A friend has given me a couple of kabocha squash. I've never cooked this squash before. What should I do with them?
Hi. I made kabocha bread recently and it was a hit at my work's holiday party. If you're looking for something a little more "exotic", I use it for a traditional Filipino dish called pinakbet, which includes string beans, okra, and a variety of other filipino based vegetables. Here's the recipe for the kabocha bread
1/2c granulated sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 c unsalted butter (softened)
1/4 tsp salt
2 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 c sliced almonds
1 c pureed kabocha or canned pumpkin puree
Microwave or steam the kabocha to get it tender. Puree it in a food processor. Mix the dry ingredients. Cream the sugar and butter, then add the egg. Put wet and dry together. Then put in the kabocha and the almonds. Bake for 45-55 minutes in 375.
For a start I think you should do something simple, so you can appreciate its taste.
For example, cut one in half, scoop out the seeds, and then cut one half into chunks. Then steam the chunks (or simmer) till tender. I like it simply cooked like this, even without added salt or sugar. The skin in tender enough to eat, and flavorful. But it can also be removed, either with a peeler or knife before cooking, or after.
From the options are limit less:
- pureed in a squash/pumpkin soup
- pureed in pumpkin bread or pie
- slices roasted
- slices baking scalloped-potatoes style
- whole roasted
- cubed in stews
Kabocha, a.k.a. butterCUP, not nut, tastes like a cross between butternut and sweet potato. It is more dry than butternut, but in a good way, as the flavor is sweeter, deeper, and richer. I halve, disembowel, then roast cut side down. No seasoning - it is great as is. I urge you to try it naked before getting fussy with it. The skin comes off very easily once the squash is roasted.
It makes a superb pie or gratin.
If you can cut through it well enough it's really nice cut into moon shapes and roasted with olive oil, sea salt, pepper, thyme and other herbs. It's very simple, but you get a good sense for the flavor of the squash, which is really lovely on its own. It goes nicely with nearly any protein.
If you're having trouble cutting it, poke it all over with yr knife and micro it for 3 mins, that should help a little without ruining the texture.
I second the suggestion to microwave it if you are having trouble cutting it. If the squash is small, then I microwave until down (maybe 8 minutes), cut in half, scoop out the seeds and cut each half in half again so I have 4 quarters/servings for a meal.
We also cut it up, boil it but make sure you stop cooking when it is done. If should be on the dry tasting side, not watery like butterNut. Drain and mash.
I use chunks of squash instead of potato or sweet potato in Massaman Curry. I just buy the little can of curry sauce and follow the directions on the can. You'll also need some onion, chicken and a can of coconut milk.
Wherever tempura is served, it's not unusual to get a thin unskinned wedge of buttercup squash.
I have grown one variety Confection from Johnny's that is very dry but gets moister in storage. I rarely cook a butterCup or Kabocha squash before late October. The flavor develops after a few weeks in storage. Recently I found a grey squash at the store that looked like Confection (my crop failed this year due to squash bugs) but it didn't taste the same. Was good but just goes to show that there are different varieties of this squash and they don't all taste the same.