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Kimpira Heirloom Carrots

Posted on December 12, 2009 at 7:41 PM

Kimpira Ninjin - Kinpira gobo

I found some rare heirloom carrots at the Farmer's market. This maroon carrot in particular was a beauty.  It happened to even match what I was wearing- my hand knit sweater from Uruguay.  I wanted to wear the carrot around my neck!

I knew these carrots would be delicious cooked with a little butter but then I was thinking, how about stir-fried Kinpira-style, with a little red chili pepper to spice it up?  Usually, Kinpira is made with carrots and burdock but I wanted to try it with just carrots. 

A little too thick but what the heck.

The carrots came in odd shapes, so it wasn't easy to peel them but I did the best I could. Then came the slicing. Even worse.  With Kimpira, I should have sliced them more thinly but I relaxed and some came out rather thick. The maroon carrots had a beautiful yellow interior. I sauteed the sliced carrots in sesame oil for a few minutes until they became tender, and then seasoned them with soysauce, mirin and sugar. The maroon carrots lost their bright red color in the cooking and turned beige. The yellow carrots were nutty and the most flavorful of the three. The cracked red pepper gave the dish a nice spice, the roasted sesame seeds another layer of texture and toasty flavor.  It was a nice dish.


5 cups of carrots, peeled and sliced into matchsticks, 1/8 inch thick.  (mine were thicker

because the carrots had odd shapes)

2 Tbls of soysauce or more to taste

1 Tbls mirin

1 Tbls sugar or less, depending on the natural sweetness of the carrots

1 Tbls sake

3 Tbls Roasted sesame oil


Red cracked pepper 

Roasted ground sesame seeds

Over mediumm heat, saute the carrots for 3 minutes, until they are tender. Add the seasonings and cook for another 3-5 mintues, until the carrots absorb most of the liquid. Taste to see if it needs more seasoning. Adjust sparingly with soysauce, and other seasonings.   

As a garnish, the cracked red pepper will give it a zing!  It's nice too with roasted sesame seeds.

Categories: Vegetable and Seaweed Dishes , Vegetarian

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