Wildcard Winner

Dashi-Braised Kabocha Squash

By • November 11, 2013 • 10 Comments

Every Monday and Wednesday, we'll announce a new Wildcard winner: a recipe that may not have been entered in (or won) a contest, but a recipe that we've tested and loved.

Today: Autumn squash just got a lot more exciting.

Dashi braised kabocha from Food52

WHO: Savorthis is a design/production manager for a nonprofit and owns Where Wood Meets Steel, a high-end furniture business, with her husband. She lives in Denver.

WHAT: A holiday-worthy side -- and a new way to cook with dashi.

HOW: Make dashi -- it's quick, we promise! -- then use it as a braising liquid for kabocha squash (soy sauce, mirin, and sesame oil join the party, too). Garnish with scallions and cilantro.

WHY WE LOVE IT: We never thought of using dashi to braise vegetables before; it's the perfect match for creamy kabocha squash. We love how caramelized the squash gets without needing to give it a long roast. This would be a handsome addition to a Thanksgiving table -- but it's quick enough to make on a weeknight, too.

Dashi-Braised Kabocha Squash by savorthis

Serves 4, as a side dish

1 medium kabocha squash
2 tablespoons oil (canola or light olive)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 cup dashi
1 tablespoon soy
2 tablespoons mirin
1/2 teaspoon chili garlic paste (more to taste)
Cilantro, chopped, for garnish
Green onion, thinly sliced, for garnish

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photo by James Ransom

Tags: wildcard, holiday, squash, side dish, kabocha squash

Comments (10)

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9 months ago gingerroot

Congrats on a great wildcard, savorthis! My aunt has always prepared kabocha in a similar way, except she uses dried shrimp for flavoring. Now that I think about it, this would be a lovely side at Thanksgiving...saving it to my menu!

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9 months ago savorthis

I bet dried shrimp works well! I had a partially successful attempt at steaming a chawan mushi type custard inside a whole kabocha with some ground pork and dried shrimp. The flavor was great but the texture was not quite right. Back to the drawing board~

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9 months ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Whoop! Congratulations - this sounds fantastic!

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9 months ago savorthis

Thanks!

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9 months ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Oh yum! So excited to try this. I've been loving winter squash with Asian flavors lately.

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9 months ago savorthis

Thanks~ let me know if you do!

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9 months ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Perfect timing! I have a considerable stash of dashi in my freezer that I need to use. Can hardly wait to make this. I've had my eye on this recipe since it was posted last year. ;o)

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9 months ago savorthis

Thanks AntoniaJames! I have always wondered about freezing dashi. I think I had read once that it was not advised but never knew why. I really wanted to make, reduce and freeze it in cubes as my mom always did with chicken broth so I didn't have to rely on the granules which often have so much extra stuff in them. Let me know your thoughts!

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9 months ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I've never heard that about dashi. In fact, Hiroko Shimbo, whose opinion I greatly respect, recommends making large batches and freezing for later use (which I've done!) ;o) P.S. I don't reduce it, the way I do chicken stock. It's only supposed to be simmered, ever so gently and ever so briefly.

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9 months ago savorthis

I found the reference I was thinking of in my Elizabeth Andoh book. She says that the "delicate flavor does not hold up to freezing." But if it works for you I will try it! And yes- I suppose you'd have to simmer it for a very long time to reduce it without boiling. Not like it is that hard to make - I just often want smaller portions.