While the plant is easy to grow, the tubers are small, convoluted, and indented, so they are considered very tedious and difficult to clean properly. The thin skin ranges from a pale beige to ivory-white colour. The flesh underneath, under proper cultivation, is white and tender. Chinese poets compare it to jade beads. The tubers are harvested in the fall season in the Northern hemisphere.
The flavor of the stem tubers is delicate, and they can be prepared similarly to Jerusalem artichokes in cooking. It is used as a vegetable, in salad compositions, but more so as a garnish. It has a nutty flavor.
In Chinese and Japanese cuisine, the Chinese artichoke is primarily pickled. In particular, its tuber is a part of Osechi, cooked for celebrating Japanese New Year. Dyed red by leaves of red shiso after being pickled, it is called chorogi.
In French cuisine, its cooked tuber is often served alongside dishes named japonaise or Japanese-styled.