Kabocha Squash Pumpkin Mushroom Rice

With its bright orange flesh, kabocha squash is an excellent source of beta-carotene that can be converted to vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is important for healthy white blood cells, good immunity and for vibrant, healthy eyes, skin and hair. To boost fiber content, you can cook them with their edible green skins. I bought a whole kabocha squash (Japanese pumpkin) with a plan to cook Pumpkin Rice 南瓜饭.

This Pumpkin Rice a pumped-up version of this Garlic Pumpkin Rice and fits a one-pot one-dish meal perfectly.

There is more proportion of ingredients (mushrooms, vegetables) used instead of rice. Therefore, the dish was cooked over the stove instead of in the rice cooker, to allow better control of cooking.

For more fiber intake, cook the kabocha squash skin-on. This also saves the effort of slicing off the skin which means cutting down prep. time. However, the skin was sliced off in this recipe for the dish's texture to be consistent with the fluffy rice.

Kabocha Squash/Pumpkin Mushroom Rice 日本小南瓜饭
1 shallot, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1tbsp dried krill/shrimp (omit if vegetarian)
4-5 fresh small-medium cap-size shiitake mushrooms
1/4 squash, slice to 4 wedges, then diced to cubes, remove skin
1/4 wedge of small head cabbage, sliced to bite-size
2tsps soy sauce
Salt and pepper

Directions: Saute the shallots, then add krill or dried shrimps to make it fragrant, followed by garlic. Then add the mushrooms, a little soy sauce and saute till mushrooms are slightly tender. Add the pumpkin, then cabbage, a few tbsp of water to moisten the mixture, cover the pot, and simmer for about 5-8 minutes till flavors are married. Add in rice, give it a good stir, then add water just enough to submerge the entire mixture. Cover the pot, and cook the rice at medium-high heat. When the mixture starts to boil, turn down to low-medium heat and simmer till the rice is cooked. Anytime you find that the water has completely been absorbed by the rice, just sprinkle in some water to keep it moisten and continue to cook the rice. As the vegetables will release moisture in the process, adding too much water will yield over-soggy rice.

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