You’ll enjoy Kabocha squash if you love sweet and salty flavors. It’s vegetarian, gluten-free, and ready in half an hour dish! Here are a few best Kabocha squash recipes to satisfy your cravings! These recipes can be served alongside meat, fish, and even seafood and are an excellent addition to any fall menu.
Read on for more delicious Kabocha squash recipes! One of the easiest ways to prepare Kabocha squash is roasting it, resulting in a delicious and healthy meal. Because it is naturally sweet, you can use cinnamon, melted butter, and maple syrup.
It is extremely sweet, rich, and nutty in flavor, unlike any other squash on the market. It’s also simple to prepare and extremely nutritious. It resembles a cross between an acorn squash, a hubbard squash, and a pumpkin, but it is distinct in its own right.
What is Kabocha Squash?
Kabocha squash is a common ingredient in Japanese cooking. You may have had it dipped in tempura batter and fried in restaurants or slow-simmered in hot pots or soups. While this winter squash resembles a short, stocky cousin of the pumpkin, it has a sweet potato-like flavor and texture. On the inside, the coarse, deep-green skin gives way to tender, reddish-yellow flesh.
In addition to its delectable flavor, kabocha squash has a long list of health benefits. The bright orange flesh of kabocha, like pumpkin, is high in the antioxidant beta-carotene, which translates to vision-protecting Vitamin A. The skin is a good source of fiber as well. Furthermore, adding kabocha squash to any dish enhances the sweetness without adding additional sugar.
3 Regional Culinary Uses of Kabocha Squash
Kabocha has become a popular ingredient in various countries due to its migration from South America to Asia. Depending on where you go, it’s prepared differently.
- Japan. In Japan, kabocha is often fried up with other veggies in tempura. Another popular way to prepare kabocha in Japanese cuisine is to flavor it with miso (soybean paste) before or during cooking.
- Thailand. In Thai cuisine, kabocha is often used in curries as a purée to help thicken the base or cut it up into pieces. It is also a popular dessert ingredient, especially in custards.
- Korea. Habakkuk is a popular Korean squash soup. This pumpkin porridge uses boiled kabocha squash, puréed, and mixed with rice.
The Best Kabocha Squash Recipes
Here are some of the best kabocha squash recipes:
Kabocha Squash Soup
Kabocha Squash Hummus
Roasted Kabocha Squash Hummus is a delicious and healthy dip for snacking. It’s creamy and delicious, high in fiber and protein, tahini-free, and doesn’t have any added oil. Buckwheat Flour Seed Bread, Chickpea Flour Pancakes, grilled naan or pita bread, roasted vegetables, or homemade crackers are all good accompaniments. Roasted Kabocha Squash Hummus is grain-free, vegan, gluten-free, and soy-free.
Kabocha Squash Casserole
This kabocha squash casserole is delicious… The concept is similar to the Paleo Sweet Potato Casserole I showed you earlier – a soft, sweet, creamy filling with a crispy topping – it’s like eating a crustless squash pie, but healthier. In one dense and warm dish of carb dreams, it encapsulates all of my soul’s feelings about fall. This casserole, in my opinion, is ideal for serving to friends and family during holiday gatherings because it’s naturally sweetened, gluten-free, protein-rich, and sinfully delicious enough to be served as dessert.
Kabocha Squash Cake with Chai Caramel
Kabocha Squash Cake with Chai Caramel is a healthier, warmly spiced dessert recipe. This gluten-free and refined sugar-free cake is mostly sweetened naturally with kabocha squash! Also known as the time, I baked and ate an entire cake while still living to tell the tale.
You got me; I didn’t eat it all in one sitting…but I did eat half of it. Something you may or may not know about me is that I have little to no self-control when it comes to anything fluffy, sweet, cinnamony, crunchy, and gooey. So, in a nutshell, I have no self-control in real life.
Creamy Kabocha Squash Mashed Potatoes
It may appear difficult to prepare a kabocha squash, but it is quite simple. I like to cut along the diameter of the squash with my paring knife, which I insert about halfway into it. After that, use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. Although the color suggests that these kabocha squash mashed potatoes taste like squash, this is not the case. The kabocha squash has a delicate flavor that pairs well with the Yukon gold potatoes.
What does Kabocha Squash Taste Like?
