The nimono, or simmering, technique is by far my favorite way to cook kabocha squash. It also happens to be the fastest and easiest way. That’s a win-win situation, if I’ve ever seen one.
Let’s start with the basics:
WHAT IS KABOCHA?
- Japanese pumpkin
- Pretty heavy (2-3 lbs)
- Tastes richer and sweeter than most other squash
- Rich in beta carotene (good for the skin/hair!), iron, vitamin C, and potassium.
- THE BEST SQUASH (and maybe vegetable) EVER
WHAT IS NIMONO?
- Japanese cooking technique
- Involves simmering ingredients (veggies, tofu, meat) in stock (mix of sugar, sake mirin, soy sauce, and dashi) until the liquid is completely absorbed
I need to start by saying I am lazy and this is not an authentic nimono recipe. Authentic nimono includes sugar, sake, mirin, soy sauce, and dashi, as stated above. However, I don’t have all of those ingredients on hand (and don’t eat dashi, which is traditionally made with fish), so I use my own different, but similar, ingredients. Feel free to do the same with whatever you have in your pantry.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
- 1/2 to 3/4 of a kabocha (depending on the size)
- For the stock:
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp sweetener (I use agave)
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tsp hot pepper flakes (I use gochugaru)
- 1 tbsp miso paste
- Water (or veggie stock)
WHAT YOU’LL NEED TO DO:
- Cut the kabocha in half. Scoop the seeds out with a spoon.
- Cut the kabocha into 3″ square pieces.
- In a bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients except for the water.
- Place the kabocha pieces into a pot
- Pour the stock mixture into the pot
- Pour enough water (or veggie stock) so that the kabocha slices are covered.
- Turn on your stove to high heat, and bring the stock to a boil.
- Once boiling, turn down the heat to low and cover the pot.
- Let it simmer until the liquid is completely absorbed. It should take around 20 minutes.