Okinawa Pumpkin


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During our travels for The Blue Zones Kitchen cookbook, we traveled to the village of Ogimi, ground zero of world longevity. We got this recipe from 89-yr-old Yukiko Nakaimi who spent the afternoon cooking the most amazing Okinawan longevity foods for us. When I asked the secret to her vitality, I expected she’d talk about her purple potatoes or miso-braised squash. “Optimism,” she said wagging a finger at me. “I say yes to everything.”

Yield: 2 servings

Ready in 35 minutes


½ shima pumpkin (kabocha or butternut squash are good alternatives), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

2 cups mushroom broth, vegetable broth, or dashi* 

1 tsp soy sauce


  1. In a soup pot, add all ingredients together and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  2. Turn down heat to simmer and cook for about 25 minutes until tender.

*Kombu dashi is a Japanese stock traditionally made with kombu (kelp).