Kinpira Gobo Recipe きんぴらごぼう

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Kinpira Gobo Recipe |

Thank you everyone for the kind comments and wonderful suggestions on my 1st Blogiversary Giveaway post and I wish you all good luck.  In case you have missed the post, you can still enter to win the giveaway ($50/$25/$25 gift card) until the 15th.  Please read the details on the giveaway post.

Also, some of you might have realized that this post is published on Thursday.  This year I decided to publish two posts a week on Mondays and Thursdays.  As a part of my new year resolution, I am trying to be a little more healthy by going to bed early and spending my free time for exercise instead of sitting in front of computer!  I hope this will help me improve my lifestyle and become healthier.  Have you made any new year resolution?

Kinpira Gobo II
My mom is visiting till Sunday so my day’s occupied by taking her to fabric stores (she’s a quilter and teaches quilting in Japan) and shopping between my kids’ school and extracurricular activities, so please forgive me with my slower than usual response to your emails and questions.  I promise I will get to them as soon as I can.

It looks like a lot of food bloggers are sharing healthy meals and recipes in January to help people lose those holiday pounds (which I also need help with).  I had received a lot of requests for vegetable dishes so I’ll be sharing a popular Japanese veggie dish today.

Kinpira Gobo is a traditional Japanese dish often enjoyed at home and you might be familiar with it since it’s typically served in bento box from Japanese markets.  It’s really easy to cook if you have all the ingredients (and these are very common ingredients for Japanese household).  The most tedious part is that you have to julienne both gobo (burdock root) and carrot, and if you are not used to chopping veggies, it might be challenging (but of course you don’t have to be so precise).  Kinpira means a cooking style that you stir fry and simmer with sugar and soy sauce.  The most common ingredients used for Kinpira is gobo and carrot, but lotus root is another common ingredient for this cooking style.  My recipe is a very simple one which children can enjoy.  It’s optional to add chili to make this dish spicy which also tastes really delicious.

Kinpira Gobo III

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Kinpira Gobo (Braised Carrot & Burdock Root)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 3-4 as side dish
  • 1 burdock root
  • ⅓ carrot
  • 1 Tbsp. sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp. roasted white sesame seeds
  • Ichimitogarashi (optional)
  • Ito Togarashi (Korean Chili Threads) (optional)
  • ¾ cup dashi (use kombu dashi for vegetarian)
  • 2 Tbsp. sake
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. mirin
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. soy sauce
  1. Peel gobo’s skin with peeler or traditionally we scrape (peel) the skin off with the back of kitchen knife. Then diagonally slice thinly so that each piece is about 2 inch length. Then collect some of the slices and cut into thin matchbox strips. Soak the gobo in water or vinegar water (just one drop of vinegar would do). Change water a couple of times until the water becomes clean. Then leave the gobo in water until you are ready to stir fry.
  2. Cut carrots into matchbox strips.
  3. In a frying pan, heat oil over medium high and stir fry gobo first. Then add carrot next after you cook gobo for a few minutes.
  4. Add Seasonings and cook until most of liquid evaporates.
  5. When the liquid is almost gone, add sesame oil and sprinkle sesame seeds and ichimitogarashi.
Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe in your own words and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.
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  1. Definitely need these healthy recipes! All this over-indulging has just been really bad lol I’ve never seen this dish before, but I know Burdock root is really good for the body and helps with weight loss :) thanks for the recipe!

    Hope you have a lovely time with your family over there ~

  2. I haven’t had this for ages, since the last time I was in Japan in fact, and now it is a few years. I love it, I loved it the first time I had it and the Mum of a friend cooked it for me, but I never made it myself, maybe because when I was leaving in Japan it was so easy to buy it ready in a shop for lunch, even in little boxes from department stores.

    I don’t even know if the fresh roots are available in NZ (or Italy).


  3. After all the holiday baking I need more veggies in my life. This dish seems easy to prepare and I think the rest of my family would enjoy it also. Have fun shopping with your Mom!

  4. Lovely dish! I’ve seen burdock at a local market but, never purchased any. Now I have a reason :) I can’t wait to let you know how it turns out for me.

  5. Definitely eating more veggies and less sweet treats. This veggie dish looks wonderful although it is hard for me to find burdock root. I have to drive to Orlando to my favorite Oriental market. They also have daikon radish which I love and the crispiest bean sprouts ever. Thank and have a pleasant weekend.

