Home Asian Roasted Kabocha Squash | Japanese Pumpkin

Roasted Kabocha Squash | Japanese Pumpkin

by Jamie

Try this roasted kabocha squash for a healthy, delicious take on this winter squash! Roasted kabocha squash is very sweet, similar to roasted chestnuts & sweet potatoes. Kabocha is also known as Japanese pumpkin or Korean pumpkin (danhobak).

roasted kabocha squash wedges on parchment paper with baking tray

Roasted kabocha squash is my all time favorite way to eat kabocha squash because of how it intensifies the sweetness of this already sweet squash! It’s my all time favorite winter squash because of how much sweeter it is than any other squash or pumpkin.

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.

roasted kabocha squash wedges on parchment paper with baking tray

What Does Roasted Kabocha Squash Taste Like?

Kabocha squash is the sweetest squash out there so you can treat this like a sweet side or even a dessert. But you can also add seasonings to make this a savory side dish. The texture of roasted kabocha squash is unique because it’s more fluffy than other squashes. It’s similar to the texture of roasted chestnuts but slightly softer and fluffier like a sweet potato.

golden brown roasted kabocha squash wedges on parchment paper

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 9g of carbs and 1g 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:

  • 1 cup of sweet potatoes: 23 net grams carbs
  • 1 cup of butternut squash: 13 net grams carbs
  • 1 cup of kabocha squash: 8 net grams carbs
roasted kabocha squash wedges on parchment paper

What to look for when buying Japanese kabocha pumpkin?

Kabocha squash should be round with a hard, dark green outer skin and may have a yellow spot where it ripened. The inner flesh is a bright orange color with medium sized seeds. Choose one that is free of soft spots and is heavy for its size. Inspect the stem for any mold. There may be some hard, bumpy spots on the peel but that’s perfectly normal and fine to buy.

How do you clean Japanese kabocha pumpkin?

Wash the kabocha squash under running water and inspect the outer skin for any hard, bumpy spots. You can use a sharp knife or peeler to remove these bumps or leave it on and remove them after its been cooked since the skin will have softened.

You can definitely eat the skin of the kabocha once it’s roasted or steamed so feel free to leave the skin on.

What is the easiest way to cut kabocha squash?

There’s several ways to cut a kabocha squash. Here are three different ways I recommend:

  1. Start by cuting off the stem to expose the orange flesh. The flesh is easier to cut into than the hard outer skin. Using the pointy end of your knife, pierce the flesh of the kabocha and cut all the way down by using a rocking motion. Repeat for the other side and you’ll end up with two halves.
  2. Microwave: Microwave the whole kabocha for about 2 minutes to start. Keep microwaving in 90 second increments until the kabocha is soft enough to cut in half. The total time will depend on your microwave and the size of your kabocha.
  3. Oven: Loosely cover the whole kabocha in foil and bake in a preheated 375 degree F oven for 15 minutes. After it cools, cut the kabocha squash in half.

Once it’s cut in half, scoop out the seeds with a spoon. You can save the seeds and roast them in the oven as they’re edible. Next, cut each half into 3 or 4 pieces, leaving you with 6 or 7 wedges.

Coat each wedge generously with avocado oil or any other vegetable oil that’s safe for high heat. The oil will absorb slightly into the flesh and create a crispy, golden brown crust in the oven. It’s my favorite part of roasted kabocha squash! You can add other flavorings to the squash at this point or just leave it plain like I did.

golden brown roasted kabocha squash wedges on a baking tray

This roasted kabocha squash has the most perfect golden brown crust created from the liberal coating of oil. The oil gives the surface a slightly crispy, caramelization while the inside flesh is super soft and fluffy. The flesh is so soft, you can scoop it out with a spoon.

roasted kabocha squash wedges on parchment paper with baking tray

Additional Flavorings:

  • cinnamon
  • pumpkin spice mix
  • maple syrup
  • brown sugar
  • ginger powder
  • miso paste
  • dried herbs
roasted kabocha squash held in hand

I hope you make this roasted kabocha squash recipe! Please share, rate, and comment below. I’d love to hear from you!

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Thanks so much for stopping by!

Jamie

Want more kabocha squash recipes? Check out these Delicious Kabocha Squash Recipes To Try!

