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Sake and Soy-Braised Kabocha Squash

4 to 6 Servings

30 minutes

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Kabocha, which translates from the Japanese as “pumpkin,” is a variety of winter squash originating in Japan. Short, squat and green with light mottling and stripes that run from top to bottom, kabocha is orange on the interior, with sweet flesh that is slightly starchy and quite dense. In the Japanese kitchen, it often is cut into chunks and simply braised with soy sauce and a little sweetener (here we use mirin). We add a small measure of toban djan (a spicy Asian chili-bean sauce) as a flavor accent. Look for toban djan sold in jars in the international aisle of the grocery store or in Asian markets. If it’s not available, chili-garlic sauce is a fine substitute.

4 to 6



Don’t bother peeling the entire squash. Just shave off the areas of skin that are very bumpy and scarred using a sturdy vegetable peeler. With cooking, the skin becomes tender and soft enough to eat.

30 minutes



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Lynne J.
February 9, 2023
Quick, easy, delicious 😋
The flavors were perfect. I’m used to Asian recipes with a list of ingredients as long as your arm, so was skeptical that this was too simple to have much flavor, but happily was wrong. We all loved it and will be making it again. I had a bag of frozen kabocha cubes that I needed to use up, but will use fresh next time as the cubes were kind of disintegrating. (still tasty though!) I imagine that you could use this recipe for other winter squashes also; butternut, acorn, etc. Try it, it’s yummy 😋.