Chef's note: The long length of the gobo(burdock root) symbolizes longevity and good fortune and is a must have item for a Japanese New Year’s celebration. The red dried shrimp is also seen as a good fortune item in the new year’s celebration.
Place a large non-stick pan on high heat and add in the oil. When the oil lightly smokes, add in the dried shrimp, gobo and carrot and sauté for 1 minute. Add in the shoyu and sugar or honey and stir well.
The gobo and carrot will exude a lot of water, so the pan will stop sizzling and start to steam; stir well so that the liquid exuded will help the sugar to dissolve. Keep stirring until the liquid is completely evaporated, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle on the ground pepper, stir a couple more times to evenly distribute the pepper and serve immediately.
Enjoy this as a side dish, a vegetarian filling for a burrito or as a filling for makizushi.