Kabocha no Nimono is pumpkin boiled with soy sauce, mirin, and sugar. It sounds very simple but it’s very delicious! It’s so easy to make and is a great way to get children to eat more vegetables because it has a slightly sweet flavour rather than a bland pumpkin flavour! Japanese pumpkins themselves are already sweet and delicious so this makes it even tastier. I love to eat this as a side vegetable for many different dishes or add to my bento box for lunch!
Pumpkins in Japan are soooo tasty and sweet but it’s very hard to find real Japanese pumpkins here in Australia. If you can find real Japanese pumpkins (not just what the grocery store calls “Jap Pumpkin”) then you should definitely use that to make this because it makes it so much better. Real Japanese pumpkin is usually labelled as “Kabocha”, which is the Japanese word for pumpkin. They’re very dark green with some white lines, and they’re usually round and fat. I love Japanese pumpkin and whenever I go back to Japan I eat as much of it as I can. It has a slightly chestnutty flavour to it, which I love.
This boiled pumpkin tastes good when it’s hot or cold. It tastes so yummy when it’s been chilled in the fridge for a while but it’s also so good freshly cooked. I usually make a lot of it on the weekend and eat it for lunch and dinner the following nights. My daughter loves it so much that she usually eats it for breakfast too. It will last in the fridge for probably up to 3-4 days, unless someone eats it all before then. It’s a perfect side dish for many meals and is a great way to make your vegetables have a tasty Japanese flavour! I hope you enjoy making this!
Traditional and typical Japanese side dish simmered Japanese kabocha pumpkin recipe
- 400 g Kabocha squash pumpkin
- 2/3 cup water
- 1 tbs sugar
- 1 tbs sake
- 1 1/2 tbs soy sauce
- 1/2 tbs mirin
Peel and seed the pumpkin then cut it into large chunks.
Place all the sauce ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat and bring it to boil.
Add the pumpkin chunks into the saucepan with the skin side down.
Turn the heat down to low, put a drop-lid (Otoshibuta) on to the Kabocha pieces directly and simmer for about 10 minutes or until the pumpkin is cooked.
Serve when it has cooled down a bit.
*instead of using water, replace with home-made Dashi will give this dish Umami flavour kick