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The makings for the best easiest kabocha recipe (kabocha+dashi).



Kabocha squash is delicious. It’s sweet and savory with meaty flesh that’s dense enough to hold its shape after cooking. My typical fashion for buying one involves purchasing said squash with high ambition then allowing it to collect dust in the kitchen for weeks/months. This method isn’t admirable but they are a lot of work and warrant some pre-meditation. Do you know what makes cutting up hard, slicked-skinned winter squash less awful? Friends. Yeah, friends are the best. The other day my friend and I both found ourselves each with a dusty kabocha squash so we decided to get together. We shared a table and a big bowl then started chopping and chatting. I had reached out to her, not only because she’s a great human, but also on account of her Japanese heritage and love of this Japanese pumpkin. She shared with me her recipe for that delicious sweet yet salty pumpkin dish you find alongside Japanese cuisine; Kabocha No Nimono (simmered pumpkin). 

There are a lot of great things about this recipe but nothing so awesome as how easy it is. In this application you’re encouraged to leave the skin on! Yeah, no peeling. You essentially throw everything in a pot, cover and cook. Dashi, a broth made of dried-fish, is a main ingredient in this recipe. I’ve seen some lovely vegan versions but found the briny, fish flavor the dashi lends to be very pleasant. I purchased mine at a Japanese market in town. I spent a decent amount of time sorting through products riddled with msg and unnecessary ingredients. I found this tea bag-like soup base that we were real happy with. You can also be a champ and make your own. I’m real excited to have some extra in my pantry. Recipe below…

Kabocha No Nimono  / Japanese Pumpkin

1 Kabocha squash, chopped, w/ skin on.

3 c / 720 ml dashi broth, concentrated to your taste (enough to partially cover squash, no more than 1/2 way)

2 tbsp sugar of your choice

2 tbsp soy sauce or tamari

tsp salt

1-2 tbsp sake or mirin or rice wine vinegar, to taste.

  1. Rinse and dry your kabocha squash. Cut in half and scoop out seeds

  2. Cut in 3 inch chunks and set aside. Too small and pumpkin will fall apart early.

  3. Fix your dashi broth and bring to simmer in large pot. Taste as you go, add more flavor if you want.

  4. Once your dashi is hot toss in your chopped Kabocha and cook covered on medium-high(ish) until the kabocha is fork-tender (20 mins).

  5. Mix remaining ingredients together and add to pot. Cook uncovered for about 15 mins to allow liquid to concentrate.

  6. Squash can be as soft or firm as you like. The skin should be tender and easy to eat. I like mine to hold shape but it’s also delicious soft and mushy.

Serve hot or cold / as a side or a main. What this recipe lacks in complexity it makes up for in versatility. It’s real good.



::Good Clean Fair Food For All (Los Angeles)::



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