Dashi-Braised Kabocha Squash 

Dashi is a magical ingredient- adding a hint of smoke and umami to any dish. This squash gets lacquered with it, and is great warm or at room temperature.

1 medium kabocha squash

2 tbs canola oil

1 tsp sesame oil

1 cup dashi

1 tbs soy

2 tbs mirin

3 tbs melted butter

½ tsp chili garlic paste (more to taste)

Cilantro, chopped, for garnish

Green onion, thinly sliced, for garnish

Cut kabocha in half, seed and cut into about 8 moon shapes. Mix remaining ingredients except cilantro and green onion. Heat a large pan over medium high heat. Add both oils to pan and add squash. Cook a few minutes until slightly brown. Flip and cook a few more minutes. Add liquid mixture and simmer about 20 minutes or until squash is tender when pierced with a sharp knife, flipping over about halfway through. Toward the end the liquid will turn syrupy. Shake the pan to coat all pieces and remove to a plate. Garnish with cilantro and green onion.

For the dashi:

1 sheet of kombu

4 cups water

1 large handful of bonito flakes

Steep kombu in water for 10 minutes. Add bonito flakes and steep until they sink. Strain through a fine mesh strainer.

About the Chef

Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.