Kanpyo 干瓢, literally means "dried gourd", is a rather common item used in Japanese cuisines. The meat of the gourd (a certain edible kind, I suppose) is peeled like a narrow tape and then dried. You can buy it, in this dried form, in a Japanese grocery store. I do not think it has much flavor by itself but, certainly, it will absorb any flavors in which it is cooked. It is often used as an edible tie to tie off something. For example, when I stuff a deep fried tofu pouch or abraage with a rice cake or "mochi" in my version of the New Year Soup, I use kanpyo to tie the pouch closed. It is also a common item to be included in scattered sushi "chirashi-zushi" ちらし寿司 or sushi roll "norimaki" のり巻き. To prepare kanpyo, you first wash, rehydrate (30 minutes or longer), and briefly (5 minutes) boil in water. After this, you could cook further a few different ways. If you are going to use this to tie off something, I will just use it without further cooking. The dish I am describing here is one of the rare dishes in which kanpyo is used as the main ingredient. After using kanpyo as a string/tie for another dish, I had a lot of unused kanpyo and decided to make this dish. It is very subtle in flavor and a bit of a chore to make but it looks more "professional" than "home made".