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Sake-Steamed Chicken and Kabocha Squash

Sake-Steamed Chicken and Kabocha Squash

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The secret to juicy, tender, delicately steamed white-meat chicken and squash? Going slow.


  • 2 dried chiles de árbol, seeded, crushed, or ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 2-inch piece ginger, peeled, cut into thin matchsticks
  • 2 8-ounce skin-on or skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • ¼ small kabocha or red kuri squash, seeded, sliced crosswise into ¾-inch-thick half-moons, then sliced in half again
  • 2 scallions, sliced on a diagonal, plus more for serving

Recipe Preparation

  • Combine chiles, sake, and 1 cup water in a pot. Fit with a steamer basket and arrange ginger in basket. Season chicken with salt and place in steamer basket, skin side up; add squash and 2 sliced scallions. Cover pot and steam chicken and squash over medium heat, adding more water by ¼-cupfuls if needed, until squash is tender and chicken is just cooked through, 16–20 minutes.

  • Remove steamer basket from pot and bring liquid to a boil. Cook until flavors are concentrated and liquid thickens, 6–8 minutes (you should have about 3 Tbsp.).

  • Slice chicken and arrange on plates with squash. Pour steaming liquid over and top with additional scallions.

Recipe by Tadashi Ono & Harris Salat,

Nutritional Content

Calories (kcal) 250 Fat (g) 6 Saturated Fat (g) 2 Cholesterol (mg) 70 Carbohydrates (g) 6 Dietary Fiber (g) 1 Total Sugars (g) 1 Protein (g) 25 Sodium (mg) 60Reviews Sectionsuch simple process and ingredients, yet the flavor in the sauce is AMAZING! Both clean-tasting and complex. Will definitely make again!Wanying ZhangNew York06/01/19


Kabocha squash is a squash that is available year round. It's more commonly found in Asian markets as it's a native Japanese squash but its popularity has spread and can be found in most specialty grocery stores. Think of it as a pumpkin and sweet potato love child and my favorite part? You can eat the skin!

Winter usually puts me in a braising mood -- the smells of chicken and garlic simmering on a stove is one of those nostalgic scents that brings me closer to those childhood memories of cooking with my mom.

This recipe is relatively straightforward though a little bit more fussy ingredient wise but I promise the trouble will be worth it. I pray for leftovers because that means a myriad of tasty options. Shred any leftover chicken and individually package in ziplock bags. Just heat as needed throughout the week. The leftover squash can be enjoyed cold or reheated in soup or even mashed as a spread for a wrap or sandwich. The squash really soaks up the braising juices from the chicken and did I mention you can eat the skin?? One less step in the kitchen is always a good thing!


  • 1 package of chicken thighs/wings (around 1 1/2 - 2 pounds)
  • 1 TB peanut oil
  • 1/2 white onion, roughly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/2 kabocha squash, pitted, cleaned and sliced into 1" cubes
  • 6-8 shishito peppers or mild chile peppers
  • 1/8 cup dry cooking wine or Shaoxing wine
  • 1/8 cup soy sauce
  • 1 TB fish sauce (omit if you do not have this)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 TB brown sugar
  • green scallion and cilantro for garnish
  • salt to taste

In a medium or large pot, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onions and slightly caramelize over medium heat, about 4-5 minutes. Add garlic, squash, peppers and sauté until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add cooking wine, soy sauce, fish sauce, sugar and water. Add the chicken, making sure the meat is completely submerged in the braising liquid. Add more water if needed.

Cook for 20-25 minutes until the chicken and squash are tender. Serve with steamed grains like quinoa, barley or brown rice or a side of steamed bok choy.

Leftovers usually taste better because the flavors are able to settle in and develop a little further. Any extras can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Shred chicken and add it to our veggie wrap or throw it on top of our healthy kale salad. You can even throw a medium boiled egg and serve it with some brown rice like we did below.

Here's a great guide on how to cook the perfect medium boiled egg via Bon Appetit.

Show us your creations on our Instagram, FB and Twitter page -- we’d love to see what you guys come up with! Just use #onetwosimplecooking to follow along. And be sure to subscribe to our1-2-Simple Cooking YouTube channel to stay up to date on our recipes and tips!


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You can also add eggs, coffee or bread to your weekly Veggie Box. Basics= covered!

