Japanese Kinpira Renkon – healthy side dish

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Kinpira Renkon is a traditional Japanese culinary small plate served in Izakaya’s (taverns). It is a stir-fried dish with braised lotus root and carrot in sweet spicy or sweet natural style. More delicious is adding that extra earthy and deep flavour of the gobo root (burdock root), making this veggie dish super healthy and yummie!

Both roots are excellent nutritious sources known for low calorie, aids digestion, energy booster and health promoting properties. You can buy these roots in Asian stores all year round.

Cooking time: ~15-20min and serves 4-5 portion




Ingredients & Tools

What to do?

From the Asian/Japanese/Korean deli

  • 2x medium lotus roots
  • 1x thin gobo root (burdock root)
  • 1x small red chilli pepper
  • 2x table spoon sesame oil
  • 4x table spoon mirin (sweetened sake for cooking)
  • 2x table spoon soy sauce
  • Sesame seeds


  • 1x giant carrot ~20cm
  • 1x table spoon vegetable/olive oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 2x medium size bowls
  • Sharp knife


Note: You can serve this dish warm or cold. If latter, cool it down completely before you put in the fridge by using a containment food box. You can preserve it up to 3-4 days.

Tip: eating it cold next day, it taste even better. You can eat it as small snack, with steamed rice or also goes really delicious with my Korean Bulgogi recipe 🙂

Cut lotus root

  1. Peel lotus root and cut in thin round or half round. Not too thin or it will snap easily.
  2. Soak lotus in bowl of water for 10min.
  3. Drain and dry with paper towels. The easiest way is layer on paper towel.

Cut gobo root

  1. Peel gobo root with the back of the knife. Rinse under water.
  2. Cut one end like a pencil.
  3. Hold the uncut end of the root and shave the pencil-end fine and thin, like sharpening a pencil. Rotate the root as you go.
  4. Soak gobo in 2nd bowl of water or it will change in colour.

Continue with cutting…

  1. Cut carrot in julienne style (thin strips).
  2. Cut chilli pepper in thin slices. For a mild hot dish, suggest using half of it and remove seeds.

Start cooking

  1. Heat pan with 1x Tbsp olive oil and 1x Tbsp sesame oil.
  2. Drain gobo shaves, add in pan.
  3. Stir-fry on medium heat for a minute or two.
  4. Add chilli pepper, stir-fry until gobo turn somewhat translucent.
  5. Add lotus root, stir-fry until somewhat translucent.
  6. Add carrot, stir-fry until somewhat soft.
  7. For extra essence add 1x Tbsp sesame oil, stir well.
  8. Add 4x Tbsp mirin, stir well.
  9. Add pinch of salt, stir well.
  10. Add 2x Tbsp soy sauce, stir well.
  11. Add pinch of sugar, stir well.

Finally, serve veggies as side dish and sprinkle with some sesame seeds, bon appetite!



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