Kinpira Gobo is braised burdock root, sautéed, and then kind of steam pan fried in sake, mirin and soy sauce. It is a Japanese home cooking staple dish. It can be kept in the fridge and is great to add extra veggies to any meal to make it healthier.
What is Kinpira Gobo?
Kinpira gobo is braised burdock root. Kinpira is usually referred to as a way of cooking vegetables. It is when something is sauteed and simmered or braised in sake, mirin and soy sauce base sauce. Burdock is Gobo in Japanese. So Kinpira gobo is braised burdock roots.
Gobo is commonly used for making Kinpira. Other popular and suitable vegetables are carrots, Renkon lotus roots, and capsicums. I can not get fresh gobo burdock root in Australia. I have used parsnips before to make Kinpira because it is a root vegetable. I reckon any root vegetables or any crunchy vegetables are great for making Kinpira.
Where do you buy burdock?
In Japan, you can buy fresh burdock from any supermarkets but I have never seen fresh burdock in Australia so far. In Australia, only ready-to-use frozen burdock is available from Japanese or Asian grocery stores. I have been waiting for the opportunity to cook and take photo of authentic and delicious Kinpira Gobo that I can make from fresh Gobo in Japan.
How to prepare burdock?
Gobo burdock has astringent taste so to remove the taste but keep the gobo natural flavour, I recommend to just wash off the soil and clean with a Japanese style scrubbing brush called “Tawashi”
(that you can see it in the photo). Keep the skin of the burdock on. I don’t peel the skin for making Kinpira Gobo. Slice the gobo diagonally then cut it to make match sticks like shape. Soak them in a bowl of water with a little bit of vinegar for about 15 minutes to remove the astringency of Gobo burdock root.
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- 2 burdock
- 1 tbs vege oil
- 2 tbs Sake
- 1 tbs mirin
- 2 tbs sugar
- 1 tbs soy sauce
- 1 chili Takanotsume
Wash gobo with tawashi
Cut gobo diagonally and then cut into match stick shapes.
Put them in a bowl of water with 1tsp of vinegar to take the bitter taste off. But no longer than 5 minutes in order to avoid losing the Gobo flavour.
Heat oil in a frying pan till smoke comes up slightly.
Toss the well-drained burdock into the frying pan.
Sautee the burdock for a few minutes and add sake to steam fry the burdock.
Add the mirin, sugar, and soy sauce.
Add the chili flakes and stir all together.
Cook till sauce has reduced and thickened.
Serve in a large bowl or serve in a small bowl individually.
Just wash off soil. Peeling is unnecessary as it remove Gobo flavour as well.
I like sweet Kinpira so I add plenty of sugar but if you like savoury flavour, reduce the amount of sugar. Sugar can be replaced with rice malt syrup, maple syrup and honey.
If you like more spiciness, add more chilli or sprinkle like shichimi or ichimi togarashi. Ichimi is Japanese chilli powder, and shichimi is seven spice mixed chilli powder.
Any meat can be add such as thinly sliced beef, pork and chicken etc.