Kinpira Gobo

Beginners usually get into trouble when they sauté burdock root (gobo in Japanese) instead of simmering or steaming it because sautéing makes it harder to make the root tender. The trick is to slice the root razor-thin and braise it after sautéing, as in this spicy Japanese side-dish.
2 tbs. dark (toasted) sesame oil
2 cups burdock root, very thinly sliced
2 cups wild or commercial carrots, thinly sliced
2 tbs. fresh ginger, thinly-sliced
1 clove garlic, peeled but not cut
1/2 cup redbud wine, mirin (Japanese rice wine), or white wine
1/4 cup whole sesame seeds
2 tbs. tamari soy sauce
1 tbs. chili paste or 1/2 tbs. cayenne hot pepper, or to taste

1. Sauté the burdock, carrots, ginger, and garlic in sesame oil 10 minutes, stirring often. Remove and discard the garlic as soon as it turns slightly brown.

2. Meanwhile, toast sesame seeds in a frying pan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until they pop and become slightly brown and fragrant. Remove the sesame seeds from frying pan and set aside.

3. Add the remaining ingredients to the sautéed vegetables, bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer 15 minutes.

4. Add the sesame seeds.

Serve hot as an appetizer, a condiment, or a side dish.

Makes 2-1/2 cups

Preparation Time: 35 minutes

drawings, photos, and design by "Wildman"