Japanese carrot kinpira

Kinpira is a Japanese cooking style. It usually refers to vegetables that are sautéed and simmered with mirin, sugar and soy sauce. The most common ingredients used for kinpira are root vegetables such as carrot, burdock (to make kinpira gobo), mooli, radish and lotus root.

Traditionally it is often served as a side dish with grilled meat/fish (we replaced it with grilled tofu/aubergine here), rice and miso soup. It is also served in a bento box and even within a sushi roll.

In most cases, the size of kinpira is small. It’s designed as a side dish for lunch and busy weekday dinners when you want one more thing from the menu – a similar idea to banchan in Korea.

Here is my first kinpira recipe with more coming. Hope you like it!

Japanese carrot kinpira – K33 Kitchen

This recipe is a typical Japanese home-cook style kinpira, so the ingredients are rather simple. All you need is sesame oil, sesame seed, mirin, soy sauce, any form of sugar, and vegetable roots. For this recipe I used carrot.

First, you need to julienne the carrot. As you may know, I am a lazy cook. I don’t have a julienne peeler, but also I didn’t want to spend too much time on chopping. I used my spiraliser to save myself from 10 minutes of chopping. Be creative with your kitchen utensils! 😎

It may look like a lot of carrots after being julienned, but later they are going to shrink.

Japanese carrot kinpira – K33 Kitchen

Heat the sesame oil in a frying pan on medium-low heat.

Japanese carrot kinpira – K33 Kitchen

Drop in the julienned carrots and stir-fry until they just start to colour. Add in maple syrup and keep cooking until the moisture from the carrots has evaporated.

Season with soy sauce and continue to cook on a low heat until there is no more liquid in the pan.

Japanese carrot kinpira – K33 Kitchen

Serve the carrot kinpira on to a plate and sprinkle sesame seeds. It’s best to cool the carrot kinpira in the refrigerator for 10–15 minutes to let the flavours blend before serving, but this is not essential. You also can refrigerate and store it for up to one week.

For anyone who is gluten intolerant, mirin is made with fermented rice and rice wine, so it is mostly gluten-free. However, each brand is different, please double check the product label beforehand.

Japanese carrot kinpira – K33 Kitchen

This carrot kinpira is a colourful, flavourful and delicious veggie side dish that goes well with cooked rice. It is an authentic, humble dish from every Japanese home kitchen for every occasion.

Thank you for the beautiful side dish plate handcrafted by my talented friend @potterybymiki

If you’ve followed and made this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and take a picture, tagging it with #k33_kitchen and share it on Instagram! I’d be very excited to see what you come up with. Cheers, hope you enjoy my recipes! <3 <3

Japanese carrot kinpira – K33 Kitchen

Difficulty: Easy

Serves: 2

Prep.: 5 mins | Cook: 10 mins

Ingredients:
  • 2 medium carrots (about 250g), julienned
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce*
  • 1 tbsp mirin**
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • Pinch of sesame seeds
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Instructions:
  1. Heat the sesame oil in a frying pan on medium-low heat, add the julienned carrots and stir-fry until they just start to colour.
  2. Drop in the julienned carrots and stir-fry until they just start to colour. Add in maple syrup and keep cooking until the moisture from the carrots has evaporated. Season with soy sauce and continue to cook on a low heat until there is no more liquid in the pan.
  3. Serve the carrots kinpira on to a plate and sprinkle sesame seeds. It’s best to cool the carrot kinpira in the refrigerator for 10–15 minutes to let the flavours blend before serving, but this is not essential. You also can refrigerated and store it for up to one week.

* Regular soy sauce is made with fermented wheat. Use gluten-free soy sauce if you are gluten intolerant.

** Mirin is made with fermented rice and rice wine, so it is mostly gluten-free. However, each brand is different, please double check the product label beforehand.

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