Make Kinpira Gobo

Make Kinpira Gobo

The Spruce / Christine Ma

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
154 Calories
7g Fat
21g Carbs
2g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 154
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 9%
Saturated Fat 1g 3%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 238mg 10%
Total Carbohydrate 21g 7%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 2mg 12%
Calcium 44mg 3%
Iron 1mg 4%
Potassium 293mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Kinpira Gobo is a traditional Japanese dish often enjoyed at home, typically served in a bento box. It’s perfect for lunch and busy weekday dinners when you want one more thing for the menu. 

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 (burdock root) and carrot, but lotus root is another common ingredient for this cooking style.

Burdock has been an important plant in China and Japan for thousands of years. The entire plant is edible and is a popular vegetable in Asia, particularly in Japan. 

Gobo is hard and looks like a tree root, but it transforms into a softer ingredient when cooked and then it has a mild but distinct flavor. Gobo can be used in nimono (boiled and seasoned vegetables), miso soup, salads, and many other dishes. 

While gobo and carrot are the main ingredients in this recipe, you could add ingredients such as Konnyaku, lotus root, and even meat like beef or chicken. You can also spice up the dish with thinly sliced dried red chili pepper.


  • 1/2 pound gobo (burdock root)

  • 1/4 pound carrot, peeled and cut into short, thin strips

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons mirin

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 1/2 tablespoon sake

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Make Kinpira Gobo ingredients

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  2. Peel the gobo’s skin with a peeler or with back of a kitchen knife, which is the traditinal method called sasagai - or between shaved and sliced.

    Peel the gobo’s skin

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  3. Diagonally slice thin strips so that each piece is about 2-inches in length. Then collect some of the slices and cut into thin matchbox strips.

    gobo cut into pieces

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  4. Soak gobo strips in water and drain well. You can add a drop of vinegar to the water, if desired. Change the water several times until it is clean. Leave gobo in water until ready to cook.

    Soak gobo strips in water

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  5. Cut carrots into matchbox strips.

    Cut carrots into matchbox strips

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  6. Heat vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat, and fry gobo for a couple of minutes.

    gobo cooking in a pan

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  7. Add carrot strips to the pan and stir-fry them.

    gobo and carrots cooking in a pan

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  8. Add sake, mirin, and sugar and stir-fry until the liquid is gone.

    sake, mirin, and sugar with the carrot gobo mixture in the pan

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  9. Season with soy sauce and stir-fry well.

    Kinpira Gobo cooking in a pan
  10. Turn off the heat and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

    Kinpira Gobo in a pan

    The Spruce / Christine Ma