Gobo, Japanese for burdock root, can grow up to 122 cm/ 4 feet in length. The slender roots have a white flesh with brown covering/skin that is edible after being scrubbed clean. Gobo has a delightful aroma and flavor, and a crisp texture. It originated in China where it was used as a medicine, and was later introduced to Japan where it became a delicacy. It is high in fiber and antioxidants, especially vitamin B1, known to be a health food which reduces cholesterol and good for cancer prevention. Choose young, tender roots. It can be refrigerated in a wet towel, plastic wrapped, up to 7 days. Some favorite Japanese side-dishes which use gobo are kinpira gobo and tonjiru/butajiru. This time, I am introducing one of Japan’s (and my) most favored side-dish, kinpira gobo.
Kinpira Gobo • きんぴらごぼう • Braised Burdock Root & Carrot
Recipe by: Fae’s Twist & Tango (fae-magazine.com)
• 340 g/ 12 oz burdock root (89 cm/35″ of root)
• 170 g/ 6 oz/ 1 medium size carrot
• 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
• 1 Tbsp white roasted sesame seeds
• 3 Tbsp low sodium soy-sauce (1½ Tbsp for regular soy-sauce)
• 2 Tbsp mirin
• 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
• ½ tsp shichimi tōgarashi 
• 5 drops sesame oil (optional)
◊ If not already roasted, put the sesame seeds in a small sauce pan. On high-heat, frequently shaking the saucepan, roast sesame seeds until smoke starts. Turn off heat and set aside on a plate to cool.
◊ In a small bowl, mix all the seasoning ingredients and set aside.
◊ Fill mid-size bowl with water half-way and have ready.
◊ Cut burdock root in 18 cm/ 7″ pieces, scrape off skin with the back of the kitchen knife and rinse.
◊ Bias-slice the burdock sticks thin. Stack slices and julienne. As you cut them, soak strips in bowl with water. Let them sit in water while rest of ingredients are prepared. (The water will turn brown and dark.)
◊ Peel and cut carrot with same technique as the burdock (does not need to be soaked). See photo illustrations below.
◊ Drain the burdock strips in colander and rinse well. Shake colander well to drain water, and wrap the strips in a paper towel to get as much of the water absorbed.
◊ Pour vegetable oil in a medium-size pot. On medium-heat sautée burdock strips until slightly browned (8 minutes).
◊ Add carrot strip and sautée for 30 seconds. Add seasoning and stir well. Increase heat to medium-high and let seasoning condense until a tablespoon worth is left. Turn off heat.
◊ Add half of the roasted sesame and stir. Dish out in one medium bowl or in individual bowls per serving. garnish with remainder of sesame and serve.
~ どうぞめしあがれ • Douzo Meshiagare ~
 Shichimi tōgarashi, ‘seven flavor chili pepper’, also known as nana-iro tōgarashi, ‘seven color chili pepper’, simply shichimi, is a common Japanese spice mixture containing seven ingredients.
A typical blend may contain:
° coarsely ground, red chili pepper (the main ingredient)
° ground sansho (berries of the prickly ash)
° roasted orange peel
° black/white sesame seed
° hemp seed
° ground ginger
° nori or aonori (dried seaweed flakes)
So, what’s cooking in your kitchen?