Monday, October 22, 2012

How to Cook Kabocha Squash

Every Wednesday the Produce Box delivers local NC produce to my office.  This accomplishes a few things; one - more street cred amongst our urban and rural hipster friends ("buying local" is the cool thing to do in the Triangle), two - cuts down on the amount of groceries we need to purchase at the store, and is convenient since it is delivered to me at work, and three - gives us the opportunity to try new and healthy foods.

We've done this for over a year and have developed a deep appreciation for eggplants, reintroduced corn on the cob into our diet, and enjoyed watermelon over the summer.  These aren't things we'd normally get at the store, but after a long weekend run in July, nothing in the world tastes better than a sweet NC grown watermelon.

Some weeks we end up with something we have no idea how to cook or eat.  This past week something that looked like a pumpkin was in our box.  It was called a Kabocha Squash and is native to Japan, but apparently is grown by some local farmers.  It was too small to carve into a Jack O'Lantern, so it served no decorative use for us.  The only option was to find a recipe online... and eat it.
Believe it or not, this doesn't taste too bad

Thankfully I found one that seemed to work.

Sweet and Spicy Kabocha Squash

Preheat oven to 400

Cover baking sheet in aluminum foil

Cover sheet in cooking oil of choice
Choices, choices...
Fill bowl with mix of soy sauce, nutmeg, cumin, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper (go easy on this if you want something more mild)

The cast for this evening's culinary performance

Get a sturdy knife, carve open top of squash (like a pumpkin)

Scoop out seeds
Ok, this part isn't so appetizing

Cut into slices (I cut off the skin because it didn't look particularly edible)

Dip slices in ingredient mixture and coat on both sides

Places slices on baking sheet and liberally add raw sugar on top

Cook for 15 minutes, flip over, coat in more oil, add more sugar if desired

Cook for 10 more minutes

Look kind of like onion rings...

Total prep time: about 15 minutes, cook time about 25 minutes.  Slicing the damn thing was a little tough.  Tastes a lot like a butternut squash, maybe a little sweeter.

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