Updated: Sep 28, 2021
Here's another dish to give your body a nutritional boost - simmered burdock and carrot, which in Japan, is called "kinpira gobo." Kinpira can be translated as the cooking technique of "saute + simmer". Gobo is the Japanese name for burdock root, which in the UK is best known as one half of the cordial, dandelion & burdock. Burdock is native to northern Europe and East Asia so it's no surprise that it has a long history in the food culture of Japan and the UK - (having such a long history, burdock also sports some wonderfully whacky alternative names - Gobo root, Beggar's Buttons, Thorny Burr, Happy Major - take your pick!) The burdock root certainly has a lot going for it nutritionally - it's a good source of Vitamin c, magnesium and manganese and, apparently, full of anti-oxidants. Burdock root is also a diuretic, so if you ever need a little help moving things along digestively, you know what to call on.
I grow burdock in my garden every year, or to be more precise, the burdock grows itself without almost no help from me! So look out for more recipes. Alternatively, a lot of Chinese stores sell burdock root and it's available online. Anyway, back to this recipe - Kinpira Gobo is easy to prepare and makes a very healthy side dish - serve with rice and a soup and you have a super-healthy, immune system boosting lunch or supper. I paired the gobo with carrot here but you can use other vegetables such as carrot, lotus root or potato. I also use chillis to add a little heat to the flavour so you can experiment with more or less chilli depending on how much heat you want to put into the dish. Personally, I like to keep the heat quite low so as not to overpower the subtle, nutty flavour of the burdock root - but that's just me.
You can find the written recipe for this dish is just below and the Youtube tutorial by clicking Kinpira Gobo or scroll to the bottom of the page.
Happy simmering! Kurumi XXXX.
For an alternative "Kinpira" style dish, you could try my Carrot and Celery Kinpira.
(makes 2 portions)
200g gobo (burdock)
1.5 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp mirin
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp dried red chilli
1 tsp toasted sesame for garnish
pare the skin off the gobo with the back of your knife, then slice it diagonally
cut the gobo into matchsticks ( 5 - 6cm length) then soak in a bowl of water for 10 mins
peel & slice the carrot diagonally, then shred into matchsticks (5 - 6cm length)
heat the sesame oil in a frying pan, add the gobo and stir fry for 30 secs
add the carrot & stir fry for another 1 min
add the water, mirin, soy sauce & chilli, then simmer for 5 mins with the lid on
stir for another 5-10 mins without the lid or until the liquid has almost evaporated
your kinpira gobo is ready to serve. pair with miso soup and rice