Crispy, thinly sliced kabocha squash fries are the perfect healthy, low carb snack! These kabocha squash fries can be baked or fried! Also called Japanese pumpkin fries. Vegan, gluten free & healthy!
These kabocha squash fries are perfect for when you're craving french fries but want a healthier alternative! You can fry or bake these thin slices of kabocha squash to get a crispy, blistered surface that resemble french fries but without all the carbs.
Kabocha squash is also known as Japanese pumpkin or Korean pumpkin, danhobak, which translates to sweet pumpkin in Korean. It's widely popular in Korea and Japan and can be used as a savory side dish or a turned into a sweet soup or even dessert. The skin is perfectly edible when cooked and the skin on fried kabocha squash is super delicate and crispy and will soon become your favorite part of these kabocha squash fries!
What is the nutritional value of kabocha squash?
Kabocha squash is a good source of vitamin A and vitamin C with small amounts of iron, calcium, and protein.
How many carbs are in kabocha squash?
In one cup of kabocha squash, there's only 10g of carbs and 2g of fiber. Most of the carbs come from the natural sugars in kabocha. There's fewer carbs in kabocha squash compared to butternut squash and sweet potatoes. If you're watching your carb intake, kabocha squash would be a better option than butternut squash or sweet potatoes.
Carb Comparison of kabocha squash to butternut squash and sweet potatoes:
- sweet potatoes: 23 net grams carbs per cup
- butternut squash: 13 net grams carbs per cup
- kabocha squash: 8 net grams carbs per cup
How to Make Kabocha Squash Fries | Japanese Pumpkin Fries
Start by cutting your kabocha squash in half. Cut off the stem to reveal the flesh and pierce the flesh with the pointy end of your knife. Rock your knife back and forth until you can cut all the way through.
If it's too hard to cut through, you can microwave the squash for 2 minutes at a time until it's soft enough to cut. Or you can bake it at 375 degrees F for about 15 minutes or until it's soft enough to cut.
Scoop out the seeds with a spoon. You can save these for roasting or discard them.
Thinly slice the kabocha squash into about ¼ inch thick pieces.
Fried Kabocha Squash Fries:
For fried kabocha squash fries, add enough oil to come up about ⅓ inch to ½ inch. Heat the oil over medium high heat and add your kabocha squash slices so that they're a single layer in the pot and don't overlap. Flip over the pieces after 2 to 3 minutes and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. The surface of the squash will start to turn a golden color and blister/bubble up like the photo below:
Baked Kabocha Fries:
If you'd like to bake the kabocha fries, preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Toss the kabocha slices with vegetable oil and line them on a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake them for 30 - 40 minutes, flipping them halfway through. The skin should be crispy and golden brown when done.
Serve Japanese pumpkin fries with your favorite condiment. You can go sweet or savory with your dipping sauces.
To reheat, bake them at 425 degrees F until they're warmed through and crispy.
Squash Fries Varieties:
Butternut Squash Fries
- I recommend peeling the skin since it's quite tough and chewy
- Smoother texture than kabocha and acorn squash
Acorn Squash Fries
- The skin is edible but it can be hard and chewy if it's an older, more mature squash.
- Firmer texture than butternut squash.
Delicata Squash Fries
- I prefer leaving the skin on as it crisps up but you can peel it if you want a smoother texture.
- Creamy, smooth flesh.
I hope you enjoy these kabocha squash fries aka Japanese pumpkin fries! Please share, rate, and comment below. I’d love to hear from you!
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Want more kabocha squash recipes? Check out these Delicious Kabocha Squash Recipes To Try!
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Kabocha Squash Fries
- ½ medium kabocha squash about 1 lb
- vegetable oil for frying or 3 Tablespoons oil for baking
- salt to taste
- Cut your kabocha squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Thinly slice the kabocha squash about ¼ inch thick.
- Add your vegetable oil in a pot so that there's ⅓ to ½ inch of oil. Heat over medium high heat. Drop in a piece of squash to test if the temperature is hot enough. The squash should immediately start frying. If not, wait longer for the oil to heat up.
- Add in the kabocha slices so that it's a single layer in the pot and not overlapping. Fry the slices for 2 - 3 minutes and then flip it over and fry for another 2 - 3 minutes. The slices should be blistered and start to turn golden brown. Drain the slices on a baking sheet or on top of a paper towel. Repeat with the remaining slices.
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Toss the kabocha slices with 3 Tablespoons of oil and lay them flat on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake them in the oven for about 30 - 40 minutes, flipping over halfway through. Take them out when they turn golden brown and the edges are crispy.
*Nutritional information is an estimate, calculated using online tools.