In Japan, pumpkins are often cooked in soy sauce flavoured broth. All you need is a saucepan and I used to cook this dish in that way. But I can’t do that here in Australia. The pumpkin that is closest to the common Japanese pumpkin is Kent Pumpkin, and Kent Pumpkin is sometimes sold labeled as ‘Japanese Pumpkin’ in Australia, but it is so different. It’s too watery.
The common pumpkins in Japan have dry potato-like texture. When Kent Pumpkin is cooked in broth, it quickly gets mashy. That’s why I bake the pumpkin in the oven and cook the sauce separately.
Kent Pumpkin 1/4
Chicken Mince 200g
Ginger 1 small piece *grated
Oil 1 teaspoon
Dashi OR Chicken Stock 1/2 cup *OR Water
Sugar 1 tablespoon
Soy Sauce 2 tablespoons *may need extra 1 tablespoon
Mirin 1 to 2 tablespoons
Potato Starch Flour OR Corn Starch Flour 1/2 tablespoon *mixed with 1 tablespoon Water
Spring Onion 1 *finely chopped
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Clean the Kent Pumpkin, skin should be washed because you won’t peel it. Cut into 4 to 5cm pieces. No need to oil or season the pumpkin.
Place pumpkin pieces on a large baking tray and bake for 30 minutes or until cooked.
While the pumpkin is baking, prepare the sauce. Heat small amount of Oil in a small frying pan or saucepan, cook Chicken Mince and Ginger.
When Chicken is cooked, add Dashi/Chicken stock, Sugar, Soy Sauce and Mirin. Taste the flavour. Depending on the stock that you use, extra Soy Sauce might be needed.
Bring the sauce to the boil, gradually add Starch mixture, stirring, to thicken the sauce.
Place baked pumpkin in the serving bowl or deep plate, cover with the sauce. Sprinkle finely chopped Spring Onion on top and serve hot.