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 Kinpira Gobo?
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!
This kinpira gobo requires 9 basic Japanese ingredients:
- Burdock Root (Gobo) & Carrots ⟶ Gobo is the main ingredient and some cooks make it with just gobo, but in my family we like to add some carrots, too. You want more gobo than carrots, so you can actually just use 1/2 a carrot. (I went a little overboard when I shot this and used 2 carrots, but the amounts in the recipe card will yield a gobo-centric dish, with just a little bit of carrot.)
- Soy Sauce, Sake, Mirin, Sugar ⟶ Staples of Japanese cooking!
- Toasted Sesame Oil ⟶ For sautéing. You can technically use another cooking oil, but sesame oil adds extra flavor.
- Red Pepper Flakes ⟶ Omit if you are very sensitive to spice.
- Toasted Sesame Seeds ⟶ Adds fresh, nutty flavor.
Tips & Tricks
How to Cook with Gobo
- 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.
Making Kinpira Gobo
- 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!
- Adjust to taste by adding more soy sauce if you like it saltier, or an extra pinch of sugar if you’d like it sweeter, etc.
More Classic Japanese Sides!
Check out these other tasty Japanese side dishes!
- Vegan Korokke
- Cucumber Tsukudani (Simmered Cucumbers)
- Tataki Kyuri (Smashed Cucumbers)
- Green Bean Goma-ae
- Tofu Gyoza
- Miso Glazed Eggplant
If you do try out this recipe, don’t forget to tag me in your photos on instagram @ellielikes.cooking and/or leave a comment down below and let me know how you liked it. I love seeing your yummy recreations! Happy cooking 🙂
*Recipe updated 7/11/2021.
Kinpira Gobo | きんぴらごぼう
- ½ pound gobo (burdock root)
- ½ carrot
- 1 ½ – 2 tbsp soy sauce (use tamari for gluten-free)
- 1 tbsp sake
- 1 tbsp mirin
- 1 tbsp sugar or sweetener of choice
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- sesame seeds to garnish
- Scrub the gobo skin well or peel the skin. Thinly slice then soak in a bowl of water until ready to cook.
- Peel carrots and thinly slice; 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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