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.
Turban-shaped, the kabocha squash, pronounced kah-BOH-chah, is an Oriental squash encased in a dull, deep green, thick, mottled rind with pale, uneven stripes and random markings. 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. When the texture is dry and grainy, dewdrops are absent. 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.
Providing vitamin A and vitamin C, some of the B vitamins, all squashes are a good source of fiber. Approximately 100 calories are in one cup of cooked squash.