This page may contain affiliate links. I receive a small commission at no cost to you when you make a purchase using my link. This post is about a Japanese Soy Braised Acorn Squash Recipe!
Simmering acorn squash with Japanese ingredients including soy sauce, sake, and mirin is a totally delicious way to enjoy acorn squash.
In Japan, kabocha squash (Japanese pumpkin) is typically cooked in a similar fashion as this. I find that acorn squash is a fabulous substitute!
You'll find that this recipe offers you a great way to enjoy this lovely winter squash!
Why You Will LOVE This Recipe!
I know you will absolutely LOVE this recipe as much as my family does because:
- It's incredibly delicious! The simple ingredients we use in this recipe combine to give this wonderful winter squash a deep and rich savory flavor that you won't be able to get enough of.
- This recipe is super easy! You only need 5 ingredients (and an optional garnish of Japanese chili peppers) for this dish, which cooks up in a flash.
- Japanese inspired simmered acorn squash makes a perfect side dish to accompany your favorite main dishes. Or, you can simply enjoy it with steamed rice and a runny egg, as I am apt to do!
Let me now show you the simple ingredients you will need to make this delightful side dish!
Here are the ingredients you will need to make this simple side dish:
- Acorn squash - around 1 pound in weight
- Soy Sauce
- Chicken broth (or vegetable broth) - we will use around 1 cup of this broth, but please reserve another cup or so just in case needed
- Japanese chili pepper Ichimi Togarashi or Nanami Togarashi. This is optional, but I love the extra bit of kick these chili peppers give this dish.
So you only really need 5 simple ingredients for this recipe, but I do highly recommend the Japanese chili pepper so that would make it 6. 😃
Now let's move on to the very simple instructions to make this delicious acorn squash!
As mentioned, it's super easy to make this dish. The hardest part is cutting up the squash and removing the seeds and pulp. Once you've achieved that it's all downhill from there!
Acorn squash, with its beautiful orange flesh, has a fairly tough skin. Please be sure to use a sharp knife and take care with your fingers. The best way I find to prepared the squash is to top and tail it first (cut off the top and bottom). Then cut it down the middle and remove the seeds and pulp (save the seeds for roasting if you like). Now cut the squash into 1" wedges.
Add all the ingredients to a wide bottomed saucepan or skillet. Try to place the squash in a single layer if you can. Now bring to the boil. You'll want most of the liquid to cover the squash so if you need to add a little more broth that's fine.
Now lower to a simmer, and cover. Cook between 20-30 minutes or to your desired level of tenderness.
💭 Top tip
The squash is quite fragile and will fall apart easily. If you want your squash to be intact and not so mushy as this, then it's best to keep the squash in a single layer and not move them around very much if at all.
As you can see, this squash fell apart on me (plus side...it's so tender!) so to avoid this try not to disturb the squash while cooking and try not to crowd them as seen below.
Also when removing the squash from your pan or skillet, take extra care by removing them delicately with a kitchen turner so they don't fall apart.
And that's it! Now it's time to enjoy your deliciously tender Japanese simmered acorn squash!
Suggestions For Serving
This beautiful and delicious simmered acorn squash is now ready to serve! It's a superb side dish to accompany Japanese main dishes such as Gyudon (Japanese Beef Bowl) as well as Japanese Teriyaki Chicken.
I also enjoy it simply served with rice and some luscious melted butter. Talk about comfort food!
Once you try this dish I'm sure it will become a favorite way to prepare acorn squash.
Absolutely! Kabocha squash would be perfect simmered with these Japanese ingredients!
It's not necessary to remove the skin from an acorn squash before cooking it. The skin is edible, and this recipe will give you a tender flesh and skin which you will devour!
Kabocha squash is different from acorn squash. Kabocha is a Japanese variety of winter squash and is also know as Japanese pumpkin. Acorn squash is a winter squash which originated in North America and Central America.
Some Other Japanese Dishes You May Enjoy!
Here are some other Japanese side dishes that you may enjoy:
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Japanese Soy Braised Acorn Squash Recipe
- 1 wide bottomed saucepan or large skillet with a cover You will need to cover during cooking and the equipment you use should be wide bottomed or large sized as we aim to place the squash in a single layer
- 1 lb acorn squash
- 1 cup chicken broth can sub vegetable broth; please reserve an extra cup of broth if needed
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoon sake
- 2 tablespoon mirin can sub 2 ts sugar
- Ichimi Togarashi Japanese chili pepper as optional garnish, to your taste
- Top and tail the acorn squash and then cut it down the middle. Remove the seeds and pulp (save the seeds for roasting if you like!), and then cut into 1" wedges.
- Add all the ingredients to a wide bottomed saucepan or large skillet and bring to the boil. You'll want most of the liquid to cover the squash so if you need to add a little more broth that's fine. PLEASE NOTE: try to lay the squash in a single layer if you can. This will help to avoid having to disturb the squash while cooking.
- Now lover to a simmer, and cover. Cook between 20-30 minutes or to your desired level of tenderness. I cooked mine for 30 minutes and you can see it is fall apart tender!
- Sprinkle some Japanese chili pepper over the squash if you like to give it a little kick.