Wholesome Vegetables: Welcome Kohlarbi!

Posted on Dec 7, 2017 in Hiroko's Blog, Recipes

Are you looking for more vegetables to add to your diet? Forget about processed vegetable protein products or other similar items. To me they are just another form of processed foods. Today most people are getting rid of them from their diet. Why don’t we enjoy vegetables as wholesome ingredients, just as they are?

Starting two weeks ago I began to notice at the Farmer’s Market here in Union Square that my favorite winter vegetable, kohlrabi is back. To tell the truth I did not know kohlrabi until I moved to New York 19 years ago, and did not even try it until quite recently. I soon found that Kohlrabi is fantastic in salads, Japanese simmered dishes and kinpira preparation. I am truly enjoying it quite often..

Kinpira is the name of a preparation in which ingredients are julienned or sliced thin, stir-fried in a little oil and flavored with shoyu (soy sauce), sugar and togarashi-chile (red chile) pepper flakes. Since the Edo Period (1600-1868), the traditional vegetable used in kinpira is burdock. The crunchy texture of burdock shines in this preparation. Lotus root, carrot and other vegetable which preserve crunchiness during cooking also fit this preparation. And kohlrabi is a perfect match as well.

When I make Kohlrabi Kinpira I do not add sugar, mirin, maple syrup or other sweetener. The cooking process brings out kohlrabi’s its natural sweetness in this dish. Try this simple and delightful dish.


About 8 ½ ounce peeled and thinly sliced kohlrabi

kohlarbi leaves, julienned

1 tablespoon canola oil

½ teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon shoyu (choose good quality soy sauce)

Shichimi togarashi (seven spices chile powder)


Heat the oil in the wok. Add the kohlarbi and salt, and cook, turning over with a spatula from time to time, for 5 to 6 minutes. Add the leaves and stir several times. Add the shoyu and cook until shoyu is evenly distributed. Add the shichimi togarashi and make several large stirs. The dish tastes better half an hour after cooking or the next day.