  6. Hey Nami! I hope you and your Mom are enjoying the visit! This vegi dish looks good, although I am not a big fan of burdock roots, maybe I am mistaken, but when my Mom made it one time, it tasted slimy to me, and I have not eaten it again…

    I made your Saba Misoni last night, saw some fresh Mackerel at the market and had to buy them. The sauce was amazing! Too bad I forgot about cooking rice so we had to wait to bit before eating the fish, by then they were kind of cold and I imagine less delicious than when they were hot, I will have to be more organized next time!

    Have a great day, excited about your new year’s resolution!

  7. Burdock root? Sounds like from another planet – I will check at the Asian grocer. Very curious to see what this thing is. The dish sounds excellent.
    Good luck with improving the work/blog and life balance.

  8. Burdock root is an item of Japanese cooking I’ve never tasted or remember seeing in grocery stores. It looks like an extra long parsley root or parsnip though the parsley is used more as a flavouring in soups while parsnips can be roasted or boiled and made into something like mashed potatoes. The dish sounds light and healthy for post holiday meals.

    I can relate to your mom’s fabric shopping. When I used to sew and made my own quilt, going into JoAnn Fabrics and looking at all those colourful bolts of material was a lot of fun.

  9. Nami, Despite your busy schedule, shopping with your mom and kids its nice to see you.The dish definitely looks wonderful. I never cooked burdock root.I have seen it in the store but don’t know what to do with it. Your dish seems like a healthy option.

  10. Leola G

    Thank you for posting a wonderful veggie dish. I’ve pretty much adopted a “japanese” way of life when it comes to eating so that I can live and be healthier. I can’t wait to try this as I have not cooked with gobo yet! My only resolution is to be healthier and fortunately I started taking steps toward this goal before the new year. :)

    • Leola G

      I made this last night and it turned out pretty good. I used Truvia instead of sugar and still got a very good result. The Ichimi Togarashi definitely adds something special to this dish.

      • Leola, thank you for trying this dish! I’m glad to hear it turned out good. :-) Did you like Gobo? Let’s keep trying to live healthier life!

  11. I love the threads nestled on top of this dish! It makes it look so elegant… Nami, you have some of the best serving dishes ever! Very jealous!

  12. Well after my 1st blogiversary, I said to myself that I should spend less time in front of computer, do sports with family and friends, and it worked out quite well. I have to admit, with my busy schedule, I try to blog at least once a week.

    Well, I don’t believe in new year resolution. Statistically, less than 10% will realize their new resolution according to my psychology prof. Eating healthier is something that we have to be conscious all time and we have to makea permanent change in our lifestyle in order to realize it. It has worked for me over the past 2 years.

    I haven’t heard of kinpara, especially burdock roots. Sounds interesting. I’ll send this recipe to my Taiwanese friend.

    Good luck in balancing work/blog and family. It feels good once you get the hang of it.

  13. Janice

    I’ve made this a couple times but it never turned out fantastic. Now I see what I was missing! Simmering it in dashi first must be the trick. Can’t wait to try. Thanks!

  14. Nami, you have inspired me with your new year’s resolution…I’m debating cutting down on my blogging…it’s so hard to keep up with all the nice comments and I could never stay up like you did!!! So nice to see you back with a yummy recipe… xoxo

  15. Hi Nami
    I hope you have a healthy, restful and enjoyable life and may the year of dragon bring you the new energy:-). This dish looks really delicious. Gobo and carrot are my all time favorite veggie. I will give it a try soon!!

  16. I completely understand when you say that you will focus more on your health and family..hope you are having great time with your mom!
    Your dish look amazing, but it is no surprise ’cause all your dishes look fantastic!
    Thanks for sharing and have a lovely weekend!

  17. i have heard of this healthy Burdock Root, but i have no idea how to prepare this. Now I know how to cook this, Thanks for sharing Nami. Ya, about my bowl, this is one of bowl left from my grandmother time, very old and authentic..I seldom use it day to day, only take out to take photo, hehehe..By the way, did you manage to buy some bowls and plates during your trip to Taiwan?

  18. This looks so comforting Nami, I have never had kinpira before but I am sure I’ll love this because I am a big fan of stir fried food. Good luck with all your new year resolutions and yeah have a good time with your mom while she is here.. Mom/daughter times are the best! I miss my mom alot when she is away.

