Kinpira Gobo (Spicy Japanese Burdock Root Stirfry)
1 burdock root (about 1 meter)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons mirin (if you don't have mirin, combine equal amounts of sugar and rice wine vinegar)
1 teaspoon chili oil (aka layu) -OR- 1 chopped chili pepper
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon sake (optional but recommended)
3 tablespoons hulled sesame seeds
First thing's first, prepare the burdock root. (40 minutes)
- SCRUB and wash the burdock root with a vegetable/tooth brush until it's free of dirt and stray roots.
- Section burdock root into 2-inch portions.
- Julienne each section into thin match sticks.
- Soak burdock in a bowl of water for 10 minutes to get rid of the harsh bitter taste.
- Replace water and repeat twice more if you don't want it to taste like raw potato. (The water should end up super dark with a red tint).
While the burdock is detoxing, prepare everything else. (5 minutes)
- Scrub and cut the carrot to look like the burdock matchsticks.
- Mix the soy sauce, mirin, and chili oil/pepper. This is the sauce.
Now, cook everything! (10 minutes)
- Heat a large pan over high heat and coat with sesame oil.
- Test the temperature by flicking some water in the oil. If the water jumps out/makes POPPING noises (not sizzling), then it's ready.
- Add the burdock root and coat with the oil that's in the pan.
- When the burdock looks like it's starting cook (about 30 seconds), add the carrots and toss around in pan.
- Pour in the soy/mirin/chili sauce and coat.
- Pour in sake, lower heat, and cover with lid.
- Once everything's cooked, toss in some sesame seeds and it's done!
Serve with brown rice and fresh vegetables.