"Kinpira": A Colorful, Flavorful Veggie Side-Dish for Any Meal
The simple side dish kinpira has become a staple on the menus of izakaya outlets around the world, just as in Japan. While kinpira is typically made with gobō, or burdock root, and carrot, here we use potato in lieu of burdock, which is not so widely available overseas.
Ingredients (serves 2–3)
- 1/2 carrot
- 1 potato
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp white sesame seeds
- Coarse salt, to taste
- Green shiso, to taste (can be substituted with parsley or other herb)
- Kinpira sauce:
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp mirin (sweet cooking sake)
- 1 tbsp sake
- Peel the carrot and potato. Cut into julienne slices.
- Mix the kinpira sauce ingredients.
- Add sesame oil to a pan and sauté the vegetables on medium heat, taking care not to singe them.
- When the vegetables are tender, add the kinpira sauce and sauté some more, allowing the liquid to evaporate.
- Sprinkle with sesame seeds to finish. Adjust to taste with salt. Garnish with chopped green shiso for added color.
- The potato is best cut into thicker julienne strips, as it cooks easily.
- If mirin is unavailable in stores near you, dissolve 1–2 tbsp of sugar in 1/2 cup white wine to create a substitute.
- When sautéing the vegetables, stir them constantly to prevent burning.
- For an eye-pleasing and appetizing presentation, mound the kinpira in the center of your dish.