  19. Lovely dish. I never come across burdock over here, for some reason.
    Excellent news, Nami, life’s too short!! I’ll even forgive you if you don’t reply to my every comment : )
    My sister is a quilter and teacher in Canada – and has even lectured in Japan – amazing!

  20. Happy New Year, Nami! Enjoy your time with your mom, we’ll be here when you return. Meanwhile, we can enjoy your always delicious dishes. I’ve never made kinpira before but it’s easy enough for me to try! I just baked cookies this week–must balance that with something healthy! :)

  21. Chandani

    Thank you for visiting my blog Nami. Congratulations on the first anniversary and after I am done with this comment I am heading there to enter. I only wish I was as good as you in following the resolution. But atleast I will be eating healthy with your yummy recipe.

  22. I don’t know burdock root either – I am wondering what I can substitute. This is just the way I want to eat for January. Chocolate can wait until mid-February! I do make resolutions and I keep them but I never tell what they are! Good for ou for resolving more time away from the computer!y

  23. Nami, how do you manage such a beautiful, perfect presentation? Even if I spent 10 hours I would never obtain such breathtaking results.
    I didn’t know your mum was giving quilting lessons. Impressive! I wonder if there is anything special about Japanese quilting (I’m sure there is!).
    This salad sounds terrific and reminds me I have never tasted burdock root. I know it is sold here in many “ethnic” shops, but somehow I always end up not buying it.
    Although I will miss your three posts the same day as me, I think you have taken a very wise decision. You should also have time to live outside of blogging 😉 and to sleep! (I don’t mention excercising because it makes me feel instantly guilty). Sadly, I haven’t taken any New Year’s resolution. Oh, no, wait! I have one: my first resolution is to take New Year’s resolutions this weekend :-)

  24. Oooh, it’s burdock? That answers a question about what I’ve seen from time to time in the Japanese store in Paris! I thought it was some sort of radish or something. Thanks for clearing that up for me :) I’d love to come eat at your place Nami – I should think that eating one of your meals would be like eating in some gourmet restaurant – you always make your food look so incredibly delicious and beautiful – this is no exception!

  25. Wow – this looks amazing and so pretty! I think finding balance is a great idea, Nami….it’s one of the biggest challenges I think most bloggers face. Best of luck and with your amazing recipes – we’ll ALL lose weight!

  26. This looks absolutely the sauces used in Japanese cuisine..and like the new avatar my carrots can take!
    Thanks for reaching out on my space glad to connect through our blogs. Happy 2012 to you.

  27. Mmmmmm, this looks incredibly delicious! But I must admit … One little burdock root and 1/3 (!) of a carrot for 3-4 servings?!?!?! I think that’s half of the vegetable amount I eat alone for a single meal! But probably my veggie consumption is just gross. 😀

    • We usually serve Kinpira Gobo as a side dish. We typically serve in a small bowl for each person (Japanese likes to serve meals individually rather than family style). If you serve in typical Japanese way, this amount should be for 3-4 people. But I can eat half servings by myself easily too! 😉

  28. Welcome back Nami. Glad to know that you had a nice break and spend wonderful time with your family. I just saw some burdock root a few days ago at the supermarket, I wish I have seen this post earlier. Next time I am there, if they are still available I will definitely try this healthy dish out.

  29. I have always wanted to try burdock root, but really didn’t know what to do with it. Thanks, I will try it this way! Looks yummy! We always eat a lot of vegetables and I am lucky that my daughter and husband don’t complain…they like veggies too.

    I am glad to hear that you are slowing down on the computer…not that I don’t love reading your posts it’s just I don’t know how everyone posts so often…and I’m talking quality posts here. I post when I can in between my real life. I post what we actually eat, and things we do…so it’s not just for the blog. Of course it could use a lot of work on it’s look, but that all I can do for now. Sorry didn’t mean to babble! It is good you are finding time for yourself and family! I will be here when ever I can! Take care Nami!

  30. I do understand why reducing blogging is one of your new year’s resolutions, it’s a tough job…!! I am also trying not to spend too much time in front of the computer, because it’s really getting quite unhealthy, even though it’s hard, because I do love my computer…;)!!