Once you sign up, you will receive an email every Tuesday with the contents and origins of your weekly box, along with farm news and recipes.

Subscriptions are rolling. Eat healthy and eat local with a Veggie Box!

Eat Like Winston Churchill

Good morning. Winston Churchill was born on this day in 1874, and though his obituary in The Times doesn’t say it, he was finicky about his dinner. We’ll cook in his honor tonight.

We’ll start with Champagne, obviously. It was Churchill’s drink of choice. (Pol Roger Champagne, if you want to be historically accurate. “My tastes are simple,” he reportedly said of it. “I am easily satisfied by the best.”)

Then Martha Rose Shulman’s recipe for porcini consommé, since he liked a clear soup but not a cream-based one, followed by roast chicken. We’ll use Laurie Colwin’s recipe for that because the two of them may have gotten along. On the side: some Vichy carrots he may have raised an eyebrow at, at least until he tasted them. And then cheese.

Or, look, it’s his birthday: ice cream, which you can buy if you don’t want to make Julia Moskin’s absurdly easy recipe for it, adorned with molten chocolate ganache. No brandies or cigars. It’s a work night.

Don’t want to play this game? Cooking has loads of other recipes for tonight and coming days. We’d be into David Tanis’s recipe for sake-steamed kabocha squash with white miso for dinner ourselves. Also, Florence Fabricant’s recipe for poached fish with shiitakes (above). This could be an excellent week for making David’s recipe for North African meatballs. And for knocking down Julia’s recipe for a foolproof tarte Tatin while you’re at it. Maybe you’d like to read about these awesome soy-pickled eggs?

Finally, and not to put too fine a point on it, there are only 31 days left before the end of the year. If this is going to be the one when you finally and forever learn to make pizza, this is the week to start. We’ll help you. It’s as easy as clicking this link.

Even more inspiration for weeknight cooking is on our site. Save the recipes that interest you to your recipe box, and rate them on a scale of one to five stars once you’ve cooked them through. (Check out my recipe box, if you like.) Leave notes on the recipes to which you’d like to suggest emendations — this one works great with a splash of vinegar, for instance, or this other one freezes well.

If you run into any problems along the way, let us know. Our crew at [email protected] is ace, and stands by to help. (If you have a philosophical issue, however, or just have something really mean to say, take it straight to me: [email protected]) Here’s hoping all that you cook this week is delicious, and that December dawns for you bright and happy.

Now, check out Cody Townsend skiing this incredible line last winter up in Alaska. It reminds us of nothing so much as our Thanksgiving dinner last week, frankly. See you on Wednesday.

How to Cook Kabocha Squash

Kabocha squash may sound exotic, but it's really a humble and basic winter squash similar to pumpkin or acorn squash. While kabocha squash recipes may be hard to find, you can use this squash variety in recipes calling for other winter squashes.

Kabocha squash looks like a small round pumpkin with dark green skin and lighter-color stripes or bumps. Orange-skin varieties can also be found. Its flesh is orange, similar to butternut squash.

Selecting kabocha squash. This winter squash is available late summer to early fall. Look for kabocha squash with dull, unblemished skin and no soft spots. It should feel heavy for its size.

Storing kabocha squash.  Kabocha squash will last several months stored in a cool, dry place between 50ଏ and 60ଏ. Don&apost store it near apples, pears, onions, or potatoes, which give off ethylene gas that may spoil the squash. Once cut, wrap squash in plastic wrap and refrigerate for several days.

Sake-Steamed Chicken and Kabocha Squash - Recipes

Butternut squash gets drizzled with Sriracha-spiked yogurt and more.

He has been dubbed a genius with vegetables.

His cooking may not be vegetarian per se, but Yotam Ottolenghi, the chef-owner of four London restaurants, definitely is a champion of putting vegetables front and center, in especially vibrant ways.

His three previous cookbooks have all been best-sellers: “Ottolenghi,” “Jerusalem,” and “Plenty.” No doubt, his fourth one, “Plenty More” (Ten Speed Press), also will top the charts.

In this cookbook, of which I received a review copy, Ottolenghi continues his foray into dazzling veg-centric dishes such as “Steamed Eggplant with Sesame and Green Onion,” “Iranian Vegetable Stew with Dried Lime,” and “Grilled Banana Bread with Tahini and Honeycomb.”

