I swear that I posted this recipe before.... but I guess not. Anyway, this is one of those basic recipes that Mom made. Kinpira is the name of a famous Mythical Hero. According to Shizuo Tsuji's Japanese Cooking: a Simple Art, this dish is supposed to be strong and dashing, like Kinpira, thus the addition of some heat in this style of cooking. By the way, for all those who really want to know the "meat and bones" of traditional Japanese cooking, I highly recommend Shizuo Tsuji's book. Heck, even my Mom had a copy of it when it was originally published.... and I don't even know how she got her hands on it.
"Kinpira" in Japanese cooking terms is basically a modified stir-fry of sorts using root vegetables. Though Gobo (burdock root) is probably the most popular, I've seen Lotus Root, Carrot, and even potato used for Kinpira. "Foodhoe" has a delicious looking recipe for Kinpira Parsnips that is worth checking out.
I was really pleased with the Gobo available around New Years. It was lighter in color, moist enough that it wasn't cracked, and almost had a mild sweetness to it. So along with the Gomoku Takikomi Gohan, I decided to make Kinpira Gobo. This time around I used one of those hot red chilies you find in the frozen section of Vietnamese Markets, and it packed a pretty good punch. The Missus said it was the best version of this I've ever made..... so now the pressure's on to do it again I guess!
Anyway, this is fairly easy, some recipes will tell you to blanch or parboil the gobo, but I find it kills the nice earthy flavor. I prefer to cook the gobo for a longer period of time. Gobo is supposed to be chock full of phosphorus and calcium, and of course fiber.... lots of fiber!
1 medium stalk of Gobo(burdock root)
1 medium Carrot
1 red chili pepper (optional)
2 Tb Canola or Vegetable Oil
2-3 Tb Shoyu
1 Tb Sugar
2 Tb Sake
1 Tb Mirin
Dash of Sesame Oil(optional)
Shichimi Togarashi to taste
- Scrape the skin off the gobo, and julienne. Keep the gobo in cold water so it will not discolor.
- Peel carrot and julienne.
- Slice red pepper in half and remove seeds. Cut thinly crosswise.
- Heat wok or saute pan over medium heat. Add oil to coat. Add chili and increase heat until chili just starts to sizzle.
- Add gobo and stir-fry until gobo starts to soften. Depending on the gobo, anywhere from two to three.
- Add carrots and stir fry briefly for about 1 minute.
- Add sake, mirin, and sugar, and stir fry.
- Add two tablespoons of shoyu, reduce heat and let liquid reduce.
- Taste and adjust seasoning. Add shichimi togarashi.
- Cook until liquid is almost gone. Remove from heat and add a dash of sesame oil if desired.
- Let cool to room temperature.
- Serve topped with sesame seeds.