Quick-Braised Burdock and Carrots

Kinpira Gobo

MAKES: 4 servings

TIME: 15 minutes

If you’ve never tried burdock, this traditional Japanese dish is a nice introduction. The textures and colors are great. Serve with plain white or brown rice or, for a less authent though delicious approach, try tossing the finished dish with warm soba noodles.

Other vegetables you can use: in virtually any combination, potatoes, kohlrabi, parsnips, turnips, beets, winter squash.

About 8 ounces burdock, peeled and julienned

2 teaspoons dark sesame oil

1 medium carrot, julienned

2 tablespoons soy sauce

11/2 tablespoons mirin

11/2 tablespoons sake

2 teaspoons sugar

2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds (see The Nut and Seed Lexicon)

Immerse the burdock in a bowl of water with a squeeze of lemon juice or splash of vinegar so it doesn’t turn dark. Drain just before adding to the pan.

Put the sesame oil in a small pan over medium-high heat. Add the burdock and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the carrot and cook until the burdock and carrot are just tender, about 10 minutes. Pour in the soy, mirin, sake, sugar, and sesame seeds and cook until about half of the liquid remains, about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and cool to room temperature or store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.