Updated: February 25, 2019
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Kanpyō, Japanese Dried Calabash Strips

The dried shavings of calabash are a traditional ingredient in Japanese cuisine. Learn more about it here!

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What is Kanpyō?

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Calabash fruit.
Kanpyō (かんぴょう or 干瓢), is a type of dried gourd strips made from the calabash fruit, which is a type of gourd found all over the world.
In Japan it was originally grown in the Osaka region, but now is a specialty product of Tochigi Prefecture. The gourd is harvested between late July and September.

How to Prepare and How to Eat It

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Kanpyo preparation.
Kanpyō is an ingredient in traditional Edo style Japanese cuisine, and cooked and flavored kanpyō is commonly used in the futomaki sushi roll.

Kanpyō is sold dehydrated and must be soaked in water and seasoned - with dashi, mirin, sugar and soy sauce - before it’s used in your sushi. Because it’s dried, however, you can easily buy Kanpyō on the internet and have it shipped with no deterioration.
Kanpyōmaki is traditionally served near the end of a meal to provide guests with something mild and pleasant to clear their palates. It’s purposely not particularly flavorful. Instead, it’s got a nice blend of textures and enough savory undertones to provide an enjoyable experience.
Kanpyō is also one of the main ingredients of futomaki, along with vegetables, eggs, and sometimes seafood, like unagi.
Paired with inarizushi it is a standard lunch for sports day at schools or picnics.
Now you can take your pick and make your own kanpyō roll!
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