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roasted kabocha squash wedges on parchment paper with baking tray

Roasted Kabocha Squash | Japanese Pumpkin

Try this roasted kabocha squash for a healthy, delicious take on this winter squash! Roasted kabocha squash is very sweet, similar to roasted chestnuts & sweet potatoes. Kabocha is also known as Japanese pumpkin or Korean pumpkin (danhobak).
5 from 12 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Asian, Japanese, Korean
Prep Time: 8 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 43 minutes
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 114kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 medium kabocha squash about 2 lbs
  • 3 Tablespoons avocado oil
  • salt to taste

Optional: Additional Flavorings (choose any flavorings below or a combination)

  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup or brown sugar cover the kabocha with foil halfway through if it starts to burn
  • ½ teaspoon pumpkin spice powder
  • ½ teaspoon ginger powder

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut the Kabocha into Wedges (3 ways to cut your kabocha)

  • First option: The skin of the kabocha squash is tough to cut into so start by cutting off the stem of the kabocha to reveal the orange flesh. The flesh is much easier to cut into than the skin. Using a heavy duty knife or cleaver, stick the pointy end of your knife into the flesh and cut into the kabocha all the way down by using a rocking motion. Cut the other end of the kabocha so that you end up with 2 halves. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon and cut your kabocha into 6 or 7 wedges.
  • Second option: You can microwave the entire whole kabocha until it's soft enough to cut into. Start by microwaving it for about 2 minutes and increase by 90 seconds at a time until you can cut it in half. Microwaving times will vary by microwave and the size of the kabocha. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon and cut your kabocha into 6 or 7 wedges.
  • Third option: Loosely cover with foil and place the entire whole kabocha squash into a preheated 375 degree F oven for 15 minutes or until soft to cut into. Completely cool it off and then cut it in half. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon and cut your kabocha into 6 or 7 wedges.

Roast the Kabocha Squash

  • Liberally apply oil to the surface of the kabocha squash wedges. Add additional flavorings now. Place the wedges skin side down on a baking sheet and place it on the center rack of your oven. Bake them for 35 minutes or until the surface becomes a golden brown color. Sprinkle with salt.

Notes

Store roasted kabocha in the fridge for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month.

Nutrition

Calories: 114kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 6mg | Potassium: 525mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 2051IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @drivemehungry or tag #drivemehungry!
Try this roasted kabocha squash for a healthy, delicious take on this winter squash! Roasted kabocha squash is very sweet, similar to roasted chestnuts & sweet potatoes. Kabocha is also known as Japanese pumpkin or Korean pumpkin (danhobak).  #kabocha #kabochasquash #pumpkin | drivemehungry.com

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19 comments

Marylee September 22, 2019 - 6:09 pm

5 stars
I never tried this squash before. I am a huge fan of sweet potatoes, but now I have a new favorite. Thanks so much for giving me a wonderful post that convinced me try kabocha. Definite 5 out of 5!

Reply
Beth September 21, 2019 - 10:47 pm

5 stars
This looks delicious! The maple syrup version is calling my name -Yum!

Reply
Jeannette September 21, 2019 - 10:12 pm

5 stars
Yes, please! I LOVE pumpkin and this is the perfect way to enjoy it! Thanks for sharing, Jamie!

Reply
Patty at Spoonabilities September 21, 2019 - 7:13 pm

5 stars
Loving this roasted squash. How delicious with any meal, especially thinking about the fall holidays 🙂

Reply
Jamie
Jamie September 21, 2019 - 8:11 pm

Thank you Patty! It’s the perfect side for the fall holidays! 🙂

Reply
Valentina September 21, 2019 - 6:53 pm

5 stars
This squash is so pretty and the flavors are delicious. I love the way it caramelizes so beautifully along the edges. And perfect for fall! 🙂

Reply
Jamie
Jamie September 21, 2019 - 8:11 pm

Thank you Valentina! The caramelized edges are sooo good!

Reply
Megan Ellam September 21, 2019 - 6:45 pm

5 stars
I love this. Japanese pumpkin is my all time favourite. I love it roasted, steamed and it is damn delicious raw too. Thanks for a great recipe with a worthy star ingredient

Reply
Jamie
Jamie September 21, 2019 - 8:10 pm

Thank you Megan! It’s my favorite fall squash as well! 😀

Reply
Rinn September 21, 2019 - 8:59 am

5 stars
This looks perfect for fall! I’d love to try incorporating this into my Thanksgiving meal this year. You mention that it is already sweet so it sounds perfect for someone who is trying to avoid refined sugars. I have made acorn squash with maple syrup so I am interested in trying this recipe in place of acorn squash! thanks so much for this 🙂

Reply
Jamie
Jamie September 21, 2019 - 8:09 pm

Thank you Rinn! If you like acorn squash, you’ll love kabocha! It’s my favorite fall squash and would be terrific for a Thanksgiving meal! 😀

Reply
Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) September 20, 2019 - 7:08 pm

5 stars
This is a well thought out tutorial. Thank you for making this so easy to follow!

Reply
Jamie
Jamie September 21, 2019