Kinpira Gobo with Grilled Matsutake and Waterpepper
An addictive salad of burdock root and carrots. Matsutake and watercress are optional garnishes. Serves 4 as a side.
Course: Appetizer, Salad, Side Dish
½lbgobo root1 large
1Tablespoonmaple syrup or sugar
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1teaspoonfish saucesuch as Red Boat brand
1 1/4 cupwater
2tablespoonstoasted sesame oil
1/2 inch piece finely grated, about 1/2 teaspoon Optional
2teaspoonstoasted sesame seedsOptional, to garnish
fresh waterpepper leaves Optional, to garnish
2teaspoons Chinese chives, sliced Optional, to garnish
Wash the burdock well to remove dirt.
Have a bowl of cold water ready. Trim the ends off of the gobo, then cut into manageable lengths, about 6 inches long. Peel the lengths one at a time, then cut on the diagonal into ¼ inch-thick long ovals. Stack the ovals on each other a few at a time, then cut into ¼ inch match sticks.
Repeat with the rest of the gobo, putting the cut sticks into the water as you go. Repeat the process with the carrots, reserving them separate from the gobo (they don’t need to sit in water).
In a 10 inch pan, such as cast iron, or wide skillet, bring the gobo and 1 cup of water to a boil and cook for 5 minutes, covered. Pour off the water. Add the carrots, maple, ginger, vinegar, fish sauce, soy, half the sesame oil and the remaining 1/4 of water and cook rapidly on high heat, until the pan is nearly dry.
Turn off the heat, stir in the remaining sesame oil and chives, then transfer to a serving bowl. Garnish with the sesame seeds, and sliced herbs if using and serve warm, cool, or at room temperature.