Miso-Glazed Kabocha Squash
It is not surprising that kabocha is the squash-of-record in Japan. The Japanese market is very particular about eating quality in vegetables, and the kabocha are among the finest types, as well as having the longest storage potential.
In searching for ways to experience squash the way they do in Japan, I've been trying a few variations on miso-glazed kabocha. The concept is simple and the recipe adjustable, and it highlights everything that's so great about this squash. It incorporates the core flavors of sweet, sour, salty, and probably umami — a flavor concept embodying "pleasant savoriness," first defined in Japan over a century ago.
I hope you enjoy it enough to try it six different ways!
— Pete Zuck, Vegetable Product Manager, R&D, Johnny's Selected Seeds
Prep Time : 20–30 min
Cooking Time : 25–35 min
Optional Glaze Variations
Preheat oven to 375ºF/190ºC.
Combine all glaze ingredients in large bowl (including optional ingredients). Whisking is fine, but an immersion blender will really mash up the small chunks of bean in the miso and make a smoother liquid.
Toss enough squash slices in the glaze to coat thoroughly while still leaving about one-fourth of the glaze in the bowl for later use.
Place the coated slices on a baking sheet. Oil is recommended on the sheet to prevent sticking. It is also helpful to overlap the slices so they are propped up on each other, rather than laying flat on the sheet. This helps with sticking and also promotes even cooking.
Bake 15 minutes.
Remove from hot oven. Flip slices over, brush the remaining glaze onto both sides, and sprinkle slices with sesame seeds.
Return slices to the oven and bake until the squash is cooked through and the glaze darkens to a deep, lustrous brown and the squash has softened but can still be handled without falling apart. This may take 10-20 minutes, depending on the density of the squash and oven temperatures.