What is Kanpyo? (and How to Make Japanese Recipe)


Kanpyo is an under-appreciated ingredient in Japanese cuisine, but it’s perfect for summer because it soaks up flavor from other ingredients and takes on the taste of whatever it’s cooked with. Here are some Kanpyo recipes to give your summer dishes a boost of flavor and nutrition.

While Japanese cuisine might be best known for sushi, don’t overlook some of the less-exotic options like kanpyo. The versatile gourd can be eaten raw or cooked and serves as an ingredient in many summer-friendly recipes from side dishes to salads to desserts. If you’re not familiar with kanpyo, keep reading for everything you need to know about this summertime favorite.

What is Kanpyo?

Kanpyo is a unique traditional delicacy formed from shaved gourd ribbons that have been dried. It is a type of gourd that is used in a variety of Japanese and Korean recipes. Despite being a vegetable, many people think it has the feel and substance of jellyfish. It’s used in a variety of Japanese foods, including okonomiyaki and sushi. For their rolls, the Japanese employ an elongated kanpyo. Because it is easier to store, the Koreans utilize a spherical kanpyo for their kimchi.

Kanpyo is dried bottle gourd flesh sliced into thin strips. The white, tidy blooms of the bottle gourd bloom on a warm evening and disappear overnight. The bottle gourd is endemic to tropical Africa and Asia. Kanpyo is a traditional Japanese dish found only in Japan.

Kanpyo has been consumed as a supper in Japan since antiquity. During the Edo Period, it was regarded as a refined meal by the upper classes (1603-1868). Kanpyo is a valuable and appealing meal entrenched in history and culture.

These long, thin dry bits are typically found on Futomaki, a traditional thick sushi roll, and other sushi dishes. They’re also used in ‘Nimono’ (simmered) and ‘Aemono’ (marinated) recipes. When cooked, they have a distinct sweet and savory flavor.

Kanpyo is high in minerals, calcium, dietary fiber, potassium, and iron. The drying process focuses the food’s nutritional content. It’s high in fiber and low in calories, and it’s said to aid digestion.

Recipe Facts

Kanpyo recipe
Recipe: Kanpyo Recipe
Category: Ingredient
Cuisine: Japanese
Preparation Time:
Cooking time:
Servings: 15
Average rating: 4.8 of 5.0 from 480 reviews
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About: Kanpyo recipe guide. Kanpyo is a food made from gourds which have been shaved into ribbons then dried. Learn how to make your kanpyo.

Kanpyo Ingredients

  • 2 pkg kanpyo (dried kanpyo gourd)
  • Water
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoon sugar
  • ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon shoyu (soy sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons mirin (sweet cooking wine)

Kanpyo recipe step by step

  1. Submerge and moisten the kanpyo strips in cold tap water in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Pour out all of the water, then brush the strips with around 2 tablespoons of salt to soften the fibers and clean them.
  3. Rinse under cold running tap water to remove the salt.
  4. Drain the strips and place them in a cold water dish overnight.
  5. The next day, drain the kanpyo strips and arrange them in a medium pot.
  6. Pour enough water into the container to cover them by 2 inches. Cover with a dorp lid or a parchment paper disk and cook for 15 minutes, or until the strips are firmly done. To check, remove one strip and lightly press it with your fingertip. A crisp nail mark should be left on the surface (overcooking at this stage turns the strips unpleasantly soft so they tear easily).
  7. Drain and discard the cooking liquid from the kanpyo strips. Combine the sugar and soy sauce in a clean cooking pot and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spatula.
  8. Add the kanpyo strips to the pan once the sugar has dissolved and cook over medium-high heat, flipping the strips frequently with a pair of cooking chopsticks (spiky metal tongs can puncture the gourd strips and damage them).
  9. Add the sweet cooking wine (mirin) when the cooking liquid has almost fully evaporated and the strips are coated in a glossy, syrupy sauce.
  10. Drain the kanpyo strips in a sieve and discard the cooking liquid.
  11. Turn the strips over several times to swiftly cool them. Keep the kanpyo refrigerated or frozen until ready to use.

Kanpyo Taste

Kanpyo, like other gourds and squash, has a moderate sweetness that can be disguised with seasonings such as soy sauce, honey, or mirin. Its spongy, chewy, biting texture contrasts wonderfully when wrapped in sushi rice or added to soups.

Kanpyo food images

Homemade KanpyoHow to make kanpyoKanpyo foodhow to prepare Kanpyo

Video on How to make Kanpyo

Video Title: How to make Kanpyo

Learn how to make kanpyo. It is a food made from gourds which have been shaved into ribbons then dried. This is a video on how to prepare fantastic kanpyo.

How to make Kanpyo, endnote

As the temperature rises, so does the demand for gourd dishes. Kanpyo (naturally fermented dried gourd strips) is an easily accessible ingredient that can be added to many recipes, and it offers many of the health benefits of other types of squash and pumpkins, like butternut squash or acorn squash. This article will provide information on how to prepare kanpyo and what to do with it once you’ve got it ready.

It’s time to start thinking about grilling and relaxing at home with family and friends. Whether you’re heading to the beach or having people over for an outdoor dinner party, you can use kanpyo to add some crunch and zest to your dishes without giving up any of the traditional flavors you expect from your food. Kanpyo – also known as gourd or loofah – is a vegetable that’s commonly grown in Japan, China, Korea, India, and Thailand.

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