Not too long ago I came across this recipe for "Kabocha Simmered in Caramel Sauce". The dish sounded really interesting. I had been wanting to try kabocha and simmering it in caramel sauce sounded like it would be really nice. Since then I have been eating and enjoying a lot of kabocha and I finally found a place to fit this dish into my meal plans. Kabocha is a winter squash that is also called a Japanese pumpkin. You could also use a pumpkin or another type of winter squash.
I decided to try making the caramel sauce the dry way. The sugar melted and turned golden without a problem. When I added the water the sugar seized but melted again with a bit of stirring. While making the sauce I noticed that the metal spoon that I was using to stir was covered in a really solid coating of crystallized sugar. I tried cutting it off with a knife but it had no effect on it. I was really worried that I might have ruined my sauce pan because it also had a ring of hardened sugar around it. Luckily the sugar slowly melted away under hot tap water. In the end the caramel sauce was good but I think that I should have let it get a bit darker.
The final result was pretty interesting. I like the way the sweetness of the pumpkin combined with slightly bitter caramel sauce. I will be keeping this recipe to use again.
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1. Heat the sugar in a small sauce pan until it melts and takes on a dark golden colour.
2. Slowly add the water a bit at a time. The sugar will seize but it will melt again as you continue to heat and stir it.
Kabocha Simmered in Caramel Sauce
1/4 pumpkin (seeded and cut into bite sized pieces)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 batch caramel sauce
* water or stock
salt and pepper to taste
1 green onion (sliced)
1. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the pumpkin until the pumpkin is sightly golden brown.
2. Place the pumpkin in a small sauce pan and pour in the caramel sauce until it reaches 1/3 the height of the pumpkin.
3. Pour in some water or stock until the liquid just covers the pumpkin.
4. Add the salt and pepper to taste.
5. Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the pumpkin is tender, about 20-30 minutes.
6. Garnish with the green onion.
Vietnamese Caramel Shrimp (Tom Rim)