Japanese Simmered Squash

Source: Chef Yoshiko Shibayama at Cooking Matters

Serving size: 2/3 cup

Servings per recipe: 6

This Japanese style sweet and savory dish will delight your taste buds! Acorn squash is a good source of vitamins A, C and potassium.

View Nutrition Facts


  • 1 medium acorn squash, about 2 pounds
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce


Sharp knife & cutting board, vegetable peeler, spoon, measuring cups & spoons, large skillet, aluminum foil


  1. Rinse squash and cut in half. Scrape out seeds with a spoon. Cut squash along the creases and peel. Cut into slightly larger than bite-sized pieces.
  2. Cut a circle of aluminum foil that will fit just inside a large skillet. Cut 3 small slits in the middle. This will let steam escape as squash cooks.
  3. In a large skillet, place squash. Add water and sprinkle with brown sugar. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Place the foil circle loosely on top of squash pieces. Cook until pieces are softened, about 7-10 minutes. Remove foil and pour soy sauce over squash. Replace foil and boil until liquid is almost gone, about 3-5 minutes more. Watch closely to be sure sauce does not burn.


  • This dish is traditionally prepared with the squash skin left on.
  • Try other types of winter squash in place of acorn squash. Buttercup and kabocha are good choices if they can be found in your store.
  • Serve with roasted chicken or other roasted meat.

More About Acorn Squash

How to Select

Select acorn squash that are dull and heavy for their size. Avoid squash with soft spots or cracks.

How to Store

Store acorn squash in a cool, dry area away from extreme temperatures and sunlight. Acorn squash can stay fresh for up to 3 months.

How to Prepare

Puree roasted or steamed acorn squash and use it as a sauce over pasta or with meat. Mix thinly-sliced squash strips with whole wheat noodles. Thinly slice acorn squash, then add a little cinnamon, ginger, or nutmeg and either steam or microwave. Make a delicious cream of acorn squash soup and then, for a festive presentation, bring it to the table served inside hollowed-out squash halves.