Sweet Kabocha Squash – in Season Now

If you’re a fan of pumpkins and sweet potatoes, then you’re sure to take a liking to kabocha squash, which tastes like a hybrid of the two. Also known as the Japanese pumpkin, this winter squash works great in curries, soups and stews. It’s also ideal when steamed, roasted or grilled. And when cooked, the tough, outer skin becomes soft and edible, making peeling unnecessary.

Checking in at just 40 calories per 1 cup serving, the orange-colored squash is a great source of beta-carotene, which converts to vitamin A in our bodies. Among other things, Vitamin A helps give us glowing skin and eagle-eye vision along with a rock-solid immune system. Kabocha squash is also rich in iron, vitamin C and certain B vitamins. And it’s got a good dose of fiber, especially if you keep the peel on.

So why not try this tasty alternative to butternut and acorn squash for your next potluck or holiday shindig? Here’s an easy recipe to get you going: Korean-Style Grilled Kabocha Squash. We’re willing to bet you’ll like it … and then some. 

Korean-Style Grilled Kabocha Squash

  • 1 kabocha squash, rinsed, ends trimmed, seeded and cut into thin slices, about 3/4-inch thick
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 tbsp ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 tsp red chile pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp roasted sesame seeds (optional)
  • 2-3 servings cooking spray

1. Prep vegetables, then make the marinade. In a bowl, stir together garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, soy sauce, vinegar and sesame oil.

2. Place squash slices in a ziplock bag and pour marinade over the squash, coating all of the slices. Seal the bag and marinate for 30 minutes in the fridge.

3. Heat a grill pan over high heat, then spray with cooking oil. Lower heat to medium-high, then place squash slices on the grill and cook, covered, for 4 to 5 minutes. Turn slices over and cook, covered, for another 4 to 5 minutes. (You may need to cook the squash in 2 to 3 batches. Spray the grill pan with oil between each batch.)

4. Transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve immediately.

Lisa is the director of content strategy at Zipongo. Her experiences include editorial and strategy at both start-ups and enterprise companies along with cooking at a top restaurant in NYC.

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