Kabocha tastes like a mix of pumpkin and sweet potato, and its flesh is full of beta-carotene, fiber, and vitamins A and C and has a sweet, earthy flavor with hints of chestnut. While wide winter squash varieties, such as butternut squash and acorn squash, have a thick, unappealing skin, kabocha’s rind is slightly thinner and edible.
2 Ways to Select and Buy Kabocha Squash
When Kabocha squash is in season, you can find it in many Asian markets and grocery stores, as well as at your local farmers’ market. There are two main characteristics to look for in kabocha squash, which can weigh anywhere from one to eight pounds:
- Color. The perfect kabocha squash has dark green skin, light green stripes, and golden speckles. When you cut into the squash, the flesh should be a deep blood-orange color at its peak.
- Density. Hold the kabocha in your hands and feel it. You want a firm squash with no soft spots, and it should feel heavy, letting you know the pulp inside is thick, dense, and fully ripened.
5 Ways to Prepare Kabocha Squash
Kabocha is a versatile squash used in various dishes, from savory soups to sweet desserts. Because it contains less water than other squash, kabocha is easier to cook with oils and prepare in various ways.
- Roasted kabocha squash. Oven roasting enhances squash flavors as its little water content evaporates when heated, intensifying kabocha’s nutty taste.
- Simmer in flavors. That low water content also allows kabocha to absorb other ingredients easily. Add cubes of kabocha to dishes with flavorful liquids, like stews and curries, so that the kabocha will soak up.
- Baked. The thick consistency of kabocha bakes well, especially in desserts like pumpkin pie or muffins. For a savory dish, try oven-baked kabocha gratin topped with breadcrumbs and cheese.
- Puréed. Cooked and blended into a smooth, creamy purée, kabocha can thicken curries and soups for a heartier meal. Kabocha can be boiled, mixed with milk and butter, and whipped with a hand mixer for a mashed kabocha side dish at Thanksgiving.
- Seeds. Like pumpkin, kabocha seeds make a great snack. Clean the pulp from the seeds, dry them, and toss with olive oil and kosher salt. Bake on a cookie sheet for 45 minutes.
Cucurbitacins are toxic compounds produced by members of the Cucurbita family (including pumpkins, squashes, and melons). These taste very bitter and can cause severe diarrhea if eaten in small amounts. However, there aren’t many reports of “toxic squash syndrome” in the medical literature.
You can get carotenemia if you eat too much kabocha squash or other yellow or orange fruit or vegetable containing beta carotene.
This condition causes your skin to turn yellow or orange, and it’s completely harmless, and limiting your intake of carotene-rich foods is the only way to avoid it.
On the other hand, skin pigment changes can be a sign of other illnesses like diabetes, anorexia, hypothyroidism, and liver and kidney disease. So, if your skin turns yellow, consult your doctor to rule out any of these possibilities.
How to Buy Kabocha Squash?
While kabocha squash is available all year, its true season is late summer to early fall. It’s available at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, your local Asian grocer, and farmers’ markets. The two most important factors when choosing the perfect kabocha squash are color and weight. When lifted, it should feel heavier than expected, and the skin should be a rich, deep green. Golden speckles and streaks also indicate ripeness on the exterior.
How to Store a Kabocha Squash?
When stored in a dry place like your kitchen countertop, whole kabocha can last for a month, just like other winter squashes. Once cut (cooked or raw), store it in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days before eating. You can, however, extend the shelf life by putting it in the freezer. Rinse the cucumber, cut it in half, and remove the seeds before freezing. You can cut it into slices or cubes from here. Freeze slices or cubes for an hour on a baking tray. Store cut the squash in the freezer for up to 6 months in an airtight container or freezer bag. Before freezing the squash, you can roast or steam it first.
This sweet and nutty-flavored winter squash is popular in Japanese cooking but also works well in Thai and Korean dishes. It can be baked or roasted, and its seeds can even be eaten like pumpkin seeds! In the fall, look for kabocha squash in Asian grocery stores and cut it into 2-inch pieces. Kabocha squash is frequently fried or used in vegetable tempura, making it an ideal autumn ingredient!
Kabocha squash is a nutritious food with numerous health benefits. Kabocha squash, like pumpkin, is high in beta-carotene, an antioxidant that aids in vision problems. The skin is also high in fiber, enhancing sweetness without adding sugar. Kabocha squash can be difficult to cut, but there are a few simple ways. Leave the skin or peel it off and enjoy the delicious Kabocha flavor.