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Kinpira Gobo

Kinpira gobo (金平牛蒡, literally "gold flat burdock"), is a popular side dish in Japan. It's often used to fill one of the compartments in bento boxes, and is made with burdock, the taproot of a common plant found in many places around the world.
Course Sides
Cuisine Japanese
Level Beginner
Main Ingredient Poultry, Vegetable
Diet Dairy-Free, Low-Carb, Low-Fat
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6 serving


for the chicken

  • 140 grams boneless skin-on chicken thighs
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sake
  • 1/2 teaspoon evaporated cane sugar

for the kinpira

  • 80 grams carrot (1 small , peeled)
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar (anything acidic will work)
  • 250 grams burdock root (2 medium roots)
  • 1/4 cup sake
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon evaporated cane sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds (to garnish)


  1. Chop the chicken into 1/4-inch pieces and marinate with 1 teaspoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoon sake, and 1/2 teaspoon of sugar.
  2. To julienne the carrots, cut them into 2-inch lengths, and then slice them lengthwise into 1/10-inch (3mm) thick slices. Line up the slices and slice them into 1/10-inch thick sticks.
  3. Fill a medium bowl with water and mix in 1 tablespoon of vinegar. Peel the burdock in sections and cut off 2-inch lengths, adding each piece to the acidic water immediately.
  4. Take a piece of burdock and slice it lengthwise into 1/20-inch (1.5mm) thick slices (a sharp mandoline can help).
  5. Line the slices up and julienne into 1/20-inch sticks. Return the julienned burdock to the acidic water and repeat with another piece.
  6. Prepare the seasoning by mixing together 1/4 cup sake, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
  7. Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat and add the oil. Add the marinated chicken in a single layer and fry until browned on one side, and then stir fry until the fat from the skin has mostly rendered out.
  8. Drain the burdock and add it to the pan along with the carrots. Saute until everything is well coated with oil from the chicken (about 1 minute).
  9. Add the seasoning mixture and cover with a lid. Steam the kinpira for 1 minute.
  10. Remove the lid and continue sautéing, stirring constantly until all the liquid has evaporated.
  11. Plate the kinpira gobo and garnish with some toasted sesame seeds.