Kabocha Soboroni is a variation of Kabocha no Nimono, cooked pumpkin in seasoned broth. Soboro is ground meat (using chicken in this recipe) cooked with seasonings such as Soy Sauce and sugar. You stir the meat as you cook it, breaking it up to form small pieces or pebbles, giving Soboro its typical appearance and texture.
Nimono is usually seasoned with combinations of Soy Sauce, sugar, Sake or Mirin that give vegetables sweet and salty flavors. The seasoned broth in Nimono is not soup to drink, but only to give vegetables flavoring. Here the broth is thickened a little to coat Kabocha with flavor even more. And the thickened soup retains heat longer for the dish. With chicken Soboro, it is a heartier dish than ordinary vegetable Nimono, and it could be a main dish.
Japanese pumpkin, Kabocha, is very dense and sweet, different from typical pumpkin in the US. Its texture is more like sweet potato than squash. Kabocha is in season in fall and winter, and it is out there by now. You may be able to find it at a lot of local supermarkets even. If you find it, make this delicious dish to taste the flavor of the season.
- 1/2 medium Kabocha
- 2 cup (480ml) water
- 1/2 lb (230g) ground chicken
- 4 Tbsp Soy Sauce
- 2 Tbsp Sake
- 2 Tbsp Mirin
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp Katakuriko (or cornstarch)
- Cut Kabocha into 3" cubes.
- Heat water in a pot and add ground chicken while water is still cold. Stir to loosen meat up into small pieces. Skim fat and unwanted scum.
- Add Soy Sauce, Sake, Mirin, sugar, and Kabocha. Cook until Kabocha becomes soft.
- Mix Katakuriko with 1 Tbsp water, then add to the pot, and stir well. Cook until thickend.