Since I had Kabocha Japanese pumpkin カボチャ, shishi-tougarashi 獅子唐芥子 or shishitou (both were from our regular grocery store) and “Gobo” 牛蒡 burdock root (from the Japanese grocery store), I decided to make this simple vegetable fry. It came our a bit too oily for our taste but still it was still quite good.
I precooked and seasoned the Gobo since I used a part of it for another dish. Alternatively, I could have used raw gobo just salted in acidulated water and then drained.
Ingredients (#3 below):
“Gobo” burdock root, about 1/3, skin scrabbled clean with a food brush but not removed.
Japanese “shishitou” peppers, 5-6, stem removed and slits cut in to the middle to prevent explosion in hot oil.
Japanese “Kabocha” squash, 1/4, innards removed and skin shaved off, cut into half inch thick pices
Oil for deep frying
For preparing Gobo
Rice vinegar (making acidulated water for initial cooking)
Japanese dashi broth seasoned with soy sauce and mirin
Cut the gobo into 3 inch lengths. First cook in water with a splash of rice vinegar for 10 minutes and then in plain water for another 10 minutes. Finally, cook in a seasoned Japanese broth (Kelp-bonito broth seasoned with soy sauce and mirin) in 10 more minutes.
Let it cool down in the broth and then cut into 4 long pieces and return to the broth to soak (#1) (I soaked it overnight in the fridge but it could be fried immediately).
I deep fried each items separately. Kabocha takes the most time (4-5 minutes) and shishitou takes the least time (1 minute). I served these sprinkled with a bit of Kosher salt. The kabocha came out very sweet. The gobo was still a bit fibrous but not bad. My wife removed the skin and seeds from shishitou and I ate all. Fortunately, none of them was atomically hot.