[Kabocha Simmered Dish]

The long summer has finally come to an end, and here in Kyoto, the coolness of the mornings and evenings is becoming more pronounced. It's the eagerly awaited arrival of autumn, perfectly described by the word "refreshing."

In a traditional Kyoto townhouse kitchen, which lacks not only air conditioning but also an exhaust fan, using heat during the summer was quite a hassle. However, with the heat finally subsiding, I'm in the mood to make a delicious simmered dish.

Kabocha simmered dish is considered one of Japan's staple home-cooked dishes that's easy to prepare. Kabocha, or Japanese pumpkin, is a naturally sweet and gentle vegetable. All you need is sugar, soy sauce, and salt; you don't even need sake or mirin.

When preparing the kabocha, remove the seeds and fibers, and cut it into bite-sized pieces. To prevent it from falling apart during cooking, you can also lightly peel the rough or angular parts with a peeler. Place the kabocha pieces with the skin side up in a pot, ensuring they don't overlap, and add enough water to cover the pumpkin without using a lid. If you have 500g of kabocha, please add approximately 500ml of water.

Once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, add sugar. About 10 minutes later, add soy sauce and a pinch of salt. If you're using 2 tablespoons of sugar, use 1 tablespoon of soy sauce. Simmer on low heat until the kabocha is tender and cooked through. The cooking liquid will reduce, so it's recommended to start with a mild flavor and adjust it by tasting along the way. Serve it in a bowl with the cooking liquid, and you're done. It can be enjoyed both warm and cold, and it can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days.

When your pumpkin simmered dish is ready, we recommend serving it in Seiryugama's Shallow Bowl. The deep yellow and green colors will beautifully complement the white glaze called "Zansetsu" of the dish. Appi Urushi Studio's Flat Bowl also goes well.

Seiryugama's Shallow Bowl
Appi Urushi Studio's Flat Bowl
Yoshita Handi-Design Studio's Peeler

Reference Recipe