At this time of year, I love roasting winter squashes. But I’m always looking for new ways to accent them. “Squash with Chile Yogurt and Cilantro Sauce” fit the bill perfectly.

Butternut squash is roasted with a sprinkle of cinnamon. But Ottolenghi steers the dish far out of the usual Thanksgiving realm by serving it with Sriracha-spiked yogurt, and an herbaceous sauce of cilantro and garlic that really gives the dish an unexpected sharpness.

It’s a dish that’s got holiday sweetness, but also a big kick of heat and savoriness. It’s a flavor combo you might never have thought of, but are sure to appreciate from the first forkful.

I used my usual trick of sticking the whole butternut squash in the microwave for a few minutes, just until it got soft enough to make sticking a chef’s knife into it a lot easier. The recipe calls for roasting the squash pieces skin side down. But you don’t have to fuss with that too much, as the pieces are rather irregular and will cook just fine no matter what side they are lying on.

Although the recipe calls for 2 1/2 tablespoons of pumpkin seeds, I doubled that just because I like the added crunch.

This dish would make a fine Meatless Monday entree. Or serve it as a side dish alongside lamb or chicken.

If you’ve not yet jumped on the Ottolenghi bandwagon, this dish may just get you hopping on board.

Squash with Chile Yogurt and Cilantro Sauce

1 large butternut squash (3 pounds)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 3/4 ounces cilantro, leaves and stems (about 22 sprigs), plus extra leaves for garnish

1 small clove garlic, crushed

Scant 2 1/2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds (or more if you like)

1 1/2 teaspoons Sriracha or another savory chile sauce

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Cut the squash in half lengthwise, remove and discard the seeds, and then cut into wedges 3/4-inch wid and about 2 3/4-inches long, leaving the skin on. Place in a large bowl with the cinnamon, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and a good grind of pepper. Mix well so the the squash is evenly coated. Place the squash, skin side down if possible, on 2 baking sheets lined with foil and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until soft and starting to color on top. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

To make the herb paste, place the cilantro, garlic, the remaining 4 tablespoons oil, and a generous pinch of salt in the bowl of a small food processor, blitz to form a fine paste, and set aside.

Turn down the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Lay the pumpkin seeds on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 6 to 8 minutes. The outer skin will pop open and the seeds will become light and crispy. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

When you are ready to serve, swirl together the yogurt and Sriracha sauce. Lay the squash wedges on a platter and drizzle the spicy yogurt sauce and then the herb paste over the top (you can also swirl the yogurt sauce and the herb paste together, if you like). Scatter the pumpkin seeds on top, followed by the extra cilantro leaves, and serve.

Soy sauce/shou-yu/しょうゆ

Made from a fermented paste of boiled soybeans. After fermentation, processed to extract liquid. Being used to add saltiness and distinct taste called “Umami” to the food.
Can be used not only for Japanese cuisine but also some western cuisine as well.
*What’s Umami? it’s one of the five basic taste together with sweet, sour, bitter and salty.

It’s is a kind of rice wine similar to sake, but with a lower alcohol content and higher sugar content.
It has rice aromatic sweetness. It also works as glazing when it’s cooked and reduced.
Q. What if you don’t have mirin?
A. You can use syrup instead. it also gives sweetness and glazing effects but has no rice sake aromatic flavor.


It’s an alcoholic beverage of Japanese origin that is made from fermented rice. It can be also called rice wine.
There is rice wine called Cooking Sake which is already seasoned with salt.
Most of the recipe I introduce here is using drinkable sake. NOT seasoned sake.
if you only have Cooking sake, that’ OK, just watch the amount to other seasonings such as soy sauce, sake you are adding.


Traditional Japanese seasoning paste produced by fermenting rice, barley, and/or soybeans with salt and the fungus. It comes in variety of color, flavor and saltiness depending which region of Japan it’s made in.
Most commonly used to make Miso Soup. But there’re so many other dishes you can make with miso! Please check my recipes here! )

Sea kelp/konbu/こんぶ

Edible kelp. Along with shredded bonito they are the main ingredients of dashi, a broth that forms the basis of many soups (such as miso) and sauces.
it’s sold in dry sheet. the surface is covered with powdery thing which contains Amino acid also known as Umami.. means,, all the goodies are there! do not wash off!
*What’s Umami? it’s one of the five basic taste together with sweet, sour, bitter and salty.

