Kabocha is Japanese pumpkin and is a popular vegetable during colder months in fall and winter. Like pumpkin, kabocha is a versatile vegetable that works beautifully in stew, soup, croquette, stir fry, and even in bread and dessert. If you want some quick dishes recipe for kabocha, you need to try this kabocha shimeji stir fry recipe.
Prep your kabocha
You can buy one whole kabocha, but if that is a bit too much, your supermarket most likely will sell them in a quarter section or a half section. You only need about a quarter section for this recipe, which on average should yield about 500 gram (or about 1 pound) of kabocha meat. Like pumpkin, you throw away the seeds and the pulp. For savory dishes, I usually keep the skin intact as it is actually edible. But if you want, you can cut away the skin too, it’s up to you. Since kabocha is super hard to cut even with my sharp knife, I like to microwave them a bit (~ 2-3 minutes). Plus, this also cuts the overall cooking time, so it’s a win-win.
The stir fry job
Once you have prep all the ingredients, you are ready to start stir frying. A wok is best, but you can also use a large frying pan. Choose one that is big enough so you can easily stir the vegetables around 🙂 The total cooking time depends mostly on the kabocha. And since they are already partially cooked from the microwave, it really shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes from the moment you heat up the wok/pan.
- 500 gram (~ 1 lb.) kabocha, skin on but seeds and pulp removed
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 packet (7 oz./100 gram) shimeji mushroom, cut away the root and tear into pieces
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce, or to taste
- 1 scallion, thinly sliced
- Place kabocha in a microwave safe bowl and cook in microwave until soft enough to easily cut with a knife. About 3 minutes. Remove from microwave, when cool enough to handle, cut into 5 mm (1/8") thick slices.
- Melt butter in a large frying pan over medium high heat. Sauté garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds, then add kabocha and shimeji into the pan.
- Season with salt and pepper, stir to mix well, and cook until kabocha is tender but still firm. This should take about 3 minutes, and please stir frequently.
- Add soy sauce, mix well, and turn the heat off once the soy sauce is fully absorbed by the vegetables.
- Transfer to a serving plate, garnish with thinly sliced scallions, and serve with steamed white rice.