Roasted Kabocha Squash

  • Date May 13, 2014
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It's time to move into the next new vegetable trend. Sweet potato fries are almost as old school as 90's hip hop. Oh sorry, Yam Fries for those in Canada.  Does anyone out there realize they are two different vegetables? How can we have such a trendy product where we can't even decide what the vegetable is?  Regardless, just like quinoa got its turn on every menu and every recipe on the web, I demand, I beg, I strongly urge that we make Kabocha Squash the next craze. 

Once you fall in love with this squash, you will be addicted. You will push people out of the way to find these squash. You will store 10 of them in a cool place when the season comes to a end. A quick instagram search for #kabocha revealed to me that there are other kabocha loving squash crazy people out there. I have since made friends with some of these kabocha lovers and you all know who you are......

What is it? Kabocha is commonly called Japanese pumpkin.  In Japan, the word kabocha may refer to either this squash or to the Western-style pumpkin. Why do I love it? It has such a great flavor and can be made in large batches and stores so great in the fridge. Granted, you need a machete knife to cut through this squash, but think of the arm muscles you will build. Also, the skin is amazing left on, no need to peel. AND, it doesn't need any oil or seasoning. It is good just on its own. I swear!!! Trust me!!. Try it!!!

To prove my addiction to squash, here is a small compilation of my kabocha squash photos....

Here is how you cook the Kabocha Squash. Wash it and remove any ugly looking skin parts. Cut in half. Good luck! I have a VERY sharp knife for this process. Scoop out the seeds. 

Now choose what shape you want your squash to be in. I do half moons for dinner sides and smaller chunks for salad sides. Also, consider how much time you have available. The perfect kabocha squash is cooked in the oven at 350' for around an hour. However, if you don't have an hour or you are cooking a LOT, then you can always microwave for 5 minutes and then cook at a higher temperature for around 30-35 minutes.

I use my handy pampered chef roasting pan. I use no oil and flip the squash once in the hour they cook. Seriously. AMAZING. The skin tastes to me like a better, more modern version of a potato skin. You can peel, but why? WHY? when the green and yellow colors make your food look so amazing!

Off to the store you go. Asian grocery stores and markets always have them! Sometimes they look blue in color, other times like the one below it can almost start to look like a pumpkin. Have I convinced you yet?


autumn said...

Kabocha is one of my very fave squash! Blue Hubbard is another great one that is sort of similar. You can make really yummy breakfast dishes with it too Erinn! Think of your baked oatmeal with sqaush instead of carrot.
Well, it may not be the craze yet in all the restaurants....but has been pretty trendy in some fine dining establishments for the last wouldn't surprise me if it becomes a mainstream craze soon too! If you are ever at Relish in Victoria they often have yummy Kabocha squash dishes....yum yum!

autumn said...

Sorry for the duplicate post...was having phone problems. however I thought of something else I love re kabocha....if you don't feel like risking a finger or a hand by cutting through the raw squash, you can also bake it or parbake it first without cutting....and then once it is partially or fully cooked it is super easy to cut and scoop out the seeds. Oh I love squash!!!!

Erinn Pinky said...

Thanks for the comments Autumn. I sometimes microwave my squash as well to be able to get the knife into it. I agree re breakfast options...perhaps another recipe will have to be made!