Posted by: Santa Barbara Dreaming | October 23, 2008

Eating Branches? Authentic Japanese Recipe for Kinpira Gobo

As promised, I’m going to share with you a Japanese Recipe.
This is a side dish called Kimpira Gobo.

It is made witht the Japanese Gobo Root (I think it looks more like branches :)) Apparently, the English name for this is the greater burdock (Arctium lappa). And this is what it looks like when you buy it:

The Gobo root

The Gobo root

You scrub the dirt off under running water, and it’s actually quite white once the dirt is gone. The dirt is pruposefully left on to preserve the aroma and taste of the gobo.

Kinpira Gobo is a side dish I’ve enjoyed, and used to always beg my mom to make it. So I finally attempted making some of my own!

2 Gobo sticks
1/2 cup shredded carrots
sesame oil
crushed red pepper flakes (only if you like some HEAT!)
sesame seeds
1 1/2 tbsp Mirin
1 tbsp soysauce

Scrub the gobo until the dirt is gone. (No need to scrub away the peel/skin! That’s where the flava is!)
Shave the gobo into shreds with a knife. You do this as if you are shaving a pencil. Hold the gobo onto your cutting board at a 45 degree angle, and rotate it as you shave off thin layers.) After shaving, soak the shreds in a bowl of water for a few minutes, and drain well.
Heat some sesame oil in a pan over medium heat. Add red pepper flakes if you want. When the oil is warm, add the gobo and stri fry until gobo is opaque. (a few minutes) Add shredded carrots. When the veggies are crisp tender, add the mirin and soysauce. Stir it in and cook till all the liquid is gone. Remove from heat, and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Here is a photo sequence:

The shredded gobo in the pan

The shredded gobo in the pan. Notice that gobo is pretty white

add carrots to gobo and cook

add carrots to gobo and cook

Sprinkle with sesame seeds and eat!

Sprinkle with sesame seeds and eat!

This is a side dish, so it’s meant to be eaten with rice. I think it will taste great with either plain white rice, brown rice, or any other type of rice you’ve got!

Some more info about GOBO

Gobo has a nice, earthy flavor.
It is a GREAT source of fiber and potassium, and is very low in calories. (a 3/4 cup has 60 calories and no fat.)
It can be eaten in a lot of ways. You can dice it up and cook it with rice, you can pickle it, you can mince it and use it as a filler for hamburger patties or meat balls, add it to stir frys, or into soups.
Gobo can be kept in the fridge for about 2 weeks.

Go here for more info

You can find Gobo Roots at Nikka’s Japanese Market (Calle Real Center in Goleta in between KFC and Trader Joe’s) or at Lazy Acres on the Mesa.



  1. I’ve never heard of the Gobo root before – I’ll have to look for it. I love stirfry’s so anything to bulk it up that’s not high in calories is for me!

    Thanks for the idea.

  2. Hi biz319 – you’re welcome! Gobo is such an interesting ingredient- I really want to experiment with it more too. If you have any great stir fry recipes, I’d love for you to send them my way! Happy Friday

  3. I made this version last night! It’s in my lunch today 🙂 I love gobo.

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