Kinpira gobo is a classic Japanese side dish made with braised burdock root and carrots. It’s crunchy, salty, and ready in just 10 minutes!
What is it?
Kinpira gobo is a quintessential dish of Japanese home cooking. Kinpira is a Japanese style of cooking in which sliced vegetables are first sautéed in oil then simmered in a mixture of sugar and soy sauce. It’s most commonly made with burdock root (known as gobo in Japanese) and carrots, and you may also find kinpira renkon (lotus root). It’s a super simple dish but so delicious paired with rice and a (vegan) main!
What’s in it
This kinpira gobo requires 9 basic Japanese ingredients:
- soy sauce (use tamari for gluten-free)
- sugar or sweetener of choice
- toasted sesame seeds
- sesame oil
- red pepper flakes
- burdock root (gobo)
Tips & Tricks
If you’re new to gobo, there are a couple quick tips to know before cooking with it.
- the skin is edible but very dirty, so either scrub well with a brush or peel the skin
- after cutting the gobo, soak in water to remove the bitterness
For kinpira gobo, also keep these tips in mind:
- use more gobo than carrot, since gobo is the star here and soaks up the flavor well
- add a pinch (or more depending on preference) of red pepper flakes while sautéing — the spice really enhances the flavor!
- add more soy sauce if you want it saltier
Check out these other tasty Japanese side dishes!
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Kinpira Gobo | きんぴらごぼう
- ½ pound gobo (burdock root)
- 2 small carrots
- 2 tbsp soy sauce (use tamari for gluten-free)
- 1 tbsp sake
- 1 tbsp mirin
- 1 tbsp sugar or sweetener of choice
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- sesame seeds to garnish
- Scrub the gobo skin well or peel the skin. Cut into matchsticks then soak in a bowl of water until ready to cook.
- Peel carrots and cut into matchsticks, make sure they are similar in size to the gobo.
- Mix together soy sauce, sake, mirin, and sugar in a small bowl.
- Drain the gobo, getting rid of as much water as you can (water will splash when it hits the oil). Heat a fry pan with the sesame oil, and once fragrant add the gobo and red pepper flakes. Sauté a few minutes until the gobo is evenly coated in oil.
- Add carrots, cook for 1 minute, then add in the soy sauce mixture and continue cooking until the liquid is gone. Turn off the heat and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
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