As with Korean cuisine, one Japanese meal can offer several side dishes. But the similarities end here, as Japanese dishes are almost all of a savory flavor – something my husband and I constantly crave while living in Korea. This stirfry, also known as kinpira, is deliciously savory, while still allowing the fresh flavors of the vegetables to shine through.
Though we used burdock root in Taro’s cooking class for the root vegetable stirfry, lotus root works quite well as a substitute. If purchasing pre-sliced, packaged lotus root, follow the instructions below. If using fresh lotus root, peel the vegetable and slice into thin circles before pan searing. Since mirin is quite sweet, I opted out of the recommended sugar for this recipe, and was pleased with the result.
15-20 lotus root slices
1/2 of a large carrot
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1-2 tablespoons of sesame seeds
1-2 teaspoons mirin
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil for pan frying
Drizzle of sesame oil
Using the sasagaki knife technique, shave the carrot into thin strips (or use a vegetable peeler). Cut any large lotus root slices into half-moons.
Heat the grapeseed oil in a pan over medium heat, and add the lotus root. Cook until the slices turn a light brown or the desired texture is reached about 7-8 minutes. For myself, lotus root cannot be over-cooked.
Add the carrots and stir fry until tender, 2-3 minutes. Add the soy sauce and mirin to the pan, stirring well. Heat just long enough for the alcohol in the mirin to cook-off, about 30 seconds.
Add the drizzle of sesame oil and the sesame seeds and serve.
This dish is the second part of my Japanese Progressive Dinner series. Be sure to check out part one for a Japanese twist on cucumber salad!