Japanese-style Pumpkin Recipe!


Today is a bit cold in Japan, and I was in the mood for something calming and sweet—I found that pumpkin is the perfect idea!

Japanese Kabocha Nimono

In Japan, we have this type of pumpkin called `kabocha`.  Actually, I think maybe in other countries it is referred to as a squash. Well, in any case, it is a round, green vegetable with an orange inside, very similar to pumpkin and squash.

Today, I will share with you how to make `nimono`. Nimono is the word used to describe any foods that have been boiling for quite a time, and then let to sit for maybe half a day or more for the flavors to settle in.

Nimono are side dishes eaten with a main dish, miso soup, rice, and pickles.

The basic ingredients to get that Japanese flavor that are used in Japanese cooking, especially nimono. They are sugar, dashi (soup stock), mirin (rice wine), sake, and soy sauce.

In Japan, we have a certain order to put these flavors into our cooking. First, we like to start with the sweet flavorings like sugar and mirin, then after that has settled into the food, we add the saltier flavorings like shoyu to seal in the flavor.

There are many popular nimono dishes that I hope to share with you over time, but first let`s start with pumpkin!

Pumpkin Nimono (makes side dishes for 3 people), takes maybe total of 15 minutes to make


1/4 Kabocha

1 and 1/4 cup Water

2 and 1/2 tbsp sugar (I like brown sugar)

1/2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp dashi (I use Ajinomoto)

1/3 tsp salt


1) cut the kabocha into chunks (just like the photo! : D)

2) put the kabocha with the skin facing down into a pot and add in water and sugar. Bring to a boil.

3) After it begins to boil, bring down heat and let simmer with a lid until the kabocha gets soft (about 8-10 minutes).

4) Add in the rest of the ingredients and continue to boil until there is just a little bit of liquid left.

I recommend to let this cool off in a bowl, at least until it is room temperature for the flavors to settle in. It tastes good at any time, but best if you wait maybe half a day or so, or make it at night and eat the next day!

I am so happy to share this recipe with you, I hope you enjoy!



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