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Please help. What is a good substitute for kabocha squash?

I will be using it in asian style dishes.

Thanks in advance for your help

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  1. Acorn squash, butternut, pumpkin, sweet potato. What exactly is the application?

    1. In terms of flavor, sweet potato (or a very sweet pumpkin) comes closest. Butternut may also work. The acorn squash might be too mild and/or watery to sub for kabocha (which is quite sweet).

      I'm actually thinking of making a kabocha squash soup with coconut milk this week! I've got a kabocha in the garage, waiting to be used.

      2 Replies
      1. re: nofunlatte

        I have to get a small one; once had a kabocha chawan mushi and since the snow's just coming down, it could be time to replicate.

      2. l use butternut, Delicata, and Kabocha almost interchangably.

        1. I'd say a winter squash -- red kuri might be a good choice -- or sweet potato too. Maybe pumpkin if you can still find a "sweet" eating pumpkin in the Spring. But consider that kabocha is sorta unique in having more structure and a drier texture than the others will when cooked sufficient to be eaten. That's what makes kabocha so ideal for tempura, for example.

          Why did you want to make a sub?

          1 Reply
          1. re: rainey

            i agree w the red kuri suggestion, particularly if the thin skin will be eaten. backup would be buttercup. butternut would maybe work in a pinch and is most commonly available.

          2. Thank you all. LOL... I was panicked, but finally found it at the 11th store I called. A group of my on-line friends do a chopped basket challenge every few weeks. One of the items was Kabocha. I had a devil of a time finding it in western mass.

            1. I guess it depends on what you are doing with it. All of the suggested replacements are good if you plan to mash it or tempura it. I have found the taste and texture of freshly boiled chestnuts very like that of roasted kabocha squash- sweet, dense and dry-ish. They come in cryo-bags so that you can get them out of season, but they're probably pricey. I think that the best thing you can do this year is to grow a couple of plants for yourself. They do well in a big tub. Or, you can buy seeds and give a couple to any friend with a green thumb and ask for a couple of squash from each after they've been harvested. Be sure to bring something yummy to trade when you go to pick them up though.

              1 Reply
              1. re: thatsacrunchy

                Late to this thread but agree with the suggestions. I grow Confection variety from Johnny's which is a grey kabocha. What is great about this squash is I still have some from my garden sitting in a semi-heated garage here in NH. It's time to use them up (some are spoiling) but it's a great keeper. If you have a cool space for winter storage (under the bed in a cold bedroom is what my MIL used to do), you could store some if you can find them for sale next fall.

                I agree that the common butterCup is a good substitute although not quite as dry and sweet. I would not use butterNut unless I was desparate since I think butterNut are much more watery and not as sweet. Probably sweet potatoes would be a better substitute than butterNut.

                Last night I steamed some cubed Confection then added to a Massaman Curry being careful not to overcook. The squash is good at holding its shape but I didn't want it to get too soft.

                If you are not able to grow your own I would beg a gardening friend to grow some for you. It's our favorite for mashed squash at Thanksgiving. I use leftover mashed squash in muffins, pumpkin beer bread etc.