Kabocha Squash

An Asian winter squash, commonly called Japanese Pumpkin. 

Nutrients: Rich in beta carotene, iron, vitamin C and potassium.

Storage: Kabocha squash reaches the peak of ripeness about one and a half to three months after harvest. Like other winter squash, it has a long shelf life if stored in a dry location.


Recipe from This is Camino. This is a salad with a lot of different flavors and textures. I like the combination of the earthy, nutty kabocha with the bright, tangy flavors of yogurt and pomegranate. At Camino, we put a few myrtle leaves in the water that is used to steam the kabocha. They give this subtle, piney flavor to the squash. But they can totally be omitted if you don’t have access to myrtle. I prefer the denser gray kabocha, but green or red will work. Serves 6. 

  • 1 small kabocha squash (about 2 pounds)
  • Salt
  • 2 spring onions
  • Olive oil
  • 1⁄2 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1⁄4 cup almonds
  • 1⁄2 bunch parsley, stemmed
  • 2 sprigs oregano, stemmed
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1⁄3 cup whole milk yogurt
  • Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  1. Build a fire to grill the spring onions. 
  2. Peel the kabocha with a vegetable peeler, then cut it in half and remove the seeds. 
  3. Cut into 3 ⁄ 4-inch-thick wedges, sprinkle with a pinch of salt, and arrange in a single layer in a steamer. 
  4. Steam until just tender, about 20 minutes, then let cool to room temperature. 
  5. Cut the spring onions in half lengthwise, leaving the roots intact to hold them together. 
  6. Rake the coals under the grill for medium-hot grilling. 
  7. Brush both sides with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. 
  8. Place the spring onions cut side down on the grill and cook them until they are satisfyingly brown and have nice, dark grill marks, about 4 minutes. Turn them over and grill for another few minutes on the second side. 
  9. Move them to a cooler part of the grill and pile them into a little tangle to steam for 3 more minutes. 
  10. Remove from the grill and let cool. 
  11. Boil the pomegranate juice in a pot until it is thick and has reduced to about 1 tablespoon. 
  12. While the pomegranate juice is reducing, spread the almonds on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven until they are a shade darker, about 8 minutes. 
  13. Once they are cool, taste them to make sure they are crunchy. If not, pop them back in the oven for a few more minutes. 
  14. Chop them coarsely and add to the reduced juice along with the parsley, oregano, a pinch of salt, and enough olive oil to cover the nuts and herbs. 
  15. Peel the garlic and pound it in a mortar until smooth. 
  16. Mix with the yogurt. 
  17. Spoon the garlicky yogurt onto a plate and arrange the steamed kabocha wedges on top. Drape the grilled spring onions over the kabocha, then spoon the herby, nutty, pomegranatey mixture on top.

Thai Red Curry with Kabocha Squash


  • 4 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon peeled and finely chopped fresh ginger (from about a 1-1/2-inch piece)
  • 3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
  • 1 (13- to 14-ounce) can unsweetened regular coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 medium kabocha squash (about 2 1/2 pounds), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
  • Steamed white rice or steamed brown rice, for serving.


Using prepared red curry paste is an easy and fast way to add traditional Thai flavors to this vegetarian one-pot meal.

  1. Start by sautéing onion, bell pepper, garlic, and ginger with red curry paste,
  2. then add coconut milk to create the base for the stew.
  3. Chunks of kabocha squash simmer in the base for about 20 to 25 minutes, enough time for the curry to thicken, creating a creamy and slightly sweet dish.
  4. Spoon it over steamed white rice or brown rice and save any leftovers for a hearty lunch.