Remove seeds and pith from kabocha, and cut into 3 cm cubes.
Rinse dried daikon and soak in water to reconstitute, squeeze out excess water, then cut into bite-sized pieces.
Soak dried shiitake mushrooms and thinly slice.
Put ingredients marked with ◆ into a pot, add kabocha skin down, and turn to medium heat with a drop lid made of parchment paper cut into the diameter of the pot (otoshibuta).
Bring to a boil, then reduce to low heat, and simmer for 15 minutes.
Remove the lid and test with skewer. The kabocha flesh should be firm and intact. Add ingredients from Step 2 and 3 in between kabocha pieces.
Stir the daikon and shiitake occasionally and simmer for 10 minutes. Transfer to serving dish.
Story Behind this Recipe
Shredded dried daikon is one of those forgotten items stored in my pantry. Once, while stewing kabocha squash, I added it to the pot and was pleased with the results! It's even tastier than plain stewed kabocha. I like it because it not only gives more substance, it boosts the nutritional value.
The water content and sturdiness of the flesh depends on the type of kabocha, so adjust the simmering time. If the simmer time is long, increase the heat to high after adding the daikon. If using noodle dipping sauce concentrate, be sure to water it down a bit.