Vegan Recipe for ‘Kinpira’ Style Vegetables by Tim Anderson

This vegetable glaze made from sesame, chilli, and soy sauce creates a thick, sweet coating that contrasts with their crunchy texture.


WordsClémence Leleu

© Synchronique Éditions

For his book Vegan JapanEasy, Tim Anderson has put together 80 Japanese recipes that contain no products of animal origin. The American chef wanted them to be easy to make, and therefore selected seven ingredients to act as a base, all available in Western organic supermarkets.

For this recipe for crunchy vegetables, he drew inspiration from the kinpira style that involves stir-frying the vegetables in a mixture of soy sauce, mirin, sesame oil, and chilli until the liquid reduces to form a thick, sticky glaze.  

While the Japanese generally use burdock or lotus root to enhance this dish, Tim Anderson stresses that the most important thing is to choose the crunchiest and sweetest vegetables possible. His final tip: this dish can be served hot, straight from the pan, or cold, as part of a bento


2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 dried red chilli, cut into slivers, or a pinch of chilli flakes

4 carrots, peeled, halved, and cut at an angle into strips about 3 mm thick 

150-200 g broccoli, cut in half

100-150 g mangetout, snap peas or fine beans

1 red (bell) pepper, sliced about 3 mm thick

4 tbsp soy sauce 

2 tbsp mirin

1 tbsp light brown sugar

1 tbsp white sesame seeds

2 tsp sesame oil


Heat the oil and the chilli in a large frying pan or wok over a high heat.

When the chilli begins to sizzle, add all the veg and stir-fry for a few minutes, until they begin to tenderise.

Add the soy sauce, mirin, and sugar.

Mix well and cook until the liquid has reduced to a thick glaze.

Add the sesame seeds and sesame oil and stir through. 

Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly before serving, or transfer to the refrigerator and eat within five days.


Vegan JapanEasy (2020), a recipe book by Tim Anderson, is published by Hardie Grant.

Tim Anderson is an American chef who won the 2011 series of MasterChef UK. Having graduated in 2006 from Occidental College in Los Angeles, where he studied the history of Japanese cuisine, he then lived in Japan for two years, in Fukuoka. He now lives in London, where he runs two Japanese restaurants: Nanban Brixton and Nanban Central. Vegan JapanEasy is his latest book, following Nanban, JapanEasy, and Tokyo Stories

© Hardie Grant