How to Make Carrot & Burdock Kinpira

Hey macro-friends ♥

I made a new dish---new to me, that is. Actually, I've been meaning to make it for years! I've tasted it before in Japan, eating out or from the supermarket. But I haven't ever actually made it myself. I suppose it was the call of my fresh supply of burdock that finally beckoned me to put on my creative pants and step into the "new dish" zone. 

In any case, it's about time that I tried a kinpira dish. According to wikipedia, "kinpira is a cooking style that can be summarized as a technique of "sauté and simmer". 

That works for me.

Carrot & Burdock Kinpira

Step 1: Shave the burdock --- just like you would do to sharpen a pencil with a knife. I didn't really measure, but used about 1 whole long burdock.

Step 2: Cut carrots into matchsticks.

To do this, you start by slicing thin diagonals, then stack a few on top of each other, and slice into skinny rectangles, or "matchsticks". I used 3 large carrots. Basically from all the various recipes I have seen, usually carrot & burdock are in equal proportion (so for example, 2 cups of each).

Step 3: Sauté the burdock in a bit of toasted sesame oil for about 3 minutes until some of the liquid starts coming out. I used 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil, and stirred the burdock aroundquite often.

Step 4:  Layer in the carrots on top of the burdock, & add a very tiny sprinkle of sea salt, and
sauté another few minutes, no stirring this time.

Step 5: Add just enough water to cover the bottom of the sauté pan.

Step 6: Cover, and simmer on low heat for anywhere between 15-40 minutes depending on how soft you want the veggies, and which veggies you use. I simmered for about 15 minutes, but I checked to make sure there was still some liquid coming out so the pan wouldn't burn. You can add a tiny bit more water as needed, if you prefer to cook it a bit longer and all the liquid is gone.

Step 7: Add in tamari or shoyu to taste, simmer for 3 more minutes. I did 1.5 tsp of tamari.

Step 8: Garnish with a few toasted sesame seeds (optional). Serve.


We enjoyed this dish with freshly cooked rice, and some steamed greens to balance out all the concentrated yang energy of salt & root veggies. Overall, a very satisfying dish!

*There are many variations on this dish, some recipes call for matchstick cutting both veggies. others use entirely different veggie combinations. They all look really great to me.

UPDATE: As of right now, October 2015, this dish has become a regular. I've made it with turnips, and also with daikon, in place of burdock for a few different variations. Lately I have been cutting both kinds of veggies into matchsticks, rather than shaving the burdock. Both styles work equally as well. :)

Have you tried kinpira before? What is your favourite method, or which veggies are your favourite to use?

Something to Stew over.

I have mainly stuck to stews and whole grains in my new friend, the pressure cooker.
But I hope to try some new dishes soon---perhaps some pilafs, desserts, or risottos.

But this lentil stew is just SO good that I don't even want to try any other recipes.
I used the base "lentils with spicy greens" recipe from Lorna Sass' book:

"Great Vegetarian Cooking Under Pressure."

I changed the veggies, and added my own spices, and it turned out too delicious!

Carrots, Celery, Burdock (love), Ginger
Unfocused brown lentils (or are these green?)

Cooked with some coriander and thyme.
Greens and garnishes added in after pressure cooking.

This one with toasted walnuts and kale added in after.


This version had parsley and a bit of lemon juice added after cooking.

Do you like lentils?
What's your favourite way to eat them?

Some Eats This Week

Hello hello.
As promised, some food from this week:
Lentil and Veggie Soup
This one had burdock, carrots, green lentils, onions, and parsley.

Served with some yummy brown rice (cooked with wakame), and topped with shoyu toasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds.
Mixed Veggie Soup
I believe this one had cabbage, daikon, celery and carrots, and kudzu for thickening.
Topped with shredded nori, and green onions.

I have also been enjoying one of my favourite vegetables: Kabocha Squash.
So so so yummy.
I just steamed it, and then blended up a bit with some homemade almond milk and cinnamon.
3 minute pumpkin pudding!
I also saved some and cooked it into steel cut oats in the morning.

I am just LOVING soups! Thanks to my new cookbook I am experimenting with different vegetable combos, and cooking styles. The soups are all fairly simple, cutting up the veggies, layering them according to yin and yang, adding water, bringing to boil, them simmering.
Yesterday I made a delicious red lentil turned out more like red lentil dhal with chopped up veggies in it, and I was ok with that. Mmmm.
What's your favourite soup?
I tend to enjoy creamier thicker soups, with pumpkin, or chickpeas or lentils. But I am definitely enjoying experimenting with brothy soups.
Happy Weekend to you all! I am off to go on an adventure in the car, through the mountains to a delicious macrobiotic restaurant I have heard lots about. Can't wait!