What is kinpira? Kinpira is a Japanese cooking technique. In spring one uses carrots and gobo - burdock root - cut into matchsticks. In summer chefs combine thumb sized pieces of Asian eggplant and green pepper. And in fall squash like our buttercup cut into thin crescent shapes is common.
Start with a cast iron or
heavy skillet. Toast some sesame seeds and set aside. Use a cooking
fat or oil that can take heat, and add some dried hot red pepper flakes
if desired. Add the vegetable that takes the longer cooking time (gobo
in spring and green peppers in summer). Cook over high heat, and keep
stirring. Add the second vegetable. Cook to al dente. Add a teaspoon
to tablespoon of sugar, Stir to caramelize, but don't burn. Add a
splash at a time of a sweet cooking wine like Japanese mirin or sherry.
I use homemade parsnip wine. Finally add some good quality tamari or
soy sauce. Top with the toasted sesame seeds and serve.
sequence is important as the sugar and sweet wine seal in the flavors.
Experiment as everyone seems to like a different ratio - some like it
hotter, others like it sweeter or saltier. The end result is a toasted
sweet, salty glazed vegetable with a bit of crunch. Delicious!