Dashi Braised Kabocha Squash

By • June 5, 2012 23 Comments

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Author Notes: Dashi is a magical ingredient- adding a hint of smoke and umami to any dish. We love it in chawan mushi, soups and as one of the best sources of depth we can add to a dish. This is a variation on a theme we use with sweet potatoes, pork and potato stew. We often make dashi from scratch bringing a sheet of kombu just shy of a simmer in 4 cups water, then steeping for 10 minutes. We then add a healthy handful of bonito flakes and steep until they sink. Strain through a fine mesh strainer and use within a couple days. On lazy days or when we just need that extra boost, we use the granulated version. This squash is great warm or at room temperature and can be made ahead.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
  1. Cut kabocha in half, seed and cut into about 8 moon shapes. Mix remaining ingredients except cilantro and green onion.
  2. Heat a large pan over medium high heat. Add both oils to pan and add squash. Cook a few minutes until slightly brown. Flip and cook a few more minutes. Add liquid mixture and simmer about 20 minutes or until squash is tender when pierced with a sharp knife, flipping over about halfway through. Toward the end the liquid will turn syrupy. Shake the pan to coat all pieces and remove to a plate.
  3. Garnish with cilantro and green onion.

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