Have you seen a greenish-brownish little pumpkin at your local farmers market? It’s called kabocha, and while it’s not as popular as butternut, acorn and pumpkin, this Japanese variation has a creamy taste with silky texture that is perfect for frying, braising, baking and pretty much any kind of cooking. Let’s expand your grocery list and explore what kabocha has to offer. This holiday season, this little squash just might steal the show from the turkey. Seriously.
1. Individual Kabocha Casserole: A dish can’t get much cuter than this. Brown sugar, pecans and marshmallow go inside of a mini kabocha. After you bake it for 20 minutes, you’ll get a warm individual dessert that’s perfect for cold days. (via Tokyo Terrace)
2. Creamy Kabocha Soup: This is not your typical squash soup. It’s upgraded with kabocha, giving it a richer, creamier and silkier taste. Serve it with a slice of crusty bread and a sprinkle of blue cheese and toasted pecans. (via Five Spice)
6. Braised Kabocha Squash and Chicken: Chilly nights call for braising. Here is a dinner idea for those nights. The best part of this dish is that you can eat it with rice, couscous or any starch you please. (via One Two Simple Cooking)
7. Pea Shoots and Kabocha Summer Roll: A light, healthy and easy way to cook up some of these farmers market finds is to wrap them up in rice paper. This way, you get to see the true colors of the squash’s flavor. (via Miss Hungry Pants)
9. Thai Kabocha Squash Curry: Curry is super tasty when it’s loaded with seasonal vegetables. This recipe features kabocha, cauliflower, kale and tofu. Even non-vegetarians will fall in love with this winter dish. (via Oh My Veggie)
10. Baked Kabocha Chips With Thyme: How about crispy baked chips for an afternoon snack? The key for achieving maximum crispiness is to use parchment paper when you bake, and little or no oil. (via Veggies don’t bite)
12. Pumpkin Bread With Coconut-Pecan Crumble: It’s absolutely out of this world when creamy kabocha meets crunchy coconut and pecan crumbles. Save this recipe for your holiday potluck at work. (via Wild Greens and Sardines)
13. Kabocha Ravioli With Toasted Hazelnuts Cream Sauce: It looks complicated, but it’ll surprise you how simple it is to make. The fancy twist comes from the creamy hazelnut sauce that makes it perfect for date night. (via Spoon Fork Bacon)
14. Root Vegetable Latkes: Kabocha joins root veggies like potatoes, parsnips and celeriac to create this weeknight meal. Top with applesauce to give it aly natural sweet twist. (via Big Girl Small Kitchen)
15. Kabocha Squash and Arugula Salad: Here is a salad so delightful you’ll want to dig in from late summer to fall. Arugula’s distinguished peppery flavor complements kabocha’s earthy taste. (via Food52)
16. Kabocha Squash Beignets: Beignets are basically deep-fried pastry dough, like fritters. Golden yellow Kabocha makes beignets even more beautiful and yummier than they already are. (via Zen Can Cook)
17. Chicken and Rice With Kabocha Squash: We think chicken and kabocha are best friends. This recipe is a perfect example. It proves that not all hearty dishes have to be unhealthy. (via Martha Stewart)
19. Kabocha Squash Scotch Eggs: The secret ingredient here is miso paste, mashed in a kabocha mixture. Serve with spicy Sriracha, and your happy hour snack is served. It’s perfectly paired with sake or beer. (via Chow)
Do you have your own way to cook up kabocha that we haven’t mentioned here? Tell us in the comments below!