Friday, June 1, 2007

Kabocha: cook at your own risk

I was making kabocha (Japanese pumpkin) last night while talking on the phone with my grandmother. I thought of simmering it Japanese-style like she always does. So I carefully cut off the seemingly tough green skin, dicing it and throwing it in a soy sauce broth that I sweetened with brown sugar.

I told her that I was making Japanese pumpkin for dinner and she seemed really excited.

"Kabocha! So easy. No need to peel the skin. That's the best part! Great texture. And just simmer it in some soysauce and water -- no need for sugar! The kabocha itself is very sweet!"

Hmph. Oops.

Well, what can I say. She was right.

Made correctly by someone with a good camera, the dish should look like this:

Simmered Japanese Pumpkin (Kabocha)

1 kabocha squash, diced into 1"x1" cubes
1/2 cup water (Or you can use water + two pinches of Hondashi granules)
3 Tablespoons brown sugar (if you like it sweet. Or if you're me)
1 to 2 Tablespoons soy sauce

Combine water with soy sauce and sugar in a shallow pan. Add squash, bring to to boil over medium high heat. Turn heat down and simmer for about 15 minutes, add more water if the broth dries out. Serve warm or room temperature.


1日本南瓜, 切成1 " x1 "

1 / 2杯水(或你可以用水+兩匙的Hondashi )

3大匙 紅糖 (如果你喜歡甜一點. 或者,如果你像我, 聽奶奶)


水加紅糖, 醬油, 煮開. 放入南瓜, 用大火蒸5 - 7分鐘, 用小火10分鐘. 如果醬汁乾了, 放多一點水.


amychien said...

Sounds so good. Is there a season to buy this pumpkin?

evicious said...

Hm I don't think there is a specific season...

Una said...

I thought most Japanese foods are cooked with 味碄(sweet wine), not for Kabocha?

evicious said...

Hi Wooyi! The sweet wine (mirin in Japanese, I believe) is not used in cooking kabocha! I think dashi (bonito broth, or Hondashi flavor) is another often-used ingredient in Japanese cooking.