Fall is almost here. It’s exciting, the end and the new beginning. We have got to embrace it. I start seeing more squash in the market, so I would like to share some recipes of my childhood favorite squash–kabocha squash. One of the reason it is my favorite is because it is what available in Thailand. We don’t have as many varieties of squashes there, since they usually grow in colder climates. My mom used to make stir-fry kabocha squash for me when I was young, and I loved it because it had the sweet flavor.
Since one kabocha squash is so big, and I would get bored eating one thing, I made 3 different dishes from the squash. I am sharing 3 recipes you can make with kabocha squash: stir fry, curry and a side dish. I also share a secret to cooking Thai curry!
Stir-fry Kabocha Squash with Dried Shrimp
1/4 kabocha squash
2 tbs of dried shrimp
1/4 lbs of ground pork
2 cloves of garlic
olive or coconut oil
salt and pepper
First cut squash into wedges, then either steam it if you have a steamer, or boil it until cooked– soft that you can just poke a fork in it, but don’t over cook it. Now, you can cut them into bite-size easily, after they are cooked. In a pan or wok, heat the oil and start browning garlic , and followed by dried shrimps shortly. You can get dried shrimps at Asian market. It’s an optional ingredient but an excellent addition, as it gives out so much flavor and is nutritious with minerals. After they are browned and the good smell takes over the kitchen, put in ground pork, followed by kabocha squash. Once the pork is cooked, make room in the pan pour in about 1-2 tbs of oil. Crack the eggs on to the oil and stir them. Add salt and pepper to taste
Vegetarian option: skip dried shrimp and ground pork. It’s still an awesome dish without meat.
Kabocha Squash Curry
1/4 kabocha squash
1 can of coconut milk
1 1/2 tbs curry paste (red curry paste traditionally, but I use Thai southern style curry paste)
(homemade, or canned; trick, you can use pre-made curry paste to save time and add some fresh ingredients like garlic, turmeric powder, shallots, galangal, chilli and shrimp paste that you have at home. I use a homemade one that I freeze in the freezer. )
1/4 lb of ground pork
fish sauce to taste
Prepare the squash similar as above. You can either boil them until they are almost cooked, and cut them into bite-size easily, or you can just cut them into bite-size and cook them in the curry longer. I prefer boiling them first because they are easier to cut when cooked. In a pot, heat up coconut oil on medium heat and brown the curry paste for a few minutes. Add ground pork, stir fry for a few minutes. Then add coconut milk and kabocha squash. Make sure to cook the curry long enough the fat in coconut milk starts to separate and you can see it float on top.
This is the secret to making all Thai curries!
(All the Thai curries should be cooked this way. The fat that breaks out of coconut milk will bring out more flavor from all the ingredients.)
Vegetarian option: use tempeh instead of ground pork. And use vegetarian curry and just salt instead of fish sauce
Roasted Kabocha Squash
1/2 Kabocha squash
1/2 tsp cumin
sesame oil (for drizzle)
honey (for drizzle)
salt and black pepper
Cook in preheat 400F oven.
Preheat the oven to 400F. Then cut kabocha squash into wedges. Put them in a baking pan, or foiled baking sheet. Then put all the ingredients on the squash and mix them up throughly. Bake for 30 mins, and flip them at about 15 minutes.
It’s an excellent side dish and very easy to prepare.
What’s your favorite fall ingredient?
QuoteBody not stiff, mind stiff -- Sri K Pattabhi Jois
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