Kinpira is a "sauté and simmer" Japanese traditional cooking style, used to prepare a quick side dish. Common base ingredients are crunchy root vegetables such as carrots, burdock roots, and lotus roots. You can also add vegetables such as mushrooms and broccoli, seaweeds, and other ingredients such as tofu or meats, to name just a few.
This recipe is a typical Japanese home-cooked kinpira, with a few simple ingredients. All you need is sesame oil, sesame seeds, chili peppers, soy sauce, sake or white wine, and some root vegetables. I am using carrots, lotus roots, and gobo (burdock roots), which you can find fresh at Asian markets, natural food stores, and farmers' markets. If you prefer, you can substitute them with different ingredients, such as turnips, asparagus, or even potatoes.
Ingredients (2 servings)
- Burdock roots: 100g
- Carrots: 50g
- Lotus roots: 50g
- Sesame oil: 1 tablespoon
- Roasted white sesame: Moderate amount.
- Chili peppers: Moderate amount. You can substitute this with Japanese Shichimi seasoning for more flavor.
- Sake or white wine for cooking: 3 tablespoons
- Soy sauce: 2 tablespoons
- Sugar (any kind): 1 tablespoon
How to prepare
- Scrape off the skin of the burdock roots. Cut into 4-5 cm (about 2 inches) strips.
- Peel the carrots and slice them thinly. Cut into thin strips the size of match sticks.
- Peel and rinse the lotus root. Cut it down the middle and slice into 5-6 mm thick (1/4 inch) half-moon shapes.
- Heat the sesame oil in a frying pan. Add the veggies and sauté over high heat till they become tender.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a quick boil.
- Serve in a bowl topped off with a sprinkle of white sesame seeds.