Kabocha squash may sound exotic, but it's really a humble and basic winter squash similar to pumpkin or acorn squash. While kabocha squash recipes may be hard to find, you can use this squash variety in recipes calling for other winter squashes.
Kabocha squash looks like a small round pumpkin with dark green skin and lighter-color stripes or bumps. Orange-skin varieties can also be found. Its flesh is orange, similar to butternut squash.
Selecting kabocha squash. This winter squash is available late summer to early fall. Look for kabocha squash with dull, unblemished skin and no soft spots. It should feel heavy for its size.
Storing kabocha squash. Kabocha squash will last several months stored in a cool, dry place between 50°F and 60°F. Don't store it near apples, pears, onions, or potatoes, which give off ethylene gas that may spoil the squash. Once cut, wrap squash in plastic wrap and refrigerate for several days.
Kabocha squash tastes like a cross between acorn squash and sweet potato but has a fluffier texture when cooked. It can be used in any recipe calling for fresh pumpkin or any hearty winter squash, such as buttercup, acorn, or butternut. Bake or microwave unpeeled halves as you would other winter squash. Peel and cube it to roast for a side dish or to use in soups or salads and even pie.
Find your new favorite kabocha squash recipe here!