Kanako's Kitchen

Kinpira Gobou: Braised Burdock Root with Carrots

Posted in Recipe, side dish, today's meal by Kanako Noda on October 12, 2009

kinpira-gobouLook 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.

gobouIngredients (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

clean gobou sasagaki gobou under water

cut carrot dryed hot pepper

click to enlarge


  1. Heat one table-spoon of sesame oil in a large pan until very hot (but not smoking)
  2. Drain gobou and add to pan
  3. Stir fry until it begins to wilt (two minutes or so)
  4. Add carrots, stir fry for one minute
  5. Turn down heat to medium and keep stirring
  6. Add two tea spoons sake, one tables poon sugar, one table spoon soy sauce and that tiny pinch of dried hot pepper.
  7. Keep stirring until the liquid is almost completely absorbed (If needed, add more soy sauce)
  8. Optional: Decorate with sesame seeds
  9. Serve warm as a side dish

add in gobou cook gobou cook gobou and carrot

add sauce and cook

click to enlarge

Tonight, my husband and I had kinpira gobou as a sidedish in a dinner with Sole soup, rice and stir-fried chicory.

cena 12 octItadakimasu!

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9 Responses

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  1. Juan Cristobal said, on October 16, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    Kanako –
    I want to make this exact meal but I can’t find the recipe for sole soup nor for stir-fried chicory on the blog. What am I missing? Estoy “rosuto”.

  2. caracaschronicles said, on October 16, 2009 at 7:17 pm


    See, this is exactly why we haven’t started publicizing the blog more widely yet: we just started, so a lot of recipes aren’t up on yet.

    Between you and me, the stir-fried chickory didn’t really turn out that good – so we kind of flushed the recipe and thought we’d try again.

    For now, the only full meal recipe we have recipes for is today’s lunch: boiled greens, miso soup with pumpkin (which was DELICIOUS) and savory rice.

    I foresee a baffling visit to the local Asian store in your future!


  3. Juan Cristobal said, on October 19, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    Baffling it was! I went there with a loong recipe list, but after half an hour I was kind of frustrated from not understanding nor finding the ingredients, that I focused on the Kinpira Gobou. I decided to make that and it was good! Very easy to make, and certainly different.

    I have to say, the gobou was a little stringy/crunchy, I wonder if I should let it soak a little longer (I left it in the lukewarm water about 10 minutes). Also, I ended up buying dried Japanese *pepper* instead of dried Japanese *peppers*, which I ended up not using anyway. I used Chilean merken instead,
    and it was tasty!

    Next time, I won’t be bashful and ask for help.

    • nodako said, on October 19, 2009 at 6:29 pm

      Hi, Juan
      I’m very happy you enjoyed Kinpiragobou.
      I think gobou was stringy probably because it wasn’t fresh enough, and it was crunchy because you put gobou under water for long enough (it’s supposed to be like that). But if you don’t like the crunchiness, you can just slice it instead of shaving it as though you were sharpening a pencil (sasagaki).
      And if you bought Japanese *pepper* (I imagine it’s Sansyo, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sichuan_pepper), don’t worry. We are planning a spectacular dish that uses it: Kyoto-style Oyakodon. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oyakodon

  4. Juan said, on October 29, 2009 at 8:37 am

    Thanks Kanako. I’m already planning the weekend’s lunch menu. The carrot, green beans and mayo recipe looks easy, so I think I’m gonna go there. But I’ll mix with something a bit more challenging.

    • kanako said, on October 29, 2009 at 9:04 am

      Hi Juan,
      The carrot, green beans and mayo recipe is really easy! Venezuelans loved it.

  5. Joe Carson said, on November 7, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    Hi – I don’t comment on many sites but had to on yours. It’s fantastic! I really like how you write – very to the point, unlike a lot of other blogs. Thanks for having this site. I don’t have time to read it all right now, I found this site when looking for something else on ask.com, but I’ve bookmarked your homepage and will visit again soon. Please bookmark my recipe web site at http://www.KAChef.com. Keep up the great work!

    • kanako said, on November 8, 2009 at 4:30 pm

      Hi Joe,
      I’m happy you liked my blog.
      I think it’s important to present a little bit about Japanese cooking and culinary culture before explaining each recipe. If not, it’s difficult to imagine what kind of food you’re facing, what role it should play in the meal, or what it’s all about.

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