Shredded bonito/katsuo-bushi/かつおぶし

It’s used to make dashi (mentioned earlier,,)you can also use as toppings such as Okonomi -yaki , Tako-yaki, Cold Tofu appetizer, and so on..

Soba sauce/soba-tsuyu/つゆ

It is made of a strong mixture of dashi(fish broth)and sweetened soy sauce.
usually use it as soba dipping sauce or udon soup.
*Since it’s already well blended with Japanese basic seasonings. Not just being used as noodles dipping sauce but It can also be added to many Japanese dishes!

Teczcape-An Escape to Food

Happy Lunar New Year everyone! Today is the first day of the Lunar New Year. Did you have a sumptuous reunion meal yesterday? Or what "auspicious" dish did you prepare/cook? Here in the USA, Chinese New Year is usually a quiet affair for most of us. Most importantly, there are no official holidays (unlike in Asia where the first and second days of Lunar New Year are official "off" days), so we do not have much opportunities to get together.

No, I did not cook this yesterday on the eve of Chinese New Year. We had dinner at a friend's place. But this lobster dish do have its tie-in to auspicious Chinese New Year food, is it not? Lobsters 龙虾 and in Cantonese language, 虾 pronounced HAR  symbolizes laughter 笑哈哈 (happiness).

I gave in to these wild-caught previously frozen Canadian lobster tails when I spotted them in Costco. Well, I COULD have waited to buy a fresh "live" whole lobster (in the tank) from the Asian grocery store.

Could have, should have, would have.

You can say I am not much of an adventurer when it comes to seafood. I have made steamed lobsters tails with frozen lobster tails before, so I am going to do similar again. This time, it is just going to a tad different using Japanese sake instead of Chinese cooking wine.

Japanese Pantry Essentials: Sauces & Condiments

Chile oil

Japanese chile oil, called rayu, is made by infusing sesame and/or vegetable oil with dried, ground, hot red chiles. It’s used as a condiment and an ingredient to add heat to dressings, marinades and dipping sauces. A variation called taberu rayu, incorporates edible chunks of garlic, onion, and sesame seeds.


Dashi is stock traditionally made with bonito flakes and kombu (though other varieties, including vegetarian dashi, are common). Dashi has a strong umami flavor and is used as the base for many soups, sauces and dressings in Japan. Instant dashi, shelf-stable granules that dissolve in hot water, are a popular shortcut in both Japan and the West. It contains the powdered form of bonito and kombu, and often adds sugar, yeast extract and/or monosodium glutamate, resulting in a more assertive flavor than homemade dashi.


A sweet cooking wine, mirin is made by fermenting steamed glutinous rice with shochu (a Japanese distilled spirit). Mirin adds sweetness and a subtle sake-like flavor to sauces and glazes.

One of the most important staples of Japanese cooking, miso is a seasoning paste made by salting and fermenting soybeans with rice and/or barley. Red and white miso are the most popular of the many varieties. Red miso is aged for up to three years, and develops a reddish- to dark-brown color and an intense umami flavor. White miso has a much shorter fermentation time, yielding a mellow, almost sweet flavor. Miso paste is dissolved in dashi broth to make miso soup, and used as a flavoring in sauces, marinades and salad dressings.

Ponzu shoyu

Ponzu shoyu is a widely used condiment made with soy sauce, yuzu (or other citrus) juice and often mirin, rice vinegar, bonito flakes and/or seaweed. Its many uses include adding flavor to sauces, dressings and marinades, and acting as a dipping sauce for tempura, sashimi and noodle dishes.

Rice vinegar (su)

Japanese rice vinegar, made from fermented rice, is much less acidic than Western vinegars. Seasoned rice vinegar, used in the making of sushi rice, is mixed with sugar, salt and sometimes sake.

