Healthy Carrot Burdock Kinpira (BSI Entry)

Remember that Carrot Kinpira I made the other week?  Well I tried a different variation with burdock, too.  This is going to be my Blogger Secret Ingredient (BSI) recipe.  This week’s BSI is being hosted by Catherine over at Stevia ‘n’ Spice and she chose carrots!  They are one of my favorite things.

Kinpira is a Japanese method of cooking.  It’s typically used when cooking root vegetables.  The popular seasonings are soy sauce, mirin (cooking wine), and chili flakes.  I never have mirin on hand, so I just omit it, but I find that some rice vinegar is a great substitution.  Kinpira is a perfect addition to a lunch (think bento boxes), a side dish for dinner, or even part of a savory breakfast.  I adore the Japanese way of eating – simple, fresh, and always in moderation.  There’s a reason that less than 3% of the Japanese population is obese!  Take this recipe and run with it – let me know what you think and what other veggies you would use.

Carrot and Burdock Kinpira is typically called “Kinpira Gobo” in Japan.  It’s definitely a staple.  Oh yeah – it’s vegetarian and vegan to boot!  Give it a try…

Healthy Carrot Burdock Kinpira


  • 2 large carrots, chopped into matchsticks
  • 5-6 pieces of burdock (the carrot to burdock ratio should be about 1 parts carrot to 2-3 parts burdock, but you can change it as you like)
  • scant tablespoon sesame oil
  • dash of chili flakes (or more if you like it spicy)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • 1-2 teaspoons white sugar (or more to taste)
  • 1.5 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • about 3 tablespoons soy sauce


  1. Prepare the burdock – scrub it (like you would potatoes), then cut it into matchsticks and soak it in water for a few minutes.  I like to use hot water.  Drain the burdock, then add fresh water to cover it, and soak for another couple of minutes.
  2. Heat the sesame oil on medium-high in a wok (or large saute pan) and add the carrots and burdock.  Toss them to coat.
  3. Add the chili powder and cinnamon (if using).  Toss again.  Add the sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, and about 2/3 cup of water.
  4. Lower the heat a bit (to medium) and simmer until the water has evaporated, tossing every 20-30 seconds or so.  If the burdock is still too crunchy (taste it!), add some more water and repeat until it’s soft enough for you.

Enjoy!  What would you eat this with?  Have you ever tried burdock?  It’s delicious and incredibly good for you.  It’s earthy-tasting (in a good way), and very versatile.  My mom used to make burdock tea when she was pregnant with my little siblings.  It’s also good for your blood (cleansing) and apparently does wonders for the hair and scalp.

20 Replies to “Healthy Carrot Burdock Kinpira (BSI Entry)”

  1. whoa this looks delicious! what a great and creative bsi submission!
    hope you have a great night!

  2. That looks really good. Burdock in the stores around here is very expensive. I have been known to go out and dig up the root myself and make tea out of it (you need a post hole digger since the root can be up to 3 feet long). The tea tastes awful but it is the most beautiful emerald green (I drink it because it is supposed to be good for you). Looking forward to tasting your yam fries :^)

  3. When I can get organic burdock at the health food store, i stock up on it! i usually boil it and drink the water(like a tea) and then used the actual burdock for stirfries. it is very good to cleanse the blood.

  4. I love muffins, but I have always thought of them as an UNhealthy snack…thank you for featuring a healthy version! I love everything pumpkin and def want to give these a shot…

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