In autumn in Japan, if you want to taste kabocha かぼちゃ, a Japanese pumpkin very used in Japanese cuisine as well as in sweet and savory dishes. Discover in this article, this autumnal Japanese pumpkin.
What is the Japanese pumpkin kabocha?
Kabocha belongs to the pumpkin family, its appearance is dark green and streaked with a beautiful bright yellow-orange flesh. Inside there are small seeds.
The kabocha pumpkin is known for its particularly sweet flavor with notes of chestnut and brown.
Its texture is light, fluffy and velvety similar to sweet potato or pumpkin.
Where to buy the kabocha pumpkin and how to choose it?
In France, the kabocha pumpkin can be found in large fresh fruit and vegetable stores. You can also find it in organic stores but also sometimes in Asian stores or exotic grocery stores. If you have a small vegetable garden, you can also find it in seeds to plant.
When choosing a kabocha, pay attention to its color and weight. It should look heavy for its size. This actually applies to all squashes and pumpkins, not just this one. Next, look at the color. It should be a deep, dark green. You’ll see white lines running down the stem at the base and golden and yellowish spots all over the rind.
Kabocha pumpkin in Japanese cuisine
Namely, in many Japanese recipes, the skin of the kabocha pumpkin is kept on.
Kabocha no amani, kabocha with dashi
Kabocha no amani is one of the most popular family dishes in Japan. It is cooked in dashi, shoyu soy sauce and suga.
All the umami flavors come out in this dish.
Tempura, kabocha fritters
The tempura are lightly fried vegetables or shellfish. In autumn, kabocha is often used in tempura because its sweet flavor comes out well.
You can also try our tempura recipe.
The kabocha is also used in salad, it is simply cooked, seasoned with a little salt and mayonnaise, sometimes with honey or cream.
You get a soft salad that is often eaten with bread or inserted in a sandwich.
Korokke, kabocha croquette
The korokke are popular Japanese croquettes. Usually potatoes are used for this recipe, but you can find some made with Japanese pumpkin kabocha.
Simply replace the potatoes with kabocha and you will get sweeter korokke.
So try our recipe for korokke.
Autumn is the season of pumpkins and, of course, pumpkin soups. Kabocha pumpkin soup is naturally sweet and smooth, with a thick, creamy texture.
Did you know? Japanese kabocha pumpkin is rich in beta-carotene, which is said to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Kabocha is also used in baked goods such as pies, cakes, chiffon cake or classic cakes. The kabocha is a fruit that the Japanese love for its sweet flavor and soft texture.
So don’t be surprised to see it in many dishes and desserts this season.
Kabocha is also used in industrial products such as Häagen-Dasz ice cream or kit Kat chocolates with kabocha. Original products to taste during a stay in Japan!
Do not hesitate to tell us if you like it, and which dish, sweet or savory, you have already tried with kabocha.