Sake is a traditional Japanese alcoholic beverage that’s rich with enduring culinary and cultural importance. To brew it, steamed rice is mixed with water, yeast and a strain of mold called koji, then fermented at a high temperature and humidity. Over the course of a closely attended, multi-stage process, the yeast produces enzymes that convert the rice starch into sugar and the sugar into alcohol. The resultant sake (usually about 18 percent alcohol) is then aged for around six months. Polishing the grains of rice before brewing removes the fats and proteins found in the outer layers of the kernel (which interfere with fermentation and can produce off-flavors) and leaves the pure starch at the center of each grain. Varieties of sake are distinguished by how much of the rice kernel was polished away and whether distilled alcohol was added: Daiginjo (considered the best quality sake) has had 50 percent of the rice kernel removed, ginjo has had at least 40 percent of the kernel removed and honjozo has had 30 percent of the kernel removed. The designation junmai means that no distilled alcohol was added to the sake.

Recipe to Try: Sake-Steamed Clams

Soy sauce

Also called shoyu, soy sauce is the most important condiment and seasoning in Japanese cooking. Soy sauce is extracted from a fermented paste made from soybeans, wheat, salt and yeast. There are several primary types of soy sauce, the most popular and widely available in the West being koikuchi—the familiar, dark, salty soy sauce.

Recipe to Try: Shoyu Ramen


Tamari shoyu is a type of soy sauce often (but not always) made without wheat, making it safe for the gluten-intolerant. Tamari has a complex, rounder and more balanced flavor than other soy sauce varieties.

Hail Francis

Good morning. I come bearing bittersweet news that you may have missed this weekend. Sunday was the delivery of Francis Lam’s final “Eat” column for The New York Times Magazine. He’d been at it two years, writing about immigrants cooking in New York City, and we’d all have been happy to see him do so for many more. But a new dream gig has come his way. (When Francis can talk about that, you can be sure I’ll share the details.)

So tonight, make Francis’s recipe for the stir-fried tomatoes and eggs his mom used to make. And, please, join me in thanking him deeply for his work for The Times.

Onward! I’m excited to cook Bobby Flay’s recipe for strip steak with a horseradish mint glaze at some point this week. It’s a dish we’ve had in our files since Matt Lee and Ted Lee brought it to our pages back in 2003, but it appears all the more delicious now that we’ve tricked it out with a new photograph.

I’d like to mess around at some point this week with Melissa Clark’s new recipe for mini almond cakes with chocolate and cherry filling, perhaps as a dry run for a Valentine’s Day gift for someone next week. (Or you know, just for eating.)

And for dinner sometime soon, I’m thinking of making a meal out of David Tanis’s recipe for sake-steamed kabocha squash with white miso, and another out of Julia Moskin’s recipe for flattened chicken thighs with roasted lemon slices.

Also, really: Melissa’s recipe for the ultimate veggie burger. And heading in an entirely different direction, Gabrielle Hamilton’s recipe for steak tartare, which is awesome and very likely unlike any steak tartare you’ve ever had. (Serve with pommes Anna.)

Fighting the February blues? It’s a good time for beans on toast. Also: roast butternut squash with pecans and currants. As a lot of our flock has pointed out, you don’t need to peel the squash!

If those recipes don’t appeal, please head on over to Cooking and see what you find. (Hey, how about some whelks with parsley and garlic butter?) You know the drill: Search and graze, share, save and cook. And if you run into problems with anything, you can always reach out for help. Our team is standing by: [email protected]

Now, have you watched the new Missy Elliott video yet, “I’m Better,” featuring Lamb? I’m at something like four plays a day now, and rising.

Thanks to the terrific Longreads, I spent a long time browsing through the work of Dale Maharidge and Matt Black in their update of James Agee’s “Let Us Now Praise Famous Men,” in Smithsonian. Maybe you could do that, too.

But absolutely you should get started reading Sheelah Kolhatkar’s “Black Edge,” about the government’s attempts to bring down SAC Capital Advisors and its founder, Steven A. Cohen. It’s a finance noir-thriller. (Read Jennifer Senior’s review of the book if you don’t believe a guy shouting about it from his perch in the kitchen.)

Finally, hey, it’s Monday, and we’re all back at work and maybe you’re feeling tight because you were up late watching the Patriots beat back the Falcons for a thrilling-even-if-you-hate-the-Pats victory in Super Bowl LI. So here are some funny cats and dogs. See you soon.

Watch the video: Cooking Tips on how to prepare a Kabocha Pumpkin (November 2022).