Gobo in Pork Bone Soup

Soup Name: Gobo in Pork Bone Soup

Traditional Chinese Name: 清牛蒡豬骨湯 (qīng niúbàng zhū gǔ tāng)


A naturally sweet and delicious soup with minimal ingredients.  It is a neutral soup that has many benefits (see below) and is very easy to make.


1 pound of fresh pork bones
6-7 gobo or greater burdock roots (each approximately 1″ in length)
4 honey dates
4-5 dried scallops (conpoys)

2-3 L of water

How do I prepare it

  1. Blanch fresh pork bones in a pot of boiling water
  2. Boil your soup water
  3. Wash, peel and cut gobo into edible sizes
  4. Rinse honey dates and dried scallops in warm water
  5. Once soup water boils, add all the ingredients together
  6. Boil on high for 30 minutes, reduce to a simmer for another 1 hour
  7. Serve and enjoy!

Any benefits?

  • High amounts of calcium, potassium, iron and amino acids
  • Soup helps promote bowel movements and urination to eliminate toxins
  • Helps reduce blood sugar, fat and blood pressure

Any precautions?

  • Ensure gobo is purchased from a reputable source

Gobo Root or Greater Burdock

Ingredient Name: Gobo root, Gobo, Greater burdock, Edible burdock

Traditional Chinese Name: 牛蒡 (niúbàng)

What is this?
  • The root of a of the greater burdock plant family that is mainly cultivated for its root and is considered a vegetable
  • The roots are brown and roughly 1-2 inches in diameter and can grow up to 1 meter in length
  • It has a white, slightly brown flesh that is crunchy in texture
  • Most commonly found in Japanese cuisine and specifically in Chinese medicine
  • It is sweet to taste and adds a wonderful flavor to soups
  • Can be used fried, raw, processed or made into a drink

How do I prepare it?

  • Rinse the roots in warm water and peel off skin prior to usage
  • would suggest to soak in warm water for 10-15 minutes to remove the muddy harshness flavor associated with the root
  • Cut into large bite-sizes for soups and consumption

Where can I buy this?

  • Available in most Asian supermarkets

What is the cost?

  • 5-6 foot long pieces cost around $5 CAD

Any benefits?

  • High in dietary fiber and low in calories and fat
  • Contains high amounts of calcium, potassium, iron and amino acids
  • As a Chinese medicine, it has a diuretic effect and promotes bowel movements
  • It is also effective in removing wind heat from the body as well as phlegm
  • Helps to reduce blood sugar, blood fat and blood pressure

Any precautions?

  • Some burdocks resemble another plant called nightshade and contamination may occur
  • Be sure to buy burdocks from a reputable source

Any additional information?

  • Store in a cool, dry place
  • Can store up to 5 days in a refrigerated environment


  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greater_burdock