May 1, 2011

Burdock and Carrot Kinpira

Kinpira refers to the sauté and simmer cooking method commonly utilized to cook root vegetables in Japanese cuisine. Generally soy sauce and mirin, rice wine similar to sake but with a lower alcohol content, are used to simmer the vegetables when making kinpira. Burdock, the taproot of young thistles, is very delicious and when cooked tastes similar to artichoke, another commonly eaten thistle. Burdock lends itself well to kinpira as the sauté and simmering reduced any bitterness in the burdock, making it sweet and tender. Burdock can frequently be found in Asian markets, natural food stores or even larger grocery stores.

2 carrots, peeled and cut into 2" matchsticks

1 12" piece of burdock, peeled and cut into 2" matchsticks

1 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted

¼ c frozen shelled soy beans, defrosted

2 tbsp mirin

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp sugar

1 tbsp vegetable oil

black pepper

1. Heat vegetable oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add burdock and sauté, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add carrots and mirin, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and braise until carrots are tender, about 3 minutes.

2. Next, add sugar, sesame seeds and soy sauce, stir to combine, cover and braise until liquid has been reduced by half, 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and toss with edamame. Season to taste with ground black pepper.

3. Serve room temperature or chilled.

Serves 3-4


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