Dashi Braised Kabocha Squash

By • June 5, 2012 • 15 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.
Jump to Comments (15)

Comments (15) Questions (0)


3 months ago MSL-2302

this looks divine. A question about Kobacha squash: I noticed that you didnt peel it-- do you eat the outside "peel" or rind? Or do you spoon out the orange flesh and toss the shell? (I'm comparing it in my mind to the butternut or acorn or hubbard squashes I'm more familiar with.) Thanks!


3 months ago savorthis

I do eat the skin but my husband doesn't. It gets very tender and is a preference really.


about 1 year ago Mica Bernas

Was super excited to find this recipe to add to Thanksgiving feast then my boyfriend suggested to make it with David Chang's Bacon Dashi recipe (just use bacon instead of katsuo-bushi to make the dashi)...It was awesome! We also added bacon lardons as garnish, can't go wrong with that. Extra Thanksgiving indulgence!


about 1 year ago QueenSashy

QueenSashy is a trusted home cook.

not sure how I missed this one... splendid, as always.


about 1 year ago student epicure

do you think this would work with pumpkin?


about 1 year ago savorthis

Sure! I've used this method for varieties of squash, sweet potatoes, bok choy, brussels sprouts, whatever is on hand. You just have to adjust the liquid so things don't get too soggy.


about 1 year ago student epicure

oh my gosh, it's delicious! what a fabulous recipe! i'm going to make this all the time!


about 1 year ago savorthis

That was fast! Glad you liked it~


over 2 years ago PistachioDoughnut

This looks so delicious..I have to buy some stuff for this recipe..I have never used mirin or dashi...i do know a little a flavor profile..


over 2 years ago savorthis

Thanks. I have actually been trying to eat less mirin just because of the sugar- though I suppose we use so little of it in the grand scheme of things. It lasts forever in the fridge so it is great to keep on hand. And dashi- I often will make my own as kombu and bonito also last forever in the pantry and when you do it that way, there is nothing else added (like msg etc). Though you have to make several cups that way so the granules are perfect for adding just a bit of flavor here and there. It is a must in my pantry.


over 2 years ago gingerroot

I love kabocha prepared this way. YUM!


over 2 years ago BoulderGalinTokyo

Love this kind of pumpkin! Your picture is great too.


over 2 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

This sounds terrific - deep flavor but simple - love it!


over 2 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

This sounds heavenly! I love the combination of konbu and kabocha.


over 2 years ago savorthis

Thanks boulangere. It is definitely a comfort food flavor combination for me and so easily paired with other flavors too.