Hearty Black Garlic and Kabocha Stew

I don’t watch a lot of tv shows (or movies, for that matter) but I must admit, I love “Bob’s Burgers” (and “Archer”, but more on that later).  I was watching an episode recently (Season 5, Episode 5, “Best Burger”) where they use black garlic in a burger competition.  Basically, the episode revolves around the key ingredient: black garlic.  The show typically makes me hungry for burgers but this time I kept thinking….hmmmm black garlic…..

Realizing that I saw it being sold at Trader Joe’s recently, I promptly picked some up during my next shopping trip.

Now I really wasn’t sure what to expect.  I went at it the way I normally would with garlic and tried to cut off the bottom.  That didn’t work because, as I discovered, it was no longer a solid clove inside…

Wait what??

Yeah.  It’s fermented so you actually have to peel off the outer layers and scrape out the black “clove” (kinda similar to what you do with vanilla beans).


I mean, really- what an awesome ingredient.  And so I thought, hey this would be amazing in a soup or stew.  

So that’s exactly what happened.

I also finally made use of the kabocha that’s been sitting on my countertop for the past few weeks (blasphemy, I know).

And it was delicious, nutritious and perfect for the super-duper cold front we’re having here in New York these days.

Have I mentioned that I love carbs?  

‘Cause I totally love carbs.  

Especially in my soups and stews.

I decided to do this in a somewhat Japanese style.  At least in terms of the ingredients.

Sadly, despite having lived in Japan, I never really learned to cook there.  This is on my vary serious, must do ASAP Bucket List.  

So that being said, I hope you enjoy!


Hearty Black Garlic and Kabocha Stew

Serves 3-4


2 TBSP Oil (Sesame Oil would work well)

1 Large Leek

2/3 Cup Kamut

5 Cups Water, separated

2 Black Garlic Cloves

5 Cups Kabocha

4 inches Kombu

1 Cup Shiitake Mushrooms

1 TBSP Soy Sauce

Salt, Pepper

Heat oil in a medium-sized dutch oven (or pot).  Slice leek into rounds and toss into pot.  Cook on medium heat for 5 minutes until leek has softened.  Add kamut, 2 cups of water and stir in black garlic cloves.  Bring pot to simmer before lowering heat and cooking uncovered for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, chop kabocha into 1 inch cubes (no need to peel!) and roughly chop mushrooms.

Add remaining water, kabocha, kombu, mushrooms and soy sauce.  Season with salt and pepper as desired.

Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until kamut is cooked through.  

Serve and enjoy!

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