On our recent visit to Japan, we enjoyed many fabulous foods but one of them kept showing up over and over again. The Japanese call it pumpkin but kabocha is actually a winter squash that is also known as the buttercup squash here in North America. Similar in both texture and flavour to pumpkin or sweet potato, it can be prepared in a wide variety of ways. It’s a common ingredient in tempura and we were also served it in soup, nabe (a one pot meal that’s something like stew) and even ground up in pancakes.
When we were in Vancouver, I mentioned kabocha to my daughter-in-law, Robin, and told her that I hoped I could find it in Alberta, perhaps in the Asian grocery store in Edmonton that I occasionally visit. Later, when she went grocery shopping, she brought one home for me! Apparently, it has become commonplace in Vancouver grocery stores.
The kabocha flew home in my carry on and we enjoyed part of it with dinner tonight.
It’s skin, a dull, dark green with whitish stripes, is extremely tough and very difficult to cut. Softening it slightly in the microwave helps a lot.
Simmered, mashed with it’s skin on and mixed with a little mayo, it makes a super simple and delicious side dish somewhat reminiscent of a flavourful potato salad.
Now, how should I prepare the rest of it?