Kabocha: Japanese Pumpkin

7 Dec

Kabocha is Japanese pumpkin. They are slignly smaller than pumpkins you see at the grocery store, are green on the outside, and have a different flavor than your Halloween stock.

Learning how to cook kabocha was one of the lessons I received when I was recently visiting my Obaachan. She loves to eat this, and cooks it frequently when in season. Kabocha is a very hard squash, so my Obaachan decided to use the easiest method to cut it in half — she wrapped it up in a plastic bag, went to her backyard, and dropped it on the concrete until it cracked. (While doing so, she complained that in Japan, you can buy kabocha already cut in half for you at the grocery store).

Ingredients:
– Kabocha
– Shoyu
– Mirin
– Dashi
– Sugar

(Aren’t these ingredients starting to sound familiar?)

Directions:
1. After you break your kobacha in half by dropping it on the ground, continue to break the squash down. It is best to cut into about 1″ pieces.

2. In a pan that holds heat well, add the kobacha. The pan should be full, but each piece of squash should touch the bottom of the pan (don’t pile them on top of each other).

3. In the pan, add about 1/4 cup shoyu and 2 tbsp of mirin. You also need a good tbsp or so of dashi and a dash or two of sugar.

4. Cook for maybe 20-30 minutes until the kabocha is tender. As it is cooking, taste the flavor and adjust the seasonings as necessary. And then, of course, serve with gohan!

I don’t know why, but I didn’t take a picture of the meal I ate this with. You can imagine what it would look like – a bowl of gohan and a bowl of kabocha, maybe with a dash of shoyu on top. Very simple, very easy, but a delicious Japanese side dish. Enjoy!

The Boyfriend Rates It:3
There was absolutely nothing wrong with this dish. The flavor was good and the kabocha was cooked to the right tenderness. Not too mushy and not too hard. But it was just that…a simple cooked vegetable.

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