How to Minimize a Kabocha Squash (Japanese Pumpkin) • Simply One Cookbook

A whole information on how to reduce, peel, and prepare dinner a kabocha squash (Japanese pumpkin) with a useful tutorial video and step-by-step photos.

Over time I’ve been requested by my readers on how to reduce a complete kabocha squash (Japanese pumpkin) so they may benefit from the treasured fall gem. So I’m right here to share a whole information on how I reduce a kabocha squash (together with how to peel and prepare dinner), together with a few of my favourite recipes.

What’s Kabocha Squash

Kabocha squash, often known as Japanese pumpkin, has a skinny however agency inexperienced pores and skin and shiny vivid orange flesh. Amongst the numerous squash varieties, kabocha in all probability tastes the sweetest. Its wealthy texture and taste are akin to a candy potato and a pumpkin mixed. The inexperienced outer pores and skin could look deceptively laborious, however it’s edible.
Kabocha is utilized in many Japanese recipes through which it’s stewed, deep-fried into tempura, and even utilized in desserts. It has beta carotene, nutritional vitamins, iron, and all of the wholesome goodness. Japanese mothers would be sure that their children eat it, and no excuse is appropriate.

How to Decide a Kabocha Squash

Kabocha is grown year-round, however they’re greatest within the late summer season to late fall. When selecting out the proper kabocha squash, the 2 most essential elements to think about are coloration and weight.
Select kabocha that has a agency, deep-colored inexperienced rind. Some faint stripes, bumps, or blemishes on the pores and skin are effective. And select ones that really feel heavy for his or her measurement (normally about 2-4 lbs).
For those who’re in search of an alternative choice to kabocha squash, you should utilize acorn or buttercup squash as they each have edible inexperienced pores and skin and candy orange flesh.

How to Retailer a Kabocha Squash

If you’re not utilizing the complete kabocha squash, be sure that to take away the seeds and pith from reduce kabocha earlier than wrapping with plastic wrap. You’ll be able to retailer it within the fridge for 2-3 days or within the freezer for a month.
You’ll be able to retailer the entire uncut kabocha in a cool, dry, darkish place for as much as 1-2 months.

How to Minimize a Kabocha Squash

Step 1: Decide your knife

Crucial tip to chop a kabocha squash is to get a big sharp knife. Once you use a pointy knife, a lesser power is required to make a reduce on the squash. The sting of the knife bites the item exactly whereas a uninteresting knife could slip and lose management. Which means a uninteresting knife could be extra harmful than a pointy knife. It’s at all times good to spend money on one high-quality, all-purpose chef knife (as a substitute of shopping for a flowery set of knives).
Now wash the kabocha squash and dry earlier than shifting on to the following step.

Step 2: Microwave kabocha

For those who microwave half of kabocha, take away the seeds first.
You might need already recognized this, however microwaving* a kabocha actually helps. The microwave cooking time varies relying on the scale of your kabocha, how mushy you need your kabocha to be (some recipes require kabocha to be extra uncooked than others), and your most microwave wattage. However it’s good to recollect 2 to 4 minutes as your start line.
And if you happen to’re like my son, you is likely to be questioning if the kabocha squash would explode by microwaving. Let’s say it gained’t occur except you microwave it for like 10 minutes, which I’ve by no means accomplished earlier than. If you’re curious to attempt, I can’t assure what’s going to occur.
Now in case your kabocha is larger than your microwave otherwise you don’t personal a microwave, you’ll be able to both reduce the entire kabocha with a big and heavy sharp knife, or you’ll be able to wrap the kabocha in aluminum foil and bake within the oven at 400 ºF (200 ºC) for quarter-hour.
*Disclaimer: Because of the commenter Lauren, we discovered {that a} spark could come out from microwaving kabocha. I had by no means skilled this personally, but it surely’s good to know this might occur. Once you microwave, step apart to control it.

Step 3: Take away the stem

If you’re slicing the entire kabocha, take away the stem first utilizing a big spoon. Simply dig in somewhat and it’ll come out.

Step 4: Slice kabocha into half

Stick the very sharp knife within the center and work across the outdoors till you’ll be able to reduce it into two components.

Step 5: Take away the seeds

Utilizing a big spoon, take away the seeds and pith from the core of the kabocha squash.

Step 6: Slice the halves into wedges

Then slice the halves into 4-6 wedges relying in your recipe. You too can reduce the halves in half first earlier than slicing into smaller wedges.

Step 7: Minimize the wedges into cubes or slices

Relying in your recipe, you could want to chop the wedges into cubes or slices. Resolve if you wish to take away the (edible) rind to your recipe. For those who resolve to take away it, learn the following part earlier than you chop into cubes or slices.

How to Peel a Kabocha Squash

The kabocha pores and skin is edible. Many Japanese kabocha recipes corresponding to kabocha tempura and simmered kabocha require it to maintain the pores and skin on.
Nonetheless, if you wish to present that lovely orange coloration in your recipe, it’s a must to take away the rind because the darkish inexperienced kabocha pores and skin is not going to hold the gorgeous orange flesh coloration.

Technique 1: Peel kabocha pores and skin earlier than cooking

In most recipes, you’ll want to take away the pores and skin first earlier than cooking. Lay every wedge on its flat aspect, and slice the peel off. Then you’ll be able to simply reduce them into small items.

Technique 2: Take away kabocha pores and skin after cooking

You’ll almost definitely use this methodology if you wish to steam and puree the kabocha to your recipe. It’s greatest to maintain the pores and skin when steaming in order that kabocha holds its form and doesn’t follow your steamer basket.

Scrumptious Kabocha Recipes

  • Steaming – Steam diced kabocha squash (with pores and skin on), take away the rind, mash the flesh, and form into this scrumptious Kabocha Croquettes (Japanese Pumpkin Korokke).
  • Boiling – Boil peeled kabocha cubes and mash it to make this scrumptious Kabocha Salad.
  • Pureeing – Throw steamed cubes right into a meals processor/blender to make Kabocha Squash Soup and Kabocha Squash Pie.
  • Simmering – When simmered slowly in a scrumptious broth, curry, or stew, kabocha takes on a brand new depth of taste. Take a look at conventional Japanese Simmered Kabocha made this manner.
  • Stir-frying – Once you’re stir frying kabocha, it’s greatest to maintain the rind on in order that kabocha slices hold in form. Make Kabocha Pork Stir Fry to go together with your rice and miso soup.
  • Deep-frying – Dip your kabocha slices (with pores and skin on) in tempura batter and deep fry to golden crisp kabocha tempura!
  • Baking & Roasting – You may make your favourite casserole dishes with kabocha squash! Or toss kabocha squash with a drizzle of olive oil, salt, and pepper (or together with your favourite spices and herbs) and let the oven does it work. Roasting brings out the pure sweetness of kabocha fantastically.
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