Sauteed Bellflower Root - Doraji Namul Recipe

Garlic bulbs and cloves
Ana Pelaez/Moment/Getty Images
  • 20 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins,
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings

This crunchy, chewy white root is a staple Korean vegetable that you might see as a side dish (banchan) or in your bowl of mixed rice (bibimbap). You can also make a spicy version of this with Korean chili pepper powder (kochugaru), but this is the simpler way to prepare this - with a lighter touch.

What You'll Need

  • 8 oz dried bellflower/balloon flower roots
  • 2 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoon sea salt
  • sesame salt, to taste

How to Make It

  1. Soak dried doraji/bellflower roots overnight in warm water to reconstitute.
  2. Using a small sharp knife or a toothpick, pierce the stalk in half and tear or cut in half.
  3. Cut the stalk into quarters.
  4. Cover the thinly cut roots with coarse salt and let stand for 10 minutes.
  5. Rinse with water and drain.
  6. Bring a pot of water to boil and quickly blanch the roots. (Dunk them quickly and remove).
  7. Drain the roots and squeeze to remove any remaining water.
  1. Heat up a frying pan over medium heat with the vegetable oil.
  2. Add the bellflower roots to the pan and add garlic, sesame oil, salt, and a dash of sesame salt.
  3. Saute for a few minutes, stirring to combine with seasonings.

Some Information about the Bellflower Root:

"Platycodon grandiflorus (from Greek "πλατυκώδων," meaning a broad bell) is a species of herbaceous flowering perennial plant of the family Campanulaceae and the only member of its genus. It is native to East Asia (China, Korea, Japan and East Siberia). This species is known as platycodon.

Depending upon the region, it is also referred to as the Korean Bellflower, Chinese Bellflower, Japanese Bellflower, common balloon flower, or balloon flower (referring to the balloon-shaped flower buds).

In Korea, the plant is known as doraji (도라지) and its root, either dried or fresh, is a popular ingredient in salads and traditional cuisine. The Chinese bellflower is also used in traditional Chinese medicine.

The extracts and purified platycoside compounds (saponins) from the roots of Platycodon grandiflorum may exhibit neuroprotective, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-allergy, improved insulin resistance, and cholesterol-lowering properties. 

Evidence for these potential effects was mainly observed in vitro, with the exception of cholesterol lowering effects documented in vitro and rats. The lack of efficacy and limited safety data in humans, however, necessitates further research.

In Korea, the roots are commonly used for treating bronchitis, asthma, tuberculosis, diabetes, and other inflammatory diseases.

In China, they are used as a cough suppressant and expectorant for common colds, cough, sore throat, tonsillitis, and chest congestion."

Source: Wikipedia

From Our Taoism Expert:

In the Chinese Herbal Materia Medica, Jie Geng (Bellflower root) belongs to a category of herbs that transform phlegm and stops a cough.

Taste: bitter, acrid
Temperature: Neutral
Channels Entered: Lung


  1. Opens up and disseminates the Lung qi, expels phlegm.
  2. Promotes the discharge of pus.
  3. Benefits the throat.
  4. Raises the qi and the actions of the other herbs to the upper body.