Kinpira Gobo is braised burdock root and carrot in a sweet and salty sauce. This is another mom’s home cooking kind of dish rather than restaurant food. The name Kinpira comes from legendary muscleman, and that shows how nutritious the dish really is. Kinpira Gobo is a great side dish you can make ahead. These strongly seasoned vegetables can be kept in the fridge up to a week. It’s perfect for lunch and busy weekday dinners when you want one more thing for the menu.
Gobo is burdock root and a very popular vegetable in Japan. It is hard and looks like a tree root, but it gets quite soft when cooked and then it has a mild but distinct flavor. Though Gobo doesn’t contain very many vitamins, it has a lot of fiber and minerals. There may be a detox effect on you if you eat regularly. Gobo can be used in Nimono (boiled and seasoned vegetables), Miso Soup, salads, and many many more dishes. It is often cut Sasagaki (between shaved and sliced) with a knife or vegetable peeler, like when you sharpen your pencils with knife (nobody does that today!?).
Here we simply used Gobo and carrot, and try to recreate a typical Kinpira, which is hard to do because everyone likes his own mom’s Kinpira. While Gobo and carrot are the main ingredients, you could add things like Konnyaku, lotus root, and even meat like beef or chicken. You can also spice up the dish with thinly sliced dried red chili pepper. Some people sweeten more, and others may not use much sugar at all. It just totally depends on each home. Adjust the seasonings and ingredients to your liking, and make your own Kinpira Gobo for yourself!
- 1 Gobo (burdock root), Sasagaki cut
- 1 carrot, thinly cut
- 1 Tbsp oil
- 1/4 C Dashi (or water)
- 2 1/2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp Sake
- 1 Tbsp Mirin
- 1 Tbsp sesame seeds
- Shichimi Togarashi (red hot pepper)
- Cut vegetables thinly. Let the Gobo pieces soak in water as you cut to remove the Gobo's harshness. Leave for 5-10 minutes if you have time, and strain.
- Put oil in a frying pan and heat at medium high heat. Cook the Gobo for a minute or two, and add carrot and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes. Add Dashi, soy sauce, sugar, Sake, and Mirin, and cook until the liquid is almost all gone.
- Add sesame seeds and stir. Serve with Shichimi pepper.