Cut the kabocha squash into bite sized pieces. Put into a heatproof container and microwave for 2 to 3 minutes.
Cook the meat until the color changes.
Add the microwaved kabocha squash and continue cooking. When everything is cooked through, add the water and seasonings.
Put a small drop lid on the contents of the pan (otoshibuta; you can use a piece of aluminum foil instead) and simmer for about 10 minutes over low heat until the kabocha squash is soft and the flavors have penetrated it.
Pour in a katakuriko slurry to thicken the cooking liquid. Transfer to serving plates. Serve while piping hot with rice.
Story Behind this Recipe
I love simmered kabocha squash, but I wanted to make a version that wasn't too sweet and could be eaten with rice.
Microwave before simmering to reduce the cooking time and still have a tasty result. If you like this to be sweeter, add some sugar! Great when cold so it's nice in bentos.