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Crispy Sesame Tokyo Turnips

For me, these turnips take a once forgotten and boring vegetable and make them into an in-vogue and crush-worthy vegetable side! The size of these little cuties and their creamy finish is truly sensational. When you brown them after blanching, the crispy exterior makes them completely swoon-worthy!
Prep Time 8 mins
Cook Time 1 min
Total Time 10 mins
Course Vegetable Sides
Cuisine Japanese
Servings 4
Calories 263 kcal


  • 1 Cutting board
  • 1 Chef's knife
  • 1 Colander
  • 1 Japanese mandolin
  • 1 Cut Resistant Glove for the Mandolin
  • 1 Large pot for blanching
  • 1 Large Chef mixing Spoon
  • 1 Pair of Tongs
  • 1 Wooden Spoon
  • 1 Large Sauté Pan
  • 1 Measuring Spoon Set


  • 6 (2 bunches) Tokyo turnips, sliced in half
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbs Toasted Sesame Oil
  • 1 tbs Soy Sauce
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher Salt


  • Wash the turnips to remove any dirt or debris.
  • Remove the greens from the bulb and leave about ½ inch of the stem.
  • Slice the turnips in half lengthwise.
  • Use a mandolin to slice the thin garlic paper. If you do not have a mandolin, you can use a thin knife; try to slice the garlic as thin as possible.
  • Place a pot of water over high heat and salt the water so it tastes “salty like the sea.”
  • Allow for the water to come to a boil, and then submerge the turnips.
  • Cook for 30-40 seconds until the turnips are tender but still have a crunch.
  • Strain the turnips into a colander and submerge them in ice-cold water or an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Reserve.
  • Place a large sauté pan over moderate heat and coat with the sesame oil.
  • When the oil has ripples or waves and starts to smoke, for about 1 minute, add the turnips with the flat side facing down in the pan.
  • Cook for 2-3 minutes until the turnips have a golden-brown crust.
  • Flip the turnips, reduce the flame to low, and season with a pinch of salt.
  • Add the garlic and continue to cook for an additional 2 minutes until the garlic has infused in the oil and is slightly crispy and the turnips are coated in the infused oil.
  • Add the soy sauce and cook for 30-40 seconds. Lift the garlic from the bottom of the pan into the sauce with a wooden spoon or tongs. Toss with tongs so everything is mixed, and the turnips are coated in the sauce.
  • Serve and enjoy!


  • You can reserve the greens for another recipe or sauté them separately after the bulbs. It’s not recommended to sauté them together because the bulbs and the stems have very different cooking times. The greens are much more fragile.
  • The essential steps for blanching:
  • Blanching: Elements submerged in boiling water for a short time to "par-cook" until tender. Once removed from the boiling water, it is best to shock the elements in cold or iced water to stop the cooking process completely. Doing this will maintain and uphold the element's vibrancy and natural texture.  
  • 1) Your water must be "salty like the sea." The salt acts as a "cooking agent," cooking the vegetable from the inside out. You should taste your salted water before it comes to a boil, and it should resemble seawater. 
  • 2) Do not overcrowd your water. Blanch your ingredients in batches at a rolling boil. If you add too many elements to the water, the heat of your water will lower, defeating the purpose of blanching. 
  • 3) If you are blanching in batches, allow your water to come back up to a roiling boiling before you submerge the next round. 
  • Make sure you work fast to incorporate the turnips when you add the garlic into the sauté pan. Garlic crisps and burns quite quickly, so you want to use your wooden spoon or tongs to mix everything over moderate heat.


Calories: 263kcalCarbohydrates: 60gProtein: 9gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 609mgPotassium: 1733mgFiber: 16gSugar: 35gVitamin C: 192mgCalcium: 283mgIron: 3mg
Keyword crispy Tokyo turnips, Tokyo turnips, Tokyo turnips recipe