This recipe initially caught my eye because Japanese pumpkins, aka kabocha squash, are my current favorite kind of winter squash. They’re really dense and flavorful and rich tasting. I always have barley around and I’ve been wanting to experiment with cooking with miso.
Ways in which I deviated from the recipe:
- I didn’t use the dashi or sake, subbing chicken broth and lemon juice respectively, because I didn’t want to buy groceries I wasn’t sure I’d use again. I like sake okay, but if I’m drinking at home, that’s not what I want.
- I used firm tofu because I thought silken might dissolve into the broth in the leftovers.
- I made the dish a week or so after The Blizzard That Ate New York, and the kabocha bin at the coop was empty, save for one with a rotten spot, so I made it with what I think was a buttercup squash.
- I peeled the squash and cut it into chunks instead of enormous wedges. (do people really eat unpeeled winter squash? I’m genuinely curious.)
The mystery squash was a little stringy and the chicken broth reduced down to be a little salty for my taste, so the dish was not a wild success, but I have higher hopes for making it again and hewing a little more closely to the recipe, dashi powder and all. I will say that soaking the barley worked a treat; I’d never done that before, but definitely will adopt it for any non-soup barley applications in the future.