Stewed Kabocha (Kabocha Nimono)

Kabocha nimono is a staple for any Japanese diet. It’s one of those dishes that goes well with everything and is just as good when reheated. Usually when I make this dish, I just Google it. This particular time I used the recipe from Kanako’s Kitchen, which came out really well. Although to be honest, recipes don’t really vary much.

Ingredients:

1 Kabocha squash

3.5 cups dashi stock

1/4 c. soy sauce

1/4 c. cooking sake

1.5 tbsp sugar

2 tbsp mirin

Start by cutting your Kabocha in half and removing all the seeds. I usually just scoop the seeds out with a spoon like I would for any other pumpkin or squash.

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Next, cut the blemishes off of your Kabocha so the skin is nice and smooth. Then, cut the Kabocha into 2 in by 1 in pieces. Usually 1/4 of the Kabocha will render 8-10 pieces. If you have time, cut the corners of the rind off each piece of Kabocha. This makes the rind more palatable after it’s cooked and makes the Kabocha more aesthetically pleasing.

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Bring the dashi, sugar, mirin, sake, and soy sauce to a boil.

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Once it boils, add the Kabocha to the pot and bring it back to a simmer. Set the burner to medium-low heat.

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Now here is where Kanako’s recipe and mine differ. I put a wooden cover (the name escapes me, but see the picture below) in the pot to keep the Kabocha from breaking apart. I then cover the pot and boil it until the Kabocha is soft, about 10 minutes depending on the size of the pieces.

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This is NOT the right size for this pot, but I was making an entire Kabocha and was too lazy to encase it in foil. You can use just foil and a round-flat object to mimic the effect of this tool… the name of which still escapes me.

When the Kabocha is soft to the touch, it’s done and ready to be devoured!

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My Kabocha here is a little bit overcooked because I wasn’t really paying attention, too busy taking pictures. You can tell it’s overcooked because of the way the meat is pulling away from the rind.

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