Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Kabocha Squash Lasagna

I had a craving for kabocha no nimono  the other night, so I bought a couple of kabocha pumpkins and made some. I had quite a bit left over, though, so I had to figure out what to do with the rest. 

After a couple of days of researching, I came across a recipe for butternut squash lasagna. I realized that I could do the same thing with my kabocha. But it was already flavored with soy sauce, dashi and mirin--I couldn't use traditional lasagna flavors with that. So what could I do?

I decided to try making a sauce from the flavors I'd used, but thicken them with a roux. Sure enough, my experiment worked. My husband's only complaint was that there was no meat. Well, it was meant to be a vegetarian dish, so... 

To make this non dairy, simply use a vegetable oil instead of butter. Got a wheat allergy? Use non gluten noodles. Really, this recipe is pretty simple to change up any way you need to. 

Kabocha Squash Lasagna


1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup flour
2 Tbsp mirin
6 cups Dashi
4 Tbsp soy sauce


6 cups (720ml) Dashi
2 1/2lb (aka 9 cups) Kabocha (pumpkin)
4 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp mirin


1 package no-boil lasagna

Sauce: Boil the dashi in a pot. Turn off the heat and set aside. Melt the 1/2 cup of butter in a saucepan. When it starts to foam, add the flour. Whisk until it forms a paste. Add the hot dashi, a little at a time; whisk thoroughly after each addition to avoid lumps. Continue to cook the sauce until it coats the back of a spoon, then turn off the heat.

Filling: Cut the kabocha in half and remove the seeds. Cut it into slices and cut those slices into 1' pieces. Get them as even as possible. Boil the dashi in a large saucepan, one big enough to hold the kabocha. When the dashi comes to a boil, toss the kabocha in. Cover the kabocha and cook till tender, which could take up to half an hour. Check after 15 minutes; you don't want to burn this. Add the last two ingredients and gently fold to combine. Turn off the heat and replace the cover.

Assembly: Reserve 1/4 cup of sauce per person. Pour 1/2 cup of the sauce onto the bottom of the pan you'll be using for the lasagna. place three noodles on top of the sauce. Then layer it as follows: 1 cup filling, 1/2 cup sauce, 3 noodles. (Feel free to change the amounts depending on the size of the pan.) Continue layering until you reach the top, then pour the rest of the sauce over the lasagna. Cover it, put it into the oven at 375 and bake for 25-30 minutes. Serve hot, with 1/4 cup sauce over each slice.