Simmered Kabocha Squash

Simmered Kabocha Squash

Kabocha Squash is a variety of Japanese winter squash that can be found in the grocery stores here in North America. The ones we find here are mainly grown in Mexico and other parts of South America. Kabocha squash looks like a squatty pumpkin with a deep green color and celadon stripes. The flesh is yellow-orange in color. It is quite sweet with a light, almost fluffy texture.

Simmered Kabocha Squash is a popular side dish in Japan. It is also used to make tempura. I love Simmered Kabocha Squash and I make this dish whenever I can buy the squash at the grocery store. Simmered Kabocha Squash can be eaten cold and is a good sidedish for the bento box.

Simmered Kabocha Squash

Be careful when slicing the kabocha squash as the skin is very hard. However, it can be eaten and it cooks easily. For this dish, chunks of the skin are normally left unpeeled. It gives a nice color to the dish.

Simmered Kabocha Squash

Simmered Kabocha Squash

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Simmered Kabocha Squash


  • 1 small kabocha squash (about 2 lbs/900g)
  • 1½ (360ml) cups water
  • ½ tsp dashi
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp sugar


Wash kabocha squash. Cut into half and scoop out all seeds. Cut into 1-inch thick wedges. With a vegetable peeler, remove some but not all the skin. Cut wedges in chunks.

Mix water, dashi, soy sauce, mirin, and sugar in a medium sized pot. Add kabocha squash. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes or until squash is fork tender but not mushy.

Simmered Kabocha Squash

Simmered Kabocha Squash is great for the bento box. This is the lunch I packed for Ro-Ri San this morning. The boys have a similar bento in their Zojirushi Mr. Bento Stainless Steel Lunch Jar.

Simmered Kabocha Squash

Snow shoeing is a good outdoor winter activity. It is hiking in the snow and a very effective way to burn off calories. Yesterday, we went for a two mile hike at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. It was a good workout. :)

Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day! 8-)

36 Responses

  1. Sharon Moh says:

    That is one lovely lunchbox! The colour of the squash looks gorgeous, especially with chunks of skin unpeeled. I’m glad you mentioned the skins of squashes are hard to peel. When I cooked a squash for the first time to make soup, I had NO idea it would be so hard and tried to peel it with a peeler. Failed. Used a knife and got some headway then accidentally cut myself because it was so hard and I was impatient. Squash can be difficult. But you make it look absolutely scrumptious! Would do great for a light healthy snack too!

  2. Roxan says:

    I love kabocha squash! At my japanese market they sell it cubed and frozen… I like fresh kabocha too, but I like the frozen one for those times I’m in a rush and don’t have time to be careful in not chopping my fingers off ;]

  3. Such a nice and comforting side dish,Biren. Love the way you combined it in a lunch box. Snowshoeing looks like a lot of fun, a nice winter less stress exercise.
    BTW-Stop by my blog to check out the $50 gift certificate giveaway from CSN!

  4. Megan says:

    Hi Biren! Kabocha is one of my favorites! I just love love love it! Squash is one of the most comforting and delicious foods on earth! This dish looks delish. I like how your seasoned it as I would not have thought of mirin… great idea and you look great with your snow shoes on! Our snow all melted and we are left with ice hunks and a few snow piles, not enough for skiing or snow shoeing….
    xoxo – be well and warm! megan

    • Biren says:

      Kabocha squash is delicious and this is a really easy and tasty way to prepare it. Can be taken as a snack too.

      Aww…thanks for the compliment. I enjoy snow shoeing and it is a fun way to shed some calories.

  5. I love kabocha – great post!

  6. lequan says:

    I really like the taste and texture of kabocha squash. I’d even eat it as a meal. Great choice to leave part of the skin on for colour. Actually, I’d never cooked kabocha squash before, but have heard how hard they are to cut open and peel.

    Your family is so well rounded with exercising activities – love that! I’ve tried snow shoeing before and agree that it is a great way to burn calories.

  7. That is a lovely lunchbox dish. I have seen these here but never really used it before.

  8. Stella says:

    That’s a beautiful bento, Biren! I love the idea of Kabocha squash. I don’t think I’ve ever had it, but I love squash. I’m sure we’d love it. I’ll keep my eye open for it at the market, since I know how to prepare it now;-)

  9. Julie M. says:

    Biren that looks like a beautiful dish! I love the shot of you snowshoeing as well. Would you believe I’ve never tried that before? It sounds like you had a lovely hike!

  10. Jay says:

    sounds yummy…loved all d clicks..beautiful…
    Tasty appetite

  11. This is colourful dish that would make a delicious side to any meal.Great recipe!

  12. delicious pumpkin preparation

  13. Martha (MM) says:

    Yummy! This looks delicious and love the bento!

  14. Dimah says:

    Wow,it looks so delicious!

  15. Looks like our local pumpkin! Are they the same? Absolutely love pumpkins. Your bento is lovely!

    • Biren says:

      I am not sure if your local pumpkin is the same as the kabocha. However, I think the pumpkin would work with this recipe.

  16. Lucky you still could find squash at this time…I don’t see them here any more.
    oh now you have me at pumpkins.

  17. Lovely and healthy – great for the resolutions!!

  18. Reeni says:

    I love kabocha Biren! Have never used this technique for cooking it which sounds very flavorful and delicious! Snowshoeing looks fun!

  19. Haruna says:

    Good and healthy food after all the rich holiday fare. Wish i could be snow-shoeing too!

  20. Sommer @ ASP says:

    I’ve not sense this squash. I’ll have to look around for it! What a healthy and hearty dish!

  21. Faith says:

    Can you believe I still haven’t been able to find kabocha in my area?! I’ll keep looking though, since I would love to try it. Your recipe looks fanastic, Biren!

  22. I had no idea you could leave the skin on kabocha squash, but I love the way it looks…what a gorgeous dish!

  23. I have never in my life seen this squash before, but I love the look, especially with the skin left partially on. It’s gorgeous and your preparation sounds fantastic. Thanks for sharing.

  24. Hyosun Ro says:

    I love kabocha anything. In fact, I just finished roasting one in the oven. Your simmered version sounds really good with rice. I will definitely try it next time.

  25. Lyndsey says:

    I like your stainless steel bento box. Is the squash good cold? I have bought some Calabaza squash (cuban) squash and we have a store that sells them already cut in smaller pieces, which is good for our small family. It reminds me of this. It looks good for a side dish.

  26. I love the look of the partly peeled squash – I didn’t know the Japanese cooked it that way – I always peel it completely, even when I cook it the way you have, then I grumble when the squash chunks start to disintigrate too quickly LOL

    I will do it this way next time! Thanks for the heads up…

  27. I love the look of the partly peeled squash – I didn’t know the Japanese cooked it that way – I always peel it completely, even when I cook it the way you have, then I grumble when the squash chunks start to disintigrate too quickly LOL

    I will do it this way next time! Thanks for the heads up…

  1. January 7, 2011

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Alltop Food, Roti n Rice. Roti n Rice said: Simmered Kabocha Squash…a simple but delicious sidedish [...]

  2. May 20, 2011

    [...] only takes minutes to cook and is delicious simply simmered in dashi, soy sauce, mirin, and sugar. Simmered Kabocha Squash makes a wonderful side dish and it works really well in a bento. One of my favorite cookbooks, [...]

  3. February 16, 2012

    [...] at the top of the page. Butternut Squash and Wildrice Side Dish Cranberry Wild Rice Stuffed Squash Simmered Kabocha Squash Squash Galore and a Visit from the Fairy Hobmother Steamed Kabocha CakeBiren"Bee Ren" is a SAHM. [...]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>