Recipe: Pumpkin Meat Sauce (Japanese style)

My “SWMBO” found a pumpkin which looks very similar to the one we find in Japan, so I decided to make
カボチャのそぼろ餡掛け (Kabocha no Soboro-An-Kake) – Roughly translate as Pumpkin with Meat Sauce

*Please note, except for the above picture of the dish, rest of the pictures in this recipe are taken from internet… and not my own… 🙁

Japanese Pumpkin Looks like this:



  • A)One whole Japanese Pumpkin
  • A)Hondashi 1tsp
  • A)Sake 2TBS
  • A)Sugar 3 TBS
  • A)Soy Sauce 1TBS
  • Meat Sauce:
    • B)Ground Pork or Chicken 1/4 ~ 1/2 LB
    • B)Sake 2TBS
    • B)Ginger 1 small piece, grated
    • B)Soy Sauce 1tsp
  • Corn Starch 1TBS


  1. Wash whole pumpkin very well (You will cook/eat the skin as well)
  2. Cut pumpkin in to 1-1/2 to 2 inch squares, and shave off the edges of the skin from each piece. This will keep the pumpkin from breaking down while cooking
  3. Place in large pan, single layered, with skin side down
  4. Fill the pan with water barely enough to cover pumpkin
  5. Add A)Hondashi and A)Sake to the water and bring to boil
  6. Reduce to low heat, and add A)Sugar
  7. Make Otoshi-Buta with a aluminum foil.
    • Cut a sheet of aluminum foil and fold edges so it just small enough to fit inside of the pan.
    • Example: Google Image Search
  8. Add A)Soy Sauce to the pan, and place Otoshi-Buta on top of the pumpkin, put lid slightly off so the steam can escape
  9. Cook pumpkin for 20-25 min until it is soft. (check once in a while to make sure there some liquid on the bottom)
  10. While pumpkin is being cooked, make the meat sauce
  11. In a different pan, on medium-low heat, put all B)Ground Meat, B)Sake and B)Grated Ginger and break the meat into small pieces
  12. When meat is almost fully cooked, sprinkle soy sauce and fully cook the meat. (Do not burn the meat)
  13. After Pumpkin is fully cooked to soft, you should have enough water to cover bottom quoter of the pumpkin (just enough to cover the skin area should be okay). If not enough water left, please add a little water to the pan and bring to boil
  14. Gather all the pumpkins to one side of the pan (be careful, they are very soft and fragile!), and put the meat in to the pan, and mix with the liquid source in the pan.
  15. Mix Corn Starch with water, and slowly pour over the meat with the sauce, and let it slowly thicken.
  16. Tilting the pan will bring all the liquid toward the meat, so add starch to make the sauce nice and even.
  17. Once sauce became thick, gently mix with the pumpkin, and then put the lid back on to bring to tiny bubble in sauce, and it’s ready to plate!

Cutting pumpkin to small piece and then shaving edges takes time, but total time of cooking should be less than an hour or so. Add more or less sugar and soy sauce depending on your taste, and size of the pumpkin.

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