Fall and winter is a great time for squash loving people. It is when the market is flooded with gorgeous winter squashes, from acorn squash, kabocha, butternut, and of course, pumpkins
If you are wondering what to do with all those pretty looking squashes, then I have a very easy recipe for you today, simmered acorn squash.
This is basically a nimono, a very traditional Japanese recipe, though it is more commonly made with kabocha. But kabocha can be more elusive in the United States compared to acorn squash, so I am using acorn squash instead.
How to Cut and Prep an Acorn Squash
Acorn squash, like kabocha, can be very tough. You need to make sure your knife is very sharp, and be very careful when cutting one up.
To make it a bit easier and a bit safer, first, cut the squash in two and scoop up all the seeds and fibrous part.
Next, place the two halves on a microwave safe plate, and microwave the squash for 2-3 minutes just to softened it a bit, because it is that much easier to cut them into smaller chunks once they are slightly soft.
Also, there is no need to peel the skin. You can eat the skin if you want, but even if you don’t want to eat the skin, cooking them with skin on helps keep the squash as intact as possible after they are out from the cooking pot.
Otoshibuta (落し蓋) or Drop Lid
You can still cook this with your regular lid if that is all you have, but a humble looking drop lid ensures that the heat is evenly distributed and reduce the tendency of liquid to boil with large bubbles. This in turns, reduces the mechanical stress on the food and keeps fragile ingredients in their original shape.
So if you want your squash to be as intact as possible, use a drop lid. Or make one from an aluminum foil. Just cut them into a round shape, slightly smaller than your pot, and poke one or two holes at the center.
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