    This kinpira gobo looks and sounds delicious! I’ve read and heard many times about it but have never tried it myself, I don’t know where to get burdock roots… But I love to see recipes like this, because I want to learn more about Japanese side dishes and pickles. Thanks for sharing this great recipe, Nami :)!

  31. I love the presentation of this Kinpira Gobo. This recipe looks simple and healthy! I’m sure I will enjoy it. Thanks for sharing! You are amazing!

  32. What a beautify dish, Nami! I have to get some burdock and make this healthy and delicious dish. I am glad to hear you are slowing down a little in the new year. I’ve always wondered how you do it. Even with twice a week, I think you’re a super woman. I just post whenever I can manage one, but it’s still hard on me. It’s so cool your mom teaches quilt. Thanks for introducing my blog to your mom. Please send her my regards.

  33. will be looking forward to a healthy cooking… i know i should clean up my cooking too. im not getting any younger. sorry i have been away… i’ve been spending as much time as i could with my kids and mum who were here for the holidays.
    happy new year nami!

  34. This is a lovely recipe Nami. I just saw something like this in a cookbook at the bookstore and was stunned by how pretty and healthy it is. Then I stop by here and your pictures are far superior to the ones I saw in a published cookbook. I’m telling you girl you should be taking photos for a living, they are always stunning. Good for you for getting healthy. I shall be joining you but I will say up front I may cheat from time to time. Lol!

  35. Namiko-san, what a lovely and fresh recipe to start off the new year. What is Ichimitogarashi? I may know what it is but just do not recognize it by its Japanese name? Ja Mata, BAM

  36. Dear Nami,

    I don’t think I’ve ever come across kinpira gobo before. Every time I’m at a Japanese restaurant, I still prefer the traditional iceberg lettuce, tomato and cucumber with the tangy sourish dressing. Dated as it may be, it is still one of my all time favourites :)

  37. love this and great resolution and theres a British drink called dandilion and burdock must be the same root now where can I find it?
    and happy new year

  38. Hi Nami-so nice to hear from you. I already started my New Year’s resolution, it’s a good time to start a diet on the first week of the year! I would love to make this healthy and yummy dish…unfortunately we cannot find burdock root here, locally, although I will have to call our local Asian market to see if they carry it, since they do have Asian vegetables, and herbs.
    Glad you were able to spend time with your mom, and your children got to see their grandmother:DDD

  39. I like gobo, but never cooked it…I always get it when I go to my mom’s…yours look delicious…and I never knew it by burdock :-)
    Happy New Year Nami and hope you are having a wonderful week!

  40. O.K. – now I need to find some burdok root because I know I would love this dish! As suggested, I think a little chile added to it would fit my palette perfectly. Good for you to cut back on your computer and work on your health! You don’t realize how precious good health is until you lose it! My new year’s resolution is very much the same as yours and the same one I make every year – eat right and exercise. This year I have my husband joining me so I might actually be able to keep it. :)

  41. I have never cooked with gobo and I really should give it a try one of these days. I do like kinpara carrots though. :)

    Your mom is a quilter? I also enjoy quilting. When I visit Japan again, I must go to the fabric stores to get some Japanese fabric. Hard to find Asian designs here. :)

  42. Eri

    Hello Nami, I’m definitely trying this one also, it looks so easy, I’ve never tried burdock before! My new years resolutions are already broken haha.. I’m kidding, I wish you good luck! Kisses!

  43. What a great idea to start the new year by blogging simple and healthier recipes! I know about kinpira from some of my bentoing friends; yes, they added kinpira to their bento ^^. We don’t have gobo here in Indonesia (even it’s so difficult to find lotus root hehe). I think some modification on the main ingredient with local product will be great. Thanks for sharing this; I want to have kinpira in my bento ^^

  44. I never knew how to cook burdock. This is a great idea and such a healthy recipe. Nami, once again, mouthwatering picture! Loved this post!! Wish you all the more success in 2012!

