Simmered pumpkin with red beans (Kabocha no itoko-ni, かぼちゃのいとこ煮)

On the winter solstice night, Japanese people eat pumpkin to pray for disease-free life. Itoko-ni is a Japanese local food in Nara prefecture.


(3~4 servings)

  • Pumpkin: 1/4 (approximately 120g)
    I used Japanese pumpkins called Kabocha Squash, which is so good with a velvety texture. It is naturally sweet and cooks quickly. Also used in miso soup and tempura.
  • Boiled red beans (azuki): 1.5 cups (or anko)
  • Soy sauce: 1 teaspoon
  • Sugar: 3 tablespoons (adjust for your taste)
  • Salt: 2 dashes


  1. Cut a pumpkin into bite-size chunks.
  2. Place the pumpkin in a pot skin side down. Add water to cover the pumpkin.
  3. Heat the pot until it boils. When it boils, cover the pot with a lid and simmer the pumpkin over very low heat for 12 minutes.
  4. Add boiled red beans and soy sauce. Do not mix them not to break the pumpkin.
  5. Heat the pot again until it boils and keeps heating to reduce the liquid.
  6. Serve in a nice bowl. Now your simmered pumpkin with red beans is ready. いただきます!

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