August 24, 2009

Japanify: Preparing Kanpyo

by Yoko Kumano


Kanpyo is a curious food – shaved calabash gourd. You can buy kanpyo dehydrated in white strips. You must prepare the dehydrated strips and marinate them to get them ready for the most common kanpyo dishes like futomaki rolls and side dishes. I wanted to make unohana – a mixture of tofu pulp and vegetables, so I decided to try my hand at kanpyo.

Kanpyo bought from the store:


Wash the strips of kanpyo with water.

Rub with salt:


Soak for 10 minutes in water.

Put the kanpyo with water in a pot and bring to boil:


Drain. Create a mixture of 1 cup dashi, 2 tbs sugar, 2 tbs soy sauce and 2 tbs mirin. Put this mixture in the pot, and add the drained kanpyo into the pot. Simmer in the mixture for 5 minutes. All the liquid should be absorbed by the kanpyo.

Remove from pot and cut into desired size.


*Yoko lives in Tokyo. She loves dips, dashi and deals.


  • Justin
    Posted August 25, 2009 at 7:44 pm

    hmmm, i'm very unfamiliar with this

  • yoko
    Posted August 25, 2009 at 7:49 pm

    If you have eaten a lot of sushi rolls you may have eaten this without knowing. It's often in the big futomaki rolls alongside egg and spinach. You should be able to pick up a pack of kanpyo at a Japanese grocery store in the states. And any decent sushi restaurant should have kanpyo rolls.

  • Dan
    Posted August 28, 2009 at 7:03 pm

    I love unohana but I've never had it with kanpyo, usually with konnyaku… I want to try this!

  • Amanda
    Posted November 15, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    Once cut and marinated it looks like meat. I wonder if I can fool my friends with this!

  • Janice
    Posted December 1, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    This the best and simplist recipe I have found. It’s really a great things to add flavor and texture to futamaki rolls. This is easy to make and this recipe is easy to follow, love it.

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