Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Donabe Kinpira Gobo (steam-fry bordock root)

I almost never run out of gobo (burdock root) especially during the wintertime in my kitchen. I love the natural sweet-earthy flavor of gobo and use it for so many different dishes.

Kinpira Gobo is one of the most popular Japanese gobo dishes. When I was a child, I always loved my mom's Kinpira Gobo and was so excited whenever she made it.

So, it's such a rustic dish, but I can make it taste "upgraded" by cooking it with my tagine-style donabe, "Fukkura-san". Instead of simply sauteing the burdock root in a pan, by steam-frying in the donabe, it can bring out the maximum flavor as well as the great soft-crunchy texture. And, the best part is that it's even easier to make with Fukkura-san than with a pan, because I don't need to keep sauteing during the cooking process.

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Thinly-sliced burdock root was first steam-fried with some sesame oil, sake, mirin, and sugar in Fukkura-san for about 5 minutes.

Carrot and soy sauce were added and continued to steam-fry until most of the liquid is evaporated (5-8 minutes). To finish, the ingredients were tossed with some sesame seeds. That's it! I love it both hot and room temperature. This dish is also great with a bowl of plain rice. So healthy. Here's my recipe.

Donabe Steam-fry Kinpira Gobo
(for tagine-style donabe, "Fukkura-san")

5-6 oz gobo (burdock root), thinly sliced into match-sticks and soaked in water for 15 minutes. Drained.
2.5-3 oz carrot, thinly sliced into match-sticks
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons sake
2 tablespoons raw brown sugar
1 tablespoon mirin
2 tablespoons light-color soy sauce ("usukuchi shoyu")
1 tablespoon dark color soy sauce
1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
some water, optional

1. Saute the gobo in sesame oil in the skillet of Fukkura-san over medium-heat for 1-2 minutes.
2. Add he sake, sugar, and mirin. Cover and steam-fry for 5 minutes.
3. Add the carrot and both soy sauce. Stir. Cover and steam-fry until the liquid is reduced to very little (5-8 minutes). If the liquid is reduced too fast, add some water.
4. Uncover, add the sesame seeds and stir again. Cover.
5. Turn off the heat and let it rest for 5 minutes.

Happy donabe life.