This month I found cooking inspiration on the Eat Japan website, where there is a TASTE JAPAN recipe leaflet available to download for free. TASTE JAPAN will be taking place at HYPER JAPAN this weekend in London, and will offer visitors the chance to experience the varied and unique flavours of Japan. People will be able to taste and learn easy Japanese recipes, and enjoy free samples of tea, sake and other alcohol from a special pop-up bar. There are loads of great recipes on the Eat Japan website, so do check it out!
I have slightly adapted this recipe from the original because I was having trouble fathoming the difference (if there is one) between ‘cooking sake’ and ‘mirin’. All I had was mirin, so I have used that instead of ‘cooking sake’. If anyone can shed any light on this I’d love to learn!
I should also note that there is one slightly unusual ingredient which you might have trouble finding – burdock root (or ‘gobo’ in Japanese). I managed to get some from my local Chinese supermarket (fresh, rather than dried as the recipe called for), but don’t worry if you can’t. Kinpira (きんぴら) can actually be made using other vegetables – check out JustBento.com for more kinpira recipes.
Kinpira Rice Burger
Ingredients (serves 4)
For the kinpira:
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 100g carrot, peeled and cut into thin strips
- 100g burdock root, peeled and cut into thin strips
- 2 tbsp mirin
- 90ml water
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp sugar
For the rice buns:
- 560g cooked sticky rice
- 1 tbsp black sesame seeds
- Toasted sesame oil for frying
- 4 lettuce leaves
- Japanese mayonnaise (optional)
Cook rice according to packet instructions, ideally using a rice cooker.
Peel and cut the carrot and burdock root.
Add the other kinpira ingredients and stir until sauce has thickened. Turn off the heat and set aside.
When the rice has cooked, mix in the sesame seeds.
Use cling film to shape the rice firmly into 8 discs to use as buns.
Heat the sesame oil in a frying pan over a medium heat, gently place the buns in the pan and cook on both sides until crispy and golden.
Assemble the burgers: place a lettuce leaf and some kinpira on a rice bun and place another rice bun on top. Add Japanese mayonnaise somewhere in the middle if desired. Enjoy – healthy Japanese-style fast-ish food!
The end result was impossible to pick up – I probably should have squished the rice patty more or cooked it for longer – but it was utterly delicious!
I’ll be back in August with a new recipe. If you have any suggestions, or perhaps you would like me to try one of your recipes from a book or website, please leave a comment below or get in touch! All the recipes I try on this blog have some connection to Japan and, because I don’t eat meat, they need to be vegetarian or pescetarian. I’m particularly interested in helping to promote Japanese recipe books, so do let me know if you have one I might like!