Saturday, August 22, 2009

Kabocha Coconut Stew and Weekend Wokking : August 30, 2009

Kabocha squash or Japanese pumpkin was introduced from Cambodia to Japan by Portuguese sailors in the 1500’s. Japanese called it kabocha or bobora (from the name Cambodia abobora—the term used by the Portuguese). It has a hard, dull, dark green skin and a bright yellow-orange flesh--- very similar to butternut squash but kabocha tastes nuttier and has an exceptional sweetness to it, almost like pumpkin and sweet potato combined. It is delicious steamed, roasted or simmered with soy sauce. But the best way I love kabocha squash is in a stew. When I was growing up, my mom used to make a fish stew with coconut milk and kabocha. It was the best comfort food for me!

Now I make a Kabocha Coconut Stew for my family. I add ginger, garlic, bird’s eye chili, green onions to it and cook the squash till tender and just a tad mushy. It’s funny, my son eats it the same way I did as a kid --- mashing the kabocha into the coconut milk and mixing it with rice. It is very simple fare -- sweet-savory and spicy hot and deliciously comforting!

When I saw kabocha squash at the Vietnamese store, I decided to make Kabocha Coconut Stew for Weekend Wokking: Ginger to be held on August 30, 2009. I think this dish showcases the delicate flavor of both ginger and kabocha squash -- without ginger, this comfort food is just one-dimensional! If you have a recipe using ginger, please join us for this blogging event.

Here's the recipe for Kabocha Coconut Stew:

1-1/2 cup kabocha squash, cut up

2 tsp minced fresh ginger

2 tsp minced garlic

2 tsp minced green onions

1 Tbsp canola oil

1 tsp chicken powder

1 tsp fish sauce

1-1/2 cup coconut milk

1-2 bird's eye chili (chopped or whole depends on how hot you want it to be)

a sprig of Thai basil

Saute ginger, garlic, green onions till aromatic. Add kabocha squash, chicken powder, fish sauce, coconut milk and bird's eye chili. Cook the kabocha over medium heat till the squash is fork tender. Adjust seasoning (more chicken powder or fish sauce) to your liking. Serve with Thai basil leaves.


Alisa said...

Kabocha! Everywhere I turn in the blogosphere. I may have to try it!

Joanne said...

Kabocha is one of my favorite foods! If not my absolute favorite of all time. This stew looks glorious. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog!

Anonymous said...

I still have not been able to find that!

Love the combination of flavors though! :D

Momgateway said...

Alisa and Joanne,
Thanks for visiting!

Momgateway said...


Your Farmers Market or a Vietnamese store might have kabocha or you might want to try calabaza from a Mexican store --it's taste is very similar to kabocha.

Olga said...

That looks wonderful. I've been sort of sick for the last few days, and a bowl of this sounds like a perfect cure!

Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

How interesting. I'm not familiar with this food and I'd love to learn more.

Rico said...

that looks super delicious ...great share!! Rico xxxx