Kabocha is the Japanese winter squash. It’s one of my favorite vegetables and it’s next on my list of foods to introduce to baby.  I make a new batch of baby food once a week on Saturdays (when Aunty Joni visits), so I went to Foodland today to pick two: one for baby and the other for the big people in the house.

For kabocha-lovers, I found it on sale at Foodland for $0.99/pound, which I assume is a pretty decent deal because I later saw a Marukai ad for kabocha listing it at $1.99/pound. I’m not sure if there’s anything special about the Marukai kabocha, but that’s a pretty significant difference to me!

Kabocha, Japanese Winter Squash

I’ll share my Japanese style simmered kabocha recipe (for big people) today.  Kabocha makes a great side dish. It’s extremely simple with very few ingredients — my favorite kind of recipe.  The hardest part of preparing the kabocha is cutting it because the skin is so hard.  A video and entry will be forthcoming on the kabocha babyfood endeavors this weekend.

1 lb kabocha (my kabocha was nearly 4 lbs., so I just adjusted the measurements accordingly)
3/4 cup dashi stock
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce


  1. Wash kabocha skin with a vegetable brush because we will leave the skin on. Although the skin is very hard when uncooked, it becomes tender and lends a nice texture after being simmered.
  2. Cut in half and remove seeds.  Cut kabocha into 1-1/2″ cubes. Be careful ~ kabocha skin is very tough and you could easily lose a finger if you’re not careful!
  3. Put dashi soup stock, sugar, shoyu, and kabocha chunks in a pan, placing on HIGH heat and bringing to a boil.
  4. Turn heat down to LOW and allow to simmer until liquid is nearly gone.
  5. You may serve kabocha warm or cold. (I prefer it warm.)

Uncooked Kabocha

Simmered Kabocha – tender and delicious!

Originally posted on my (now private) blog, in March 2009.

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