One of the most delicious foods that I came across in Tokyo was their pumpkin. I have read that when cook the pumpkins are creamy and very sweet. So I bought a packet of simmered pumpkins in a Tokyo supermarket and took my very first bite of Japanese pumpkin, kabocha - カボチャ.
OMG! It was heavenly! Extremely sweet (to the point that my mom asked if it was pre-soaked in syrup before cooking) and the texture is really very creamy. I was sorely tempted to finished all the 6 succulent pieces in the packet by myself, but I managed to savour each morsel of that 2 pieces I managed to snitched away. Haha ...
So the above was my recreation of the dish. I made the mistake of asking Hubby to supervise the cooking and leaving him with a very vague (to him, but not to me!) instruction of the done-ness of the kabocha. My instruction was: "It is done with the pumpkin can be forked." Was this very ambigous? Well, it turned out that he simmered it for so long until the pumpkin had began to disintergrate! *Faint* Bet he hasn't the faintest idea about how much this babe cost. S$9.90 per kg and just a quarter cost me about S$3.80.
I can't say that I like what I made, so I have bought another kabocha to try again. This time I will attend to the cooking myself! Hmphhh....
And finally a recipe to share.
=== カボチャの含め煮 - Simmered Kabocha ===
1/4 med size Japanese pumpkin
2 pieces of boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
400ml dashi stock
2 tbsps sake
2 tbsps mirin
2 tbsps sugar
1 1/2 tbsps soy sauce
1 slice of ginger
1. Wash and scoop out all the seeds with a spoon. Remove almost all of the skin of the pumpkin. It is considered decorative to leave some of the skin behind. Don't worry, it is edible. Cut into chunks. Set aside.
2. Cut the chicken into bite size. Set aside.
3. Combine all the sauce ingredients.
4. In a pot, add dashi stock, combined sauce ingredients, ginger, pumpkin chunks and chicken pieces. Bring to a boil and turn the fire down to a simmer.
5. The most important part - Simmer till the pumpkin is fork tender or can be pierce with a toothpick with minimal resistance. Off fire and serve!