Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Simmered Kabocha Squash

I got this wonderfully simple recipe from the Kitazawa Seed Co. catalog, though mom says she used to make it all the time, which must be why it tastes so comfortingly familiar. I like to make it when I'm feeling under the weather, but in general it's a useful and colorful side-dish, especially for Japanese-style meals. It can be served hot or cold (when it's cold it makes a great late-night snack).

1 medium sized kabocha squash
~1 qt. dashi (recommended), chicken broth, or water
2-3 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. mirin or dry sherry (optional)
2 Tbsp. soy sauce

Wash the squash, cut it in half, and scoop out the seeds. Cut it into 1 1/2" square chunks, leaving the skin on (keeps the pieces from breaking apart). Place it in a suitable saucepan with the skin side down. Add enough dashi or broth to cover, and add brown sugar and mirin. Cover and bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes. Add the soy sauce and simmer for 7 more minutes. When the squash is tender (but not mush), remove from heat. Allow to sit and cool for a few minutes so the squash can absorb the flavor. Serve hot or cold.

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