Easy steamed kabocha pumpkin flan


かぼちゃプリン kabocha purin Japanese pumpkin flan.
Kabocha is the fruitiest veggie. Let’s use it for this very easy and delicious dessert.
I’ve used the blender and the rice cooker, so that’s really easy and hassle-free.


I had suguna kabocha, but any type of sweek pumpkin or butternut squash does the trick.


Recipe :
-Boil or steam the squash. Take a cup of orange flesh.
-In a blender, add 2 egg yolks, 4 tbs of condensed milk, a pinch of nutmeg, a ts of vanilla extract, a cup of water (or enough to get a creamy texture).
-Transfer in a mold. Put a saucer in the bottom of the rice cooker, add 2 cups of water. Place the mold on it, switch on. (you can use any type of steamer)
-Paint the cooked flan with condensed milk to avoid drying. Let cool. Chill in the fridge.



Sakura okowa. Blossom rice.


A delicious and simple way to savor the season. Yes, they are arriving. Most are like this :


But a few are opened…



Mochigome (sticky rice).


御強 okowa, steamed stick rice.
How to ? It’s explained in the tutorial.


I have added rinsed pickled cherry after 30 minutes.


The rice is firm, glossy and sticky. It’s easy to form balls.


I’ve put them on pickled sakura leaves.



Papillote de crystal, saumon et pomélo

Let’s make a transparent papillote now…
You can see now many chefs presenting their papillote in a special transparent film. It’s only available in shops for pros. Ordinary micro-wave film can be used if you don’t heat too much over 100 degree C. No problem for steaming.

Thinly sliced zucchini with salt and mace. The salmon rubbed with black pepper and a little salt. A slice of pomelo. Bits of young onion.

Last touch : sweet almond oil.

You can see when the fish changes of color. Stop cooking just at that point. It will keep cooking slightly and it will be perfect when you unfold.

A side of nagaimo (raw potato) with negi and onion.

That makes a delicate and delicious Summer lunch.

Rice-cooker steamed black sesame bread

Sometimes you don’t get what you thought… and that’s good too. So these are savory mushipan (steamed bread).

The batter is a quick bread batter. Flour + baking powder, I added rice bran, salt and black sesame. And water. And a little oil.

Any steam-basket is OK. Any big high pot is OK. I use my rice-cooker. I put water in the bottom (about 2 cm), and I make a base with a 2 cm high saucer (that could be anything). I put the mold with batter on top. And I start the program. That lasts a long time as the cooker stops when the rice is cooked , but the water doesn’t cook. After 15 to 20 minutes, check the bread, if it raise. Use a pin to see if it’s done inside.

Steamed. It didn’t go up as much as I expected, they are more solid… Maybe my baking powder is not too fresh ? It’s getting humid in this season and I should keep all opened packs in the fridge from now. Well, it was half-way between bread and gnocchi, a dumpling. It was good hot as a side starch.

How to steam rice, all the tricks

The best friend of a Thai green curry is this steamed rice you can grab with your fingers. The steamed rice has another texture and also a different flavor. You should try it.

Steamed rice exists in most Asian cuisines. The Japanese and Thai techniques are similar, and the differences is mostly that in Thailand it tends to be served with a dish in sauce, and by itself in Japan.

It is VERY different from the “standard” Asian white rice, side for most meals or to make sushi. For this, read this (click on text) :
Perfect Japanese rice in your cast iron pot

Tools :

This time I have used a Chinese bamboo steamer and a Japanese rice net.

You can use any type of basket, with or without lid. That works better if you place the rice in thin layers, so it’s better to have a wide basket than a deep one, or to superpose several.
If the basket has holes that let the grains of rice go through, you need a net cloth or a cheese close to retain it. Wet the cloth before using it.
If your basket cannot be used on top of a pan, use a big pan, or a slow-cooker, or a rice cooker. Line the bottom with a cloth or kitchen paper, and place a turned down saucer. Place the basket(s) on that stand. Add water in the bottom. Put the lid on the big pan.
Did you know? The bamboo steamers are great as the design of the lid makes that when the steam turns into water, it never drops down on the food and showers your steamed food (this is not a big problem for rice, but that can mess the appearance of your steamed dim sum). But grand-ma that was not impressed by Chinese technology would have told you that you can avoid the problem without investing in a steamer. Wrap the lid in a cloth/net, the fabric will absorb and take away the water.

Type of rice :

That should be a sticky rice from any country. Sticky and non-sticky rice are different varietals. Japanese mochigome is a sticky rice. I have used this.
You can cook other types of rice with this technique. That works, but you won’t get the same effect of grains sticking together.

Prepare the rice IN ADVANCE :

-In a bowl “wash” it with water. “Brush” the rice between your hands. Use lukewarm water if you don’t like it cold, but don’t skip that step. Change the water when it becomes very white. Do it again 1 to 3 times till you get a clear water. Drain.
-Cover your rice with hot or cold water and let it at least 2 hours in case of hot water, and 6 hours otherwise. Long soaking is compulsory, otherwise it will take forever to cook.

Steam :

-Drain the soaked rice, transfer it to the basket. Put to steam.
-You can open and pour a cup of hot water on the rice a few times while it’s steaming. That’s not really necessary, that only speeds up things a little. But as you need to maintain water in the bottom, that’s a way to do it.
-That will take precisely … a certain time. 20 minutes is a minimum, it’s if your rice is well soaked, not in too big amount in the basket. Otherwise be patient.

Variations :
Some ingredients (pandan leaves, etc) can added to the rice to bring flavor while steaming.
Also, you can find many types garnished “okowa” in Japan. For instance, sekihan (with red azuki), kurihan with chestnut, with edamame (green soya bean), with mushrooms, etc.

The cooked rice is sticky, slightly transparent and it has an al-dente feeling under the tooth. And the flavor is encanting.

I ate it with a fish head green curry, garnished with sliced renkon (lotus roots), red paprika and cubes of konnyaku.