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Friday, September 6, 2013

Japanese Braised Carrot and Burdock Root (Kinpira-gobo) Recipe

Kinpira gobo (きんぴらごぼう) is a typical Japanese side dish one often sees served at the table or in bento lunch boxes. The main ingredient, burdock root is a long skinny root vegetable growing over 3 feet long and less than an inch around. It's a good source of dietary fiber. It's crisp and has a mild, sweet, and slightly pungent taste. The crunchy burdock and carrot compliment one another nicely and is slightly sweet. It's often serves with cut red pepper rounds, but is serving children you can skip this step.

Burdock is also used as a folk remedy. It's a diuretic and is said to cleanse the blood. Eating gobo seeds is recommended by doctors to help women lactate. Recently drinking burdock tea has become popular. After peeling, dry the root skins in the sun and steep them in hot water. The tea is said to have anti-aging effects and creates beautiful skin.

Serves 4

  • 1 burdock root
  • 1/2 carrot
  • 1 red pepper (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp. seasame oil
  • 4 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2  Tbsp. mirin(sweet cooking sake)
  • white sesame seeds
  1. Peel the burdock root with a peeler or the back of a kitchen knife. Cut into julienne strips about 2 inches(5cm) long.
  2. Immediately blanch the gobo strips in a bowl of water with a dash of vinegar.
  3. Peel and cut the carrot into strips the same size as the gobo.
  4. Heat some sesame oil in a pan and fry the carrots and gobo lightly.
  5. When softened, add the mirin, soy sauce, and sugar. Turn down the heat and cook slowly.
  6. Serve in a small dish and garnish with circles of diced red pepper (if desired) and sprinkle white sesame over the top.

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