Braised Mushrooms and Squash with Soy and Ginger

A delicious vegetarian make a head meal that is perfect for freezing for later.

Preparation time: 15 minutes - Cooking time: 35 minutes - Total time: 50 minutes - Serves: 4

650g squash
2 tbsp groundnut oil
300g white or chestnut mushrooms, halved (or quartered if large)
2 garlic cloves, sliced
15g fresh root ginger, sliced
2 star anise
1 red chilli, thickly sliced
4 tbsp mirin
4 tbsp light soy sauce
toasted sesame seeds and sliced salad onions, to serve

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1. Halve the squash (you can use kabocha, queen, butternut or onion varieties), trim the top and base, then remove the central seeds and pulp with a spoon. Slice the halves into slim wedges, leaving the skin on if it isn’t too thick and tough.

2. Put 1 tbsp oil in a large frying pan or wok (with a lid to hand) and set over a medium-high heat. Fry the squash for 10-15 minutes, tossing regularly, until well browned; set aside on a plate. Add the remaining 1 tbsp oil to the pan with the mushrooms and cook for 3 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally, until browned.

3. Add the garlic, ginger, star anise and chilli and cook for a further 2 minutes. Return the squash to the pan and add the mirin and soy sauce. Reduce the heat, cover with a tight-fitting lid and braise gently for 12-15 minutes, until the squash is tender, but still holds its shape. Season and serve, scattered with the toasted sesame seeds and sliced salad onions, plus some steamed rice alongside, if liked.

Recipe courtesy of Waitrose
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