Kinpira gobo is a traditionally eaten side dish basically made with burdock and carrot. Kinpira in general is side dish with different kinds of root vegetables used, and seasoned with sugar, soy sauce, sake, or sweet rice wine. Sesame seeds and chilli pepper are added to enhance the flavor. The name kinpira comes from the famous folk story called Kintaro, and the son of the character Kintaro who is named Kinpira.
Gobou means burdock, and it is not only eaten as kinpira-gobo, but also as miso soup with pork, and tempura. It seems like there are not many Japanese who hate gobo, but the section that sell gobo at supermarkets are small, and it is not easy to spot. However, at delicatessen at supermarkets, kinpira gobo is always sold, and is one of the most favorite side dish among Japanese. People also often put kinpira gobo in lunch box for kids to take to school.
The way to make kinpira gobou is by first washing burdock and remove dirt. Cut burdock into fine strips, and soak burdock in water for few minutes. Also, cut carrot into fine strips, and cut chilli pepper into small pieces. Pour small portion of sesame seed oil in a frying pan, and stir fry burdock, and carrot until they become wilted. Add sake, sugar, soy sauce, and sweet rice wine, and simmer until the taste gets soaked into the ingredients. Mix the ingredients with chilli pepper and sesame seeds, and the dish is complete.