300g lotus root, thinly sliced (see note)
1 tablespoon sake
1 tablespoon mirin
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 large carrot, peeled and thinly sliced on the diagonal
1 tablespoon soy sauce

I could eat an entire panful of Obaachan’s kinpira to myself, and have often done just that. It is a humble, simple dish, but it is the one I think of first when I think of my favourite dishes of hers. Sometimes this is made with gobo (burdock root), sometimes just with lotus root, but I love this combination – the crunch and stickiness of the lotus, the sweetness of the carrot. My mother adds fresh slices of hot red chilli, too, which is an excellent idea.

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1.Soak the slices of lotus root in some cold water for 5 minutes to avoid discolouration (some like to add a splash of rice vinegar to this mixture), then pat dry.
2.Meanwhile, combine the sake, mirin and sugar and stir to dissolve the sugar.
3.Heat a frying pan over a medium–high heat, add the sesame oil and begin frying the lotus root and carrot slices, tossing frequently with a spatula (or chopsticks) to ensure even cooking.
4.After about 5 minutes, when the vegetables are about halfway cooked, add the sake mixture and continue cooking until the liquid is almost entirely evaporated and the vegetables are just about done, at most a further 5 minutes.
5.The lotus root should still have some crunch to it, the carrots should be sweet and a little soft and both should have some lovely browning (but not too much so be careful, as the sugars in both lotus root and carrot tend to make them brown very easily).
6.Add the soy sauce, toss quickly to coat the vegetables and remove from the heat.
7.Serve hot, tepid or even cold the next day.

This is an edited extract
from Gohan by Emiko
Davies, published by
Smith Street Books,
distributed by Thames
& Hudson Australia,
NZD$55, available
now. Photography ©
Emiko Davies, Hana
Davies & Yuki Sugiura