Burdock & Carrot Kinpira
Kinpira refers to a Japanese style of braising vegetables, typically root vegetables, and often a combination of carrot and burdock.
2 tablespoons of avocado, unrefined sesame or vegetable oil, plus more if necessary
1 burdock root, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks (thinly slice on the bias, line up the pieces like soldiers and cut crosswise), kept in a bowl of cold water if you’re not cooking it immediately
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks as per the burdock
about 2/3 cup prepared dashi or water
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons mirin
1 tablespoon agave nectar (or sugar)
one 1″ knob of ginger, peeled and grated
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over high heat.
2. Drain the burdock and add it to the pan. Cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes. Adjust the heat so that it’s high enough for the burdock to sizzle, but not so high that it scorches. Add a bit of oil, if necessary, to keep the burdock from sticking.
3. After 5 minutes of stir-frying, add the carrot and enough dashi or water to come half way up the vegetables (about 2/3 cup, depending on the size of your pan). Bring the mixture to a boil, stir in the soy, mirin and agave, cover with a drop lid (a lid that’s slightly smaller than the pan so that it sits directly on top of the vegetables), and turn the heat to low and cook for 15 minutes.
4. Remove the lid, turn the heat to high and cook until the vegetables are glazed, about 2 minutes. Put the kinpira on a plate and squeeze over the grated ginger—essentially you are ‘seasoning’ the kinpira with the ginger juice.
5. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and serve warm or at room temperature.
For more than 25 years, Ed Behr has edited The Art of Eating, a truly intellectual and enjoyable journal on food and everything that goes with. He has travelled the world trolling for the best artisanal ingredients, meeting the most knowledgeable, but often unknown, cooks, and supplying readers with...