Lesson THREE
Nothing Goes to Waste in the Kansha Kitchen

Making Use of What You Have on Hand

Spicy Stir-Fry (recipe on page 122) Kimpira

Basic Kelp Stock [embed link](recipe on page 75) Kombu Dashi

additional instruction on cutting and slicing techniques katsura muki broad peel) & sen-giri (fine shred)

Using the recipe for Spicy Stir-Fry (page 122) as a point of departure, this lesson explores the theme of “no waste” by using kitchen scraps – the peels and trimmings from fruits and vegetables used to make other dishes. One tasty way to use these bits and pieces is to make kimpira.

Salvaged from the back of the vegetable bin:

daikon peel and green pepper...

Ingredients for KIMPIRA

back, left: sesame oil, soy sauce, mirin; front, left: lemon peel, pepper, daikon, konnyaku, shichimi

The Language of Food

Kimpira and Shichimi Togarashi

(legendary character: KIMPIRA) 金平きんぴら(spicy stir-fry: KIMPIRA)



(blend of 7 spices)

Japanese food names often derive from legendary characters. Kimpira the name of a legendary, Paul Bunyon-like character known for his exceptional strength and bravery, is a good example of this. Celebrated in the culinary arena for his fiery determination, KIMPIRA lends his name to stir-fried dishes (especially root vegetables) finished with shichimi togarashi.

This blend of seven spices varies depending upon who is mixing it and can be fairly mild and aromatic to outrageously incendiary. Note that the classic version below displays 8 images... the two types of sesame seeds, black (kuro) and white (shiro) are considered a single category.

CLASSIC Shichimi...

top row listed on left, below, from left to right;

bottom row listed on right, below, from left to right

  • togarashi (red chili)
  • aonori (green sea herb)
  • chinpi (dried citrus peel)
  • sansho (aromatic pepper)
  • keshi no mi (poppy seed)
  • asa no mi (rapeseed)
  • kuro goma (black sesame)
  • shiro goma (white sesame)

Blending spices (below) at YAGEN-BORI, a famous Kyoto shop... 

Kuro Shichimi (above)

"black" shichimi includes black pepper

Yuzu Shichimi (below)

spices infused with aromatic dried yuzu (citron peel)

Dishes in the featured menu can be found in my cookbook, KANSHA: Celebrating Japan's Vegan & Vegetarian Traditions (Ten Speed Press, 2010). They are referenced here by page number. Click on the recipe titles above to download photo-illustrated documents that provide information not included in the book  -- details about ingredients, tools & techniques, menu planning and/or final presentation.

I welcome your feedback -- especially captioned photos with a brief description of your kitchen sessions when you try making the recipes above. Those interested in offering feedback, please download a set of guidelines for submitting and displaying your work.To further teaching goals, I may post some of the feedback to this site, adding my commentary.

Every 6 to 7 weeks, I will post a new lesson to this KANSHAWorkshop page
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