Stewed Japanse pumpkin カボチャの煮物
Although this vegetable is called Japanese pumpkin, “Kabocha” カボチャ, it is a type of winter squash. This dish is the most common way to serve kabocha. Again, like many Japanese dishes most of the work for this dish is in the preparation of the squash. It appears that kabocha is grown in North America especially in California and Florida and, reportedly, many are exported to Japan. You can sometimes get kabocha even in regular grocery stores. The quality of the kabocha can vary a lot and success of this dish depends on the quality of the kabocha.
I make Kabocha pottage from the scraps when I make the above kabocha dish. The recipe is very standard for any type of pottages. I mince one medium onion and saute in melted butter in a deep pan until soft and semi-transparent, season with salt and pepper. Peel and cut up one small potato into small cubes. Add to the pan with the kabocha scraps, saute briefly and add chicken stock to cover (I used a commercial, 1/3 less salt, non-fat variety from Swanson which comes in a carton). Add two bay leaves and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until all the ingredients are soft. Take off the pan from the burner and make sure to remove the bay leaves. Using an immersion blender (or food processor), process until smooth consistency is achieved and no solids remain (you may add more chicken stock to adjust the consistency). Add 1/3 cup (or whatever amount you prefer) of cream, mix and put the pan back on the burner, adjust the seasoning. I often add a small amount of white miso as a “hidden taste” 隠し味 for some Japanese touch but it is optional. I often serve this with the leftover stewed kabocha as seen above. Here, I garnished it with minced parsley.