Simmered Acorn Squash

November 01, 2021

This is a simple Japanese recipe that traditionally uses kabocha squash to create a side dish that’s often eaten with rice. Here I use acorn squash, which is  slightly less sweet but still retains a velvety texture once cooked. The squash gets even better in the fridge a day or two later, as it soaks up the juices from the broth. You can serve this dish warm or at room temperature. 

Serves 2-3


1 small acorn squash, washed and cut into large chunks 

2 cups cold water 

3 Tbsp. bonito flakes

1 inch piece dried kombu

1 inch piece of ginger, washed and crushed

2 Tbsp. soy sauce 

2 Tbsp. sake

2 Tbsp. mirin

1 Tbsp. sugar 


  1. Make the dashi.  Soak the kombu in the water for 2 hours.
  2. Remove the kombu and heat the water until it begins to simmer. Add the bonito flakes and simmer for 3 minutes. 
  3. Strain the liquid and discard the bonito flakes and kombu. 
  4. In a small saucepan, combine the squash, dashi, ginger, soy sauce, mirin, sake, and sugar. 
  5. Bring to a boil, and then turn down the heat. 
  6. Simmer for 10 minutes or until the squash is tender. 
  7. Turn off the heat, And let the squash cool in the dashi liquid. 
  8. Taste the squash, and add a tablespoon more of soy sauce and mirin if desired. 
  9. Serve warm or at room temperature. 

This recipe was created by Local Roots Recipe Contributor Sachi Nagase /

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