How to Make Carrot & Burdock Kinpira

Hey macro-friends ♥

I made a new dish---new to me, that is. Actually, I've been meaning to make it for years! I've tasted it before in Japan, eating out or from the supermarket. But I haven't ever actually made it myself. I suppose it was the call of my fresh supply of burdock that finally beckoned me to put on my creative pants and step into the "new dish" zone. 

In any case, it's about time that I tried a kinpira dish. According to wikipedia, "kinpira is a cooking style that can be summarized as a technique of "sauté and simmer". 

That works for me.

Carrot & Burdock Kinpira

Step 1: Shave the burdock --- just like you would do to sharpen a pencil with a knife. I didn't really measure, but used about 1 whole long burdock.

Step 2: Cut carrots into matchsticks.

To do this, you start by slicing thin diagonals, then stack a few on top of each other, and slice into skinny rectangles, or "matchsticks". I used 3 large carrots. Basically from all the various recipes I have seen, usually carrot & burdock are in equal proportion (so for example, 2 cups of each).

Step 3: Sauté the burdock in a bit of toasted sesame oil for about 3 minutes until some of the liquid starts coming out. I used 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil, and stirred the burdock aroundquite often.

Step 4:  Layer in the carrots on top of the burdock, & add a very tiny sprinkle of sea salt, and
sauté another few minutes, no stirring this time.

Step 5: Add just enough water to cover the bottom of the sauté pan.

Step 6: Cover, and simmer on low heat for anywhere between 15-40 minutes depending on how soft you want the veggies, and which veggies you use. I simmered for about 15 minutes, but I checked to make sure there was still some liquid coming out so the pan wouldn't burn. You can add a tiny bit more water as needed, if you prefer to cook it a bit longer and all the liquid is gone.

Step 7: Add in tamari or shoyu to taste, simmer for 3 more minutes. I did 1.5 tsp of tamari.

Step 8: Garnish with a few toasted sesame seeds (optional). Serve.


We enjoyed this dish with freshly cooked rice, and some steamed greens to balance out all the concentrated yang energy of salt & root veggies. Overall, a very satisfying dish!

*There are many variations on this dish, some recipes call for matchstick cutting both veggies. others use entirely different veggie combinations. They all look really great to me.

UPDATE: As of right now, October 2015, this dish has become a regular. I've made it with turnips, and also with daikon, in place of burdock for a few different variations. Lately I have been cutting both kinds of veggies into matchsticks, rather than shaving the burdock. Both styles work equally as well. :)

Have you tried kinpira before? What is your favourite method, or which veggies are your favourite to use?