This is a simple side dish that doesn't take long to make, and can last for two or three days (save time!) Kabocha (pumpkin) is sweet and creamy, and can be served with almost anything. This is a recipe I got from a close Japanese friend.
Kabocha no Nimono
1 tsp dashi*
1 1/5 Tbs soy sauce
1 Tbs mirin
1 Tbs sugar
Scoop out the seeds from the kabocha, then cut into bite-sized pieces. Put kabocha in a pan and then add water, covering the kabocha by two-thirds. (Use a pan that allows enough room for the pieces to cover the bottom. They will not cook evenly if they are on top of one another.) Add dashi, soy sauce, mirin and sugar. Simmer over low heat until kabocha is soft (do not boil).
*Dashi is soup stock, the most common made from fish. I use commercial dashi (in a powder form) and the best way to add dashi to this dish is to first prepare dashi for miso soup. If I don't prepare miso soup, I just sprinkle in the smallest amount of dashi powder, though if I'm not careful, this dish can be too salty.