Kinpira Gobou: Braised Burdock Root with Carrots
Look it up on Wikipedia and it will tell you that gobou is “the taproot of young burdock plants”. I’m not sure what that means either, I just know that gobou has a distinctive, very deep and totally winning taste that makes it a mainstay of Japanese cooking.
Kinpira gobou is the most typical way of serving gobou, a quick and easy stir fry that’s one of Japan’s favorite side dishes.
In Montreal you can find gobou at Épicerie Coréene et Japonaise, or in most asian grocery shops in Chinatown or beyond.
Ingredients (for two)
- 60cm-long gobou – choose a slender gobou, the thicker ones are less tasty.
- One carrot
- Sesame oil (one table spoon)
- Sake (two tea spoons)
- Sugar (one table spoon)
- Soy sauce (One table spoon)
- Dried hot peppers (a tiny little bit)
- Sesame seeds (optional)
- Shave off the skin of the gobou with the sharp end of a knife
- Rinse gobou with cold water
- Cut the gobou into chips with a knife by shaving it as though you were sharpening a pencil (Japanese people call this technique “sasagaki”).
- Soak gobou chips in lukewarm water
- Peel carrot and cut into 5-10 cm. long sections
- Slice each section longitudinally
- Slice again, as thin as possible into little strips, 5-10 cm. long
- Chop dryed hot peppers
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- Heat one table-spoon of sesame oil in a large pan until very hot (but not smoking)
- Drain gobou and add to pan
- Stir fry until it begins to wilt (two minutes or so)
- Add carrots, stir fry for one minute
- Turn down heat to medium and keep stirring
- Add two tea spoons sake, one tables poon sugar, one table spoon soy sauce and that tiny pinch of dried hot pepper.
- Keep stirring until the liquid is almost completely absorbed (If needed, add more soy sauce)
- Optional: Decorate with sesame seeds
- Serve warm as a side dish
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Tonight, my husband and I had kinpira gobou as a sidedish in a dinner with Sole soup, rice and stir-fried chicory.