Japanese pumpkins are very sweet and pair well with the briny broth known as Kombu (Kelp) Dashi. Because it is traditionally served at room temperature, you may make this dish first, and prepare the main course a bit later.
- 1 small kabocha pumpkin (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- 3/4 c kombu dashi (kelp broth)**See below.
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar, packed
- 3 Tbsp mirin rice wine
- 3 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
- Wash kabocha well. Cut in half and scoop out seeds and membranes.
- Slice each half in 4-5 pieces. Slice each piece in half.
- Put the kabocha, skin side down, in a 10-inch heavy skillet.
- In a small bowl, mix together the dashi, brown sugar, mirin wine, and soy sauce. Add it to the skillet.
- Cover skillet and bring to boil over medium heat.
- Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 15-20 minutes, or until tender.
- Remove kabocha slices to a platter. Garnish with lime if desired. Bring to room temperature and serve with any main vegetarian course.
- 1 (4″ x 4″) piece of kombu (dry kelp)
- 2 c water
- Place kombu and water in a small pot.
- Bring nearly to a boil. Remove kombu with tongs. When cool enough to handle, squeeze out any liquid and add it to the broth. (Reserve kombu for use in rice or other dishes.)
- Use only 3/4 cup in the above recipe. Reserve the remainder for another use.