Orange Kabocha Squash
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Orange kabocha squash, pronounced kah-BOH-chah, is an Oriental squash encased in a dull, deep green, thick, mottled rind with pale, uneven stripes. Round with a flattened top, it ranges from one to eight pounds but generally weighs an average of two to three pounds. The deep, yellow-orange cooked pulp is finely grained, floury-dry and tender. Seeds and strings in the cavity are characteristically oily to the touch. Rather sweet, its rich flavor combines that of a sweet potato and a pumpkin.
Orange Kabocha squash is available in the fall and winter months.
The Orange kabocha squash, botanically classified as Cucurbita maxima, is a uchiki red kuri and kabocha squash hybrid. The Orange kabocha, sometimes known as sunshine kabocha, is said to have superior flavor and texture over its parenting varieties.
Kabocha squash is a sweet-fleshed, hard-skinned variety. Peel or bake with the skin on. Dice and roast squash chunks with oil and spices or combine with cream and cheese, baked into a gratin. Add roasted squash to soup, stew or risotto. Puree and mix into softened butter. Slice and roast with honey and citrus. Kabocha squash pairs well with the Asian spices, nuts and dried fruit flavors, as well as the textures of cooked faro, barley, lentils, or pasta. Kabocha squash will keep for weeks in cool, dry storage.
Recipes that include Orange Kabocha Squash. One is easiest, three is harder.