Kabocha Squash (Japanese Pumpkin) Braised in Milk

August 20, 2017

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: This squash/pumpkin braised in milk—*kabocha no miruku ni*—is a dish that you could imagine in a lunchtime bento box or as a side dish to some grilled salmon or roast pork. It's a great vegetable dish for children, who love things sweet and creamy.

Japanese pumpkin (also known as kabocha squash) is best for this because it's sweet and nutty with a floury consistency that reminds me of eating chestnuts. As it cooks, the edges soften and become incorporated into the creamy "dressing." You could use butternut squash or sweet potato as a substitute, but also think about doing this with other vegetables, such as cauliflower.

Gentle cooking is key so that this soft pumpkin does not get -- gasp! -- mushy, but if it does, have no fear, add a splash of rice wine vinegar and eat it cold the next day; it’s a rather interesting substitute to creamy potato salad. I have to admit, that is my favorite way to have it.

This is inspired by this recipe (in Japanese): https://cookpad.com/recipe/4643158
Emiko

Serves: 4 as a side dish

Ingredients

  • 1 pound kabocha squash (Japanese pumpkin)
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 splash rice wine vinegar, optional
In This Recipe

Directions

  1. Chop the squash into 1-inch pieces. Kabocha is a very soft squash once cooked, so you can choose to leave the skin on if you want it to retain its shape better and create contrast in color and texture. Otherwise, you can cut off the skin and discard it along with the seeds.
  2. In a small saucepan, mix the squash, milk, soy sauce, and sugar and bring to a simmer. Cook uncovered for 15 minutes, then half-cover with a lid until the pumpkin is soft but not falling apart and the milk has turned into thick, curdled flecks a little bit similar to ricotta or cottage cheese.
  3. Serve warm or cold with a splash of rice wine vinegar stirred through it.

More Great Recipes:
Japanese|Cheese|Milk/Cream|Pumpkin|Soy Sauce|Squash|Vinegar|Vegetable|Make Ahead|5 Ingredients or Fewer|Vegetarian|Side

Reviews (2) Questions (0)

2 Reviews

LPS November 18, 2017
Simple and delicious!
 
linzarella November 13, 2017
I made this last night and it's absolutely incredible! Ate it for dinner with some sauteed kale and sardines, then added it to my oatmeal for breakfast this morning and it was strangely delicious.