(burdock root; Arctium lappa)
Kimpira, named after a folk-hero celebrated for his fervent determination and fiery ways, is a quickly assembled, skillet-stirred vegetable dish finished with an incendiary 7-spice blend. Kimpira frequently appears on the menu in homes, at casual eateries, and tucked into obentō. The classic version is made with whittled shreds of burdock root; often slivers of carrot are added for color.
Kimpira is not a new dish. In fact, it was enormously popular during the Edo period (1603-1868). In those days, being included in a banzuké (charts mimicking sumo wrestler rankings) was the equivalent of posting to social media. The latest trends were noted, and promoted, with banzuké. A “Best-Loved Daily Foods Banzuké” published in 1830 lists kimpira gobō as komusubi, the third rank (after #1 ozeki and #2 sekiwaké.).
Try your hand at making KIMPIRA GOBŌ.