What is kabocha squash?
Kabocha squash is a Japanese pumpkin. Kabocha is just the Japanese word for squash. The squash is dark green (though it can have orange-y spots too) and very firm. The inside of the kabocha squash is orange, and it hardens as it ripens. You can usually find them at Asian markets but I’ve seen them at the farmers’ market and various Whole Foods as well.
Kabocha squash are usually about 2-3 pounds (the ones I get are around 2 pounds), but I think that they can get much bigger than that. Be careful not too eat it too often – you can get carotenemia (orange skin). I prefer kabochas over butternut squash.
Kabocha Squash Nutrition and Kabocha Calories
Kabocha squash are high in beta carotene, vitamin C, vitamins B1 and B2, and more. I’ve found different nutritional info online.
- This site lists kabocha squash at 60 calories per 100 grams (272 calories per pound), but…
- This site lists kabocha at 30 calories per 85 grams (160 calories per pound).
- Too much confusion, so – just give me my kabocha squash They are a great part of a healthy macrobiotic diet.
How to Cook Kabocha – Kabocha Recipes
I have a ton of kabocha squash recipes.
How to Steam Kabocha – Steamed Kabocha Recipe
- Cut the squash in chunks (throwing away the seeds, but you could roast the seeds separately if you wanted to)
- Steam the kabocha pieces for about 5-7 minutes. You should be able to pierce it quite easily with a fork when it’s done.
- The kabocha pictured below is topped with parmesan.
Kabocha Salad Recipe
You can also toss the steamed kabocha in a salad. This crazy salad was:
- a base of romaine
- sauteed veggies (cauliflower, shiitake mushrooms, daikon)
- steamed kabocha
- pickled lettuce (something I got @ the Chinese market)
- trader joe’s raspberry vinaigrette
Kabocha Fries Recipe
Another great way to enjoy kabocha is kabocha fries. In this case you can follow the directions for my butternut squash fries, or you can simplify it a bit by microwaving the kabocha chunks for 5-7 minutes, then sticking them under the broiler for 5 minutes or so (until they get crispy). Try dipping the fries in my homemade unsweetened ketchup.