Thursday, May 11, 2006

Squash & Bacon

I don't think it's the squash season right now, but it was on sale, so I bought one, or half I should say to make squash & bacon. I'm not even quite sure if this is Japanese food, since I never saw it at any restaurants or izakayas in Japan. But my mom, who practically only cooked Japanese food, used to make it before she turned into a super health freak during my teenage years (bacon definitely didn't rank in the same "healthy" category as brown rice, spinach and homemade natto), so I'm calling it Japanese food.

The mixture of salty bacon and sweet kabocha pumpkin is harmonious. Plus, this recipe doesn't call for any salt or sugar. It's all from the natural sweet taste of kabocha and that irresistible processed salty taste of bacon combined together.

While we lived in Japan, my wife complained that she couldn't get good bacon there (she loves bacon). I never really noticed much difference, and I still don't. I guess the American bacon smells better when you are cooking. It has more smoked smell or something (see, I told you I'm not really a chef).

IN JAPANESE: Kabocha to bacon no butter itame
CATEGORY: Meat, Side-dish
SERVES: 2 people

10 crescent-cut kabocha pieces (see TIP: Kabocha Squash)
4 slices of bacon cut into bite size
3-4 mushrooms (or if you can afford it, shimeji mushrooms)
2 TBsp of butter
2 TBsp of sake (preferably real sake, not the cooking sake)

Cook the slices of bacon on low to medium heat to your preference. My wife likes it crispy and I like it not crispy, so we compromise and cook until they are slightly crispy. When the bacon is done, your pan should be filled with bacon grease so dump those out to a bowl or container. Don't use the paper towl to completely soak all of the grease. You need a bit of oil in there.

Keep the bacon in the pan, and turn the heat back to medium and stirfry the kabocha slices and mushrooms for 3 to 5 minutes until the kabocha starts to turn slightly brown.

Splash about 2 table spoon of sake in the pan (be careful!) and let the alcohol burn off. I said to use the real sake instead of cooking sake because cooking sake usually has some salt in it, and that could make this dish taste slightly salty.

When most of the liquid has evaporated, lower the heat to low, and add butter. Stir the pan gently so the melting butter can spread around evenly. When most of the butter has melted, seal the pan with a lid, and let it simmer for about 3 minutes until kabocha gets soft. And that's it!

We normally have a bit of leftover with this recipe, but it tastes great the next day, especially as bento. My wife packed the leftover for her lunch. She thought it looked cute, and suggested that I take a picture of it.


MochiCheek said...

Hmm~ I think I might try this one! Will let you know how it turns out

JW said...

> mochicheek
I made this for Thanksgiving last year using some random American squash. That squash was really tough, so I tried using lots of cooking sake to make it more moist, but that made it too soggy, and salty. So be sure to use the kabocha squash!

Mull said...

This is so good...I've made it twice now. I don't bother to drain the pan, but I leave out the butter and just use the bacon fat. So good and so simple! I think kabocha is my new favorite ingredient.

buy kamagra said...

Squash and bacon is a crazy combination of food but looks so good, I will tell of in the restaurant this dish the next time that I will go .