Discard the seeds and fibres of the kabocha squash and cut into bite sizes.
Peel the hard peel in places. It is good if you trim the edges of the cut squash (this process avoid thickening the resultant sauce too much).
Heat oil in a pan and fry the chicken mince. Make sure not to brown too much and break up any clumps. Add the kabocha squash and fry quickly.
Add the water, dashi stock, sake, mirin and sugar and simmer for about five minutes.
Add the soy sauce and salt. Cover with an otoshibuta drop lid directly on top and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes over low heat.
When the cooking liquid is almost gone, check the kabocha squash if it has cooked through. When it is done, turn off the heat and serve.
Story Behind this Recipe
I wanted to eat a tasty braised dish. The cooking liquid itself has a lot of meaty flavour, and so it's best to let the kabocha squash soak it up.
I don't use katakuriko in this recipe. Roughly crumble the chicken mince, but there's no need to crumble it finely. Add the soy sauce only after simmering with sugar for a while. The sweetness of sugar is absorbed better this way. When you use pork mince or pork and beef mince mixture, use less vegetable oil or omit it.