If you have never had dumpling squash, oh my gosh. It is the ice cream of squash. Super sweet and super delicious. The acorn and butternut squashes get most the press but dumpling squash is a hidden gem. It does not last nearly as long on the shelf as other winter squashes so it can be difficult to find. However, it is worth the effort to check into local farmer’s markets or local grocery stores to find it when the fall harvest comes. I love cooking it nishime, or “waterless”, style because the juices from the squash will release and provide enough liquid to steam them in their own juices. The squash is generally cut into large chunks and cooked slowly over a low heat bringing out the delicious sweetness. This is a very nourishing dish for the body and I use this style at least two times a week.
Dumpling Squash Nishime
1 dumpling squash, cubed into 2 inch pieces
2 to 3 inch piece of kombu
*Use organic ingredients where possible
Place the kombu at the bottom of a heavy pot and fill with just barely enough water to cover the bottom of the pot. Layer the squash on top fitting them nice and snug in there. Sprinkle a pinch of salt on top. Place the lid on the pot and bring to a boil on medium heat. As soon as you see steam coming from the top of the pot, lower the heat to a simmer.
Allow the squash to cook, covered, until almost tender. This will be about 25 to 30 minutes. Just before done, it is optional to lift the lid, add a few drops of shoyu, replace the cover and gently shake the pot a few times to disperse the shoyu throughout the pot. Cook for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from heat, let sit and serve after a few minutes of cooling.
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