Simmered Kabocha is an ideal comfy food for fall and winter seasons.
During the week, you run out of time to cook. This Japanese recipe is for you.
Because it is fast to make, flexitarian or even vegetarian by adapting it a little bit.
What is Kabocha?
Kabocha is a pumpkin (Cucurbita maxima) cultivated in Japan. You recognize it by its green skin, streaked with white. Its flesh is yellow-orange. You may find it on the stalls under the name of green pumpkin.
It is my favorite pumpkin in terms of taste and texture. It has notes of chestnut and is slightly sweeter than the butternut squash.
To conquer you for good, you don't need to peel it.
How do you cook it?
In several ways, in soup, sautéed with sesame. But for this recipe we will concentrate on cooking in a dashi (broth).
Simmered Kabocha is one of the most popular dishes in Japan.You can found it everywhere from breakfast in ryokan, to bento boxes that can be bought in train stations or combinis. Not to mention that it is one of the classic side dishes on tables in Japan.
What about the dashi...
The traditionnal broth to cook Kabocha use those ingredients:
- katsuobushi (dried bonito)
- soy sauce
But if you can't find any dried bonito, you can replace it with dried shiitake (or other dried mushrooms, it must be nice with porcini mushrooms), dried seaweed or as a last resort a chicken or vegetable broth.
Little tricks for a perfect simmered Kabocha
1 - Cut your Kabocha into equal pieces.
This allows the pumpkin to cook evenly and quickly. This is true for everything you cook.
2 - Place the pieces on a single layer
This is how you prevent the Kabocha from breaking during cooking, because it is fragile.
3 - Do not drown the Kabocha and use a baking paper.
Do not add to much broth. The liquid must not exceed the pumpkin pieces.
To complete the cooking process, use baking paper that has been pierced beforehand to allow the liquid to circulate. This way the Kabocha will absorb the taste better and cook evenly and faster.
What to serve it with?
At home, we often serve it with Japanese rice. Without anything else. But you can definitely consider serving it with grilled fish, karaage or other simmered vegies.
It also has its place on a festive table with a roasted poultry, some chestnuts and winter tubers; tuberous chervil, rutabaga, parsnip.
Many thank to Namiko for some of the tips above.Print
Comfy simmered Kabocha
A recipe of Kabocha, Japanese pumpkin, simmered in a tasty broth. A quick, simple and comforting recipe. Ideal for cold autumn and winter evenings.
- Prep Time: 15
- Cook Time: 30
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 4 peoples
- Category: Vegie
- Method: Simmer
- Cuisine: Japanese
- ½ kabocha
- 2 cm of ginger (optional)
- - 400ml of water
- - 6 g of katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes)
- - 1 tablespoon of sugar
- - 2 tablespoons of sake
- - 2 teaspoons of soy sauce
- - 1 pinch of coarse salt
- In a small saucepan, boil the water. Then add the katsuobushi.
- Mix and turn off the fire. Reserve for 15 minutes.
- Then filter the katsuo in a strainer.
- Reserve the katsuo dashi (broth) for now.
- Remove the seeds from the kabocha.
- Cut the kabocha into quarters, then into 5 cm pieces. Taking care to leave the skin.
- Place the kabocha pieces, skin side down, in a single layer in a pot.
- Add the dashi, sake and sugar.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium.
- Add soy sauce and salt. If the liquid does not cover 3/4 of the kabocha, you can add. Bring to the boil again.
- Lower the heat to maintain the boil, taking care that only one or two bubbles form.
- Cover with baking paper and leave to cook for 20 to 30 minutes.
- You can prepare it in advance and reheat it. The Kabocha will be even better because it will have absorbed all the flavors.
- Optional garnish] Cut the ginger into fine julienne strips.
- Soak in cold water for 1 minute and drain well. Set aside. Serve with simmered kabocha.
- To soften the skin, you can cook in the microwave for 2 minutes (this is optional).
- Turn the pot to mix the seasonings so as not to break the kabocha.
- If you cannot find Kabocha, you can use Potimarron by adapting the cooking time.
- Serving Size: 3
Keywords: Kabocha, simmered, squash, japanese