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Stir-fried Burdock Root and Carrot (Gobo Kinpira)

February 5, 2012

Burdock Root and Carrot Kinpira

When I was growing up, my mom discovered wild burdock root (gobo) growing in the back yard of our small apartment building. It was a strange-looking, gnarly root with strong, earthy smell. She would clean it, chop it up and make this kinpira dish. The combination of burdock root and carrot in this sweet, soy and sesame sauce is irresistible. The flavors mellow out, but the burdock root remains earthy and distinct. I like to peel my burdock root, but others recommend scraping the skin off with a knife, keeping most of the skin and flavors intact. Either way is fine; just make sure to put burdock root in water right after cutting it, to prevent discoloration.

Ingredients for gobo kinpira: gobo, carrot, mirin, sesame oil, soy sauce, sugar, sesame seeds, and oil.

Toast sesame seeds in a heated pan.

Place sesame seeds in a dish to cool.

Wash burdock root thoroughly.

I peel my the root, but you can also scrape it off with a knife.

Cut the root into 2-inch sections.

Slice into thin sections lengthwise.

Now cut the root into "matchsticks"

Put the burdock root into water right away to prevent discoloration.

Drain burdock root and dry off with paper.

Peel and cut carrots the same way as the burdock root.

Cut carrots into sections.

Cut into matchsticks.

Heat oil in pan.

Add burdock root and fry for 10 minutes.

Add carrots and fry for a few minutes.

Add soy sauce.

Add sugar.

Add mirin

Add sesame oil.

Add sesame seeds and stir for one more minute. Serve.

Stir-fried Burdock Root and Carrot (Gobo Kinpira)

Serves 4 as a side dish

For the vegetables

6 ounces burdock root (10-12 inches long)

6 ounces carrot (1 large)

For the sauce

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon soy sauce

½ tablespoon mirin

1 teaspoon sugar

2 teaspoons sesame oil

1 teaspoon black sesame seeds, toasted


3 teaspoons oil for the pan

1. To toast black sesame seeds, place them in a heated pan on medium-low. Toast them for about 1 minute, swirling the pan all the time. Just as you begin to smell them, immediately put them into a dish to cool. It’s important not to overheat sesame seeds or they will be bitter.

2. Prepare the vegetables by washing them with cold water. Scrub the burdock root to get all the dirt off. Peel the burdock root and cut them into 2-inch sections cross-wise; then cut them lengthwise into thin pieces. Take these pieces and cut them into matchsticks. Once cut, place the burdock root into a bowl of cold water to prevent discoloration. Peel the carrot and cut it into 2-inch matchsticks in the same way as the burdock root. You do not need to place the carrots in water. Drain the burdock root and wipe away excess water with a paper towel.

3. Heat oil in a 10-inch skillet on medium-high heat. Put the burdock root in the pan and fry in the oil, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium. Add the carrots and continue to fry for 3 more minutes. Add the soy sauce, mirin and sugar. Stir together to coat and absorb the flavors, another 3 minutes. Finally, add the sesame oil and sesame seeds and stir to coat, about one more minute. Serve warm or at room temperature on small plates.

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From → Recipes, Vegetables

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