Monday, October 12, 2009

Crabcakes and Kinpira

Even when I'm happy with how a meal turns out, I almost always think of a way that I'd like to tweak it the next time I make it. So I was excited that the components of this dinner produced a rare no-tweaks-needed meal. Top center is a roasted Japanese sweet potato with miso scallion butter, to the right is a mock Maryland crabcake served with wasabi mayo, and on the left is carrot and burdock kinpira.

Kinpira is a Japanese cooking style that is basically just sautéing then simmering. After making this dish a few times, my favorite version is a slight modification of the the one Gweneth Paltrow shared in her ever amusing GOOP newsletter. If you can't find burdock root, try this with any other root vegetable you fancy.

Carrot & Burdock Kinpira
  • 1/2 T oil (I use olive or sesame)
  • 1 burdock root, peeled (or scrubbed really really well) and cut into thin matchsticks (keep in a bowl of cold water until cooking it)
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks
  • 2/3 C water (or dashi if you're not a veggie)
  • 1 1/2 T soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 T mirin
  • one 1" knob of ginger, peeled and grated
  • toasted sesame seeds for garnish
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Drain the burdock and add it to the pan. Cook, stirring constantly for 5 minutes. Adjust the heat so that it's high enough for the burdock to sizzle, but not so high that it scorches. Add a bit more oil if necessary to keep the burdock from sticking. After 5 minutes of stir-frying, add the carrot and enough water (or dashi) to come half-way up the vegetables. Bring the mixture to a boil, stir in the soy sauce and mirin, cover with a drop lid (a lid that’s slightly smaller than the pan so that it sits directly on top of the vegetables), and turn the heat to low and cook for 15 minutes. Remove the lid, turn the heat to high and cook until the vegetables are glazed, about 2 minutes. Put the kinpira on a plate and squeeze over the grated ginger—essentially you are ‘seasoning’ the kinpira with the ginger juice. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and serve warm or at room temperature.


Mike said...

Too bad there's never a next time...JK!!!

LJ said...

Oh shush. Variety is the spice of life!