3 tablespoons hijiki seaweed
1 cup water
1 (1 ½ to 2 pounds) butternut (or other variety, such as kabocha) squash
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons soy sauce or to taste
- Soak the seaweed in the water for 20 minutes. Do not drain.
- Cut open the squash, discard the seeds, and cut the squash into 1-inch pieces. I found the butternut squash I used could be cut reasonably easily with a sharp knife, but one handy trick for tough squash is to microwave it briefly before cutting.
- In a lidded frying or sauté pan, combine all the ingredients—the water and seaweed, the maple syrup, the soy sauce, and squash. Cover, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove the lid and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes to boil off the liquid to practically nothing. Serve warm.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine
In the Chinese tradition, pumpkin and winter squash (i.e., any squash with a tough rind) are considered especially good for people with diabetes; these vegetables are described as sweet and neutral to warming, entering the Spleen and Stomach to strengthen qi. Seaweed, which is considered salty and cold, is used therapeutically to soften hard masses (goiter, ovarian cysts, breast lumps, and lymph node swelling) and to drain Dampness.