Kinpira Kabocha

Heard of kinpira gobo? It’s the dish that uses the earthy flavors of burdock root, combines it with carrots, and cooks it in a salty and sweet sauce. Kinpira Kabocha is a great alternative to that staple side dish.

Instead of gobo, it’s the kabocha that soaks up the flavors of the sauce. The profile is practically identical to this stewed kabocha dish, but cooks quicker because the kabocha is cut into smaller pieces. I still prefer stewed kabocha, but this recipe is great when you’re short on time.

My aunt Midori in Japan, recently sent over a package full of Japanese goodies. Among them was this seven spice chili powder with yuzu (yuzu iri shichimi togarashi). It smells wonderful! I particularly love the scent of the sansho with yuzu. It’s beautifully complex and adds a nice brightness to the dish. The original recipe calls for regular chili powder (ichimi togarashi), but if you have it, try using shichimi and see if you like it.

Kinpira Kabocha | かぼちゃのきんぴら
Adapted from 和食の基本
Makes 4 servings as a small side dish

7 oz. (200g) kabocha (about 1/4 small kabocha), seeded and cut into medium matchsticks
1 Tbsp canola oil
Scant 1/2 cup (100ml) dash
1 Tbsp mirin
1 Tbsp shoyu (low sodium)
ichimi togarashi or shichimi or shichimi with yuzu

Heat the oil in a 10-inch pan over high heat. Once oil shimmers, add the kabocha and toss until well coated with oil. Add the dashi and bring to a boil. Add the mirin and shoyu and lower the heat and simmer until all the liquid has evaporated.

To serve, top with togarashi.

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  1. Posted February 23, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    Looks fantastic, Azusa. I love the flavors of yuzu and kabocha together. What would you recommend serving this with?

    (PS: nice knife skills!)

  2. Posted February 23, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    Emma, thank you! This is great with something on the salty side to balance the sweetness of the kabocha, like shioyaki salmon or buta no shogayaki. Hope you try it!

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