Kimpira is usually made with burdock root, but whole, fresh, burdock (gobo, in Japanese) can be hard to find. This carrot version is just as good, I’ve found.
4 large carrots, peeled
1 T peanut oil
1 T sake
1 T sugar
2 T Japanese soy sauce
In each carrot, make a series of lengthwise cuts, about 1/4″ deep, all around the carrot, trying as much as possible to keep the cuts parallel, and as close together as you can (1/8″ apart is ideal) . Use a sharp vegetable peeler to lightly peel off thin strips by peeling lengthwise down the carrot. Strips should be as thin as you can make them. Add new cuts to the carrots, if necessary. Collect all the carrot strips in a bowl. Discard the carrots’ hard yellow cores.
In a large cast iron skillet, heat the peanut oil over high heat and add the carrot strips. Turn and mix and stir-fry for about 2 minutes, then add the sake and the sugar and turn the heat down to medium. Mix well and stir-fry for 3 more minutes until the carrot is glossy, then add the soy sauce and continue to stir-fry until the carrot is dark golden brown, and tender to the bite. Pile in a tangled heap in individual small serving bowls, and serve as a side dish to a Japanese meal.
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