  45. whats burdock root? never heard that before.
    I love veggies in Julienne because I dont like big veggie junks, actualy I am not much of a veggie person and thin strips help me to enjoy it more.
    Great new years resolution. I was often wondering if u even sleep at nights. lol

  46. I love your new year resolutions! I never had any before but this year, I told to myself that I’m gonna have at least one new year resolution and that is to sleep early too so that I’m able to perform well for my new schedule (few crazy trips of sending and fetching both girls to and fro sch on every sch days) from this year onward. This is why I’m not as active online as before now. I’m also trying my best to post more posts (most probably after CNY) to my blog and I want to learn baking cakes so that I can make birthday cakes for my girls! They’ve been urging me to learn ASAP since day one when we moved in! LOL :)

    I always see burdock roots when I go to the market but never buy any as I don’t know how and what to cook with them. Now I can try cooking this healthy dish if I buy burdock roots on my next marketing trip. 😉

    Let’s work hard together toward our new year resolutions! Happy weekend! 😀

  47. Hi!
    I made your Kinpira Gobo last week and it turned out great. I followed your recipe word by word except for I cut gobo a bit thicker than yours. My husband prefer toothsome chucks of gobo. :-) Thanks for the recipe. Have a nice day!

  48. After having such success with your 肉じゃが I was looking around and saw this recipe. Kinpira Gobo is one of the foods I miss most from living in Japan! I was a little overwhelmed by the thought of all those matchstick pieces, but after being so thrilled with your 肉じゃが recipe, I decided to try it. I used a special peeler from the Japanese market to make the cutting a little quicker (I’m accident prone with knives). It got my husband’s seal of approval, too, and I’m so happy to know how to make this now. Thank you again! (I will definitely be going through your site more… hopefully some レンコン recipes, too?) I am happy to be cooking more Japanese food again. (^_^)

    • Hi Cara! Thank you! I think I know which peeler you are talking about. :-) Kinpira Gobo is a quick and easy side dish and my husband loves to put a lot of shichimi/ichimi togarashi (Japanese pepper) on top to eat it. Glad to hear you are cooking Japanaese food! And I only have one レンコン (lotus root) recipe so far…

      That’s my family’s favorite too. I should make more lotus root in winter time (more comfort food). :-) Thanks again!

    • Hi Roz! Japanese or Asian market should carry it. Do you know if there is any Asian (Chinese, Korean, Japanese) supermarket in your area? Hope you can find it!

  49. Betsy Carraway

    Thank you for the wonderful recipe, Nami; I got some fresh gobo last night at Whole Foods and remembered that there was a dish I had loved; looked online, and this is it! Going to make it now. Thanks and God bless you!

  50. Evelyn

    i tried this yesterday and it was really tasty. I doubled the recipe since the burdock roots came two in a package. Any idea how long it would keep in the fridge as it made a lot? Thanks!

    • Hi Evelyn! Sorry about my late response. I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed this recipe and thank you for letting me know. :) It’ll last 3-4 days as you put the seasoning. I recommend to reheat again in a pan (microwave is okay too) to be safe. Again, I’m sorry I couldn’t reply sooner…

  51. Jenny

    Oh no! I ordered the gobo online but they sent me nagaimo instead! I don’t know if it’ll work since nagaimo is really sticky, but I’m going to try!

  52. Karin Leong

    Hi Nami,
    I made kinpira gobo today. It tasted ok but it doesn’t look anything like yours. Mine is kind of blackish and not so appetizing. I cut the gobo the night before but I did soak it in water with vinegar and washed it a few times. I then drained it and kept it in the fridge. The supermarket I went to didn’t have the gobo imported from Japan so I used those imported from China. Is there any difference? Maybe next time I should try to get the gobo from Japan. Any idea how I can improve my kinpira gobo to look like yours?

    • Hi Karin! I’ve never tried gobo form China, so it’s hard to say… When you kept gobo in the fridge, was gobo still white? Or did it change to dark color? I also want to check if you use Japanese soy sauce. :)

      • Karin Leong

        Hi Nami Thank you for your reply. The gobo was kind of dark color when I kept it in the fridge. I used Japanese soy sauce but not the light taste ones. I did use Japanese gobo once and if I didn’t remember wrongly, it also turned dark even when I soaked it in water & vinegar but not as bad as the Chinese gobo. Yes, I refered to your recipe for cooking but I added pieces of chicken. I hope to make it again, hopefully it will look like yours.

        You have a nice day too

        • Hi Karin! I highly recommend to keep the gobo under water with vinegar until you’re ready to cook, or prepare right before cooking so that gobo will stay white (pale). The addition of chicken sounds amazing! It’s a nice “main” dish with the chicken. I’d be happy to eat it over rice… delicious! Thank you for your response. :)