Simmered Kabocha Squash (Kabocha Nimono)
Makes 4 servings
Recipe from lafujimama.com
1/2 kabocha squash (about 1 pound)
2 cups dashi
2 tablespoons mirin
1 small piece kombu (about 2-inches square)
2 teaspoons light colored soy sauce (usukuchi soy sauce) (or regular soy sauce if usukuchi isn’t available)
1. Wash the kabocha well, then scoop out the seeds. Cut the squash into 2-inch chunks (try to keep all of the pieces roughly the same size so that they will cook at the same speed). Put the kabocha in a large saucepan (10-inches in diameter should work perfectly), skin side down. Add the dashi, mirin, and kombu.
2. Bring the liquid to a boil over medium heat. When the liquid boils, cover the saucepan tightly and reduce the heat to low so the kabocha can gently simmer. Cook until the kabocha is tender. A bamboo skewer should pierce it easily. But do not overcook the kabocha, or it will become mushy.
3. When tender, turn off the heat and drizzle in the soy sauce. Cover the pot and let the kabocha steep in the cooking liquid for at least 30 minutes so that the flavors meld and enhance each other. Serve at room temperature, or chilled, with a bit of the cooking liquid spooned over the squash.