24 October 2011

Kabocha

Not too long ago, I only used pumpkins for their aesthetic appeal. The familiar orange spheres were good for carving, not so good for eating. Once my tastebuds decided to recognize the culinary value of winter squash, my reasons for crowding my kitchen countertop with them reversed. I now buy pumpkins in several varieties, specifically to cook, never carving them to rot on the porch or become subject to late night pumpkin-smashing by neighborhood kids.

My favorite winter squash is kabocha, which is sometimes referred to as "Japanese pumpkin." I love it for its vibrant, orange flesh; starchy, sweet potato-like texture; and mild, slightly sweet, chestnut-like flavor. I usually steam or roast kabocha, but have been wanting to think of other methods of cooking the squash. Enter this recipe for kabocha nimono, or simmered squash. With the help of some dashi (kombu dashi, in my case), mirin, sake, shoyu, and sugar, plain squash turns into something that is a little savory, a little sweet, and entirely delicious. The seasoning liquid isn't overwhelming at all, although it does have a nice flavor of its own. Because the liquid didn't completely evaporate, I decided to put it to double use as a simmering liquid for baby bok choy (a vegetable that has been a staple in my refrigerator lately). Leftover steamed white rice rounded out a small, simple, tasty breakfast.
My blog posts this week will focus on internet-based recipe that I've bookmarked but have not yet had chances to try. It will be difficult to narrow down my choices for the week, given the endless amount of fabulous dishes featured online, but one must draw the line somewhere. What online recipes are in your queue? How do you decide what to cook?

4 comments:

  1. Farrah Pileggi10/24/11, 5:46 PM

    I just bought a kabocha! 

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  2. those baby bok choys look sooooooooo good.  what an amazing meal!

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  3. I have tons of bookmarked recipes! Usually what's in the fridge will dictate what I make... or what's on sale at the grocery store.. :)

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  4. I've actually never had Kabocha before! This looks delicious and incredibly simple. Mmm I might have to try some :)

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Thanks for reading! Your comments are always welcome and appreciated. :)