Kinpira is a simple Japanese side dish of sautéed and braised vegetables. Served warm or at room temperature, the recipe is named after an ancient Japanese folk hero, and the slight hit of chilli is supposed to be reminiscent of his strength in battle. Although burdock root is the most popular form of kinpira, carrots, lotus roots and other vegetables are also used, either alone or in combination.

Serves
4

Preparation

10min

Cooking

15min

Skill level

Mid
By
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Ingredients

  • 1 burdock root (goubo)
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 dried red chilli, sliced
  • ½ tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds

Kinpira braising stock

  • 60 ml (¼ cup) water
  • 2 tbsp sake
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sugar

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.

Instructions

Standing time 10 minutes

Cooling time 1 hour

To prepare the burdock root, rinse under running water to remove any dirt. With the back of a knife, scrape the skin of the burdock to remove some of the tough outer layers. Do not completely peel the burdock, as the skin contains a lot of its flavour. Make one or two cuts lengthways into the thick end of the burdock root and, over a large bowl of acidulated water (water with a splash of lemon juice or vinegar added), shave the burdock into small strips. The action is like whittling, or sharpening a pencil. Allow the burdock to stand in the acidulated water for about 10 minutes or until the water turns golden brown. Strain the burdock well.

Heat the vegetable oil in a wide saucepan or frying pan. Cook the burdock for 2-3 minutes.

Combine the kinpira braising stock ingredients and add to the burdock. Add the chilli. Bring to a simmer, and simmer for 10 minutes or until the liquid is completely evaporated. Transfer to a plate or bowl and allow to cool to room temperature. To serve, drizzle over a little sesame oil and scatter with sesame seeds.