoned it in a teriyaki style.  I could have used asparagus, green beans, scallion (famous “negimaki” 葱巻き) or other vegetables by themselves or in combination. This dish can also be made with chicken or pork as well (pound it thin). Other options are to season it with a miso-based sauce or breading it to deep fry. My version is a relatively healthy drinking snack.

To make this dish I prepared the vegetables ahead of time (1 day before) which makes this dish quicker and easier.

Vegetables: I scraped the skin off the gobo with the back of my knife and cut it into small batons (2-3 inches long and 1/3 inch thick). I soaked it in acidulated water for 10-15 minutes with several changes of water. I cut the carrot in the same shape and size. I cooked the gobo and carrot together in salted water for 15-20 minutes and then drained. I let them cool.

Meat: I used the kind of very thinly sliced beef used for sukiyaki. If this is not available, you may have to pound the beef into very thin pieces.

Assembly: I spread out one sheet of beef and dusted it lightly with flour. I placed 3 gobo and 3 carrot sticks on the near end (#1) of the meat and started rolling as tightly as possible (#2). I also dusted the outer surface of the rolls with flour as well (#3). I made a total of 6 rolls.

In a frying pan, I added vegetable oil (2 tbs) on a medium flame. I browned the surface of the rolls (#4) starting from the seam side. You have to make sure all the surfaces are browned by turning the rolls 90 degrees after browning one side. I then added sake (1 tbs), mirin (1 tbs) and soy sauce (2 tbs) (#5).( Be careful about flare-ups). I shook the pan and turned the rolls so that all the surface was coated with the sauce. After 4-5 minutes, the sauce reduced and caramelized (#6). I made sure all the roll surfaces were evenly coated.

Here is the cut surface.

I cut the roll into 4 pieces and served.  It was nice eating this hot but this also tastes great at room temperature or even cold. The gobo has a nice crunchy consistency and all the flavors are very nice. After wolfing down the roll I served as a starter dish, my wife asked why I was being so stingy only serving one roll per person as a teaser. I told her that more dishes were coming and we did not want to fill up with this one dish. After a pause she said that was OK because the remaining rolls would only taste better the next day after the flavors had more time to meld…and she was correct. This dish will go with any drink perhaps a good sturdy Cabernet but we are partial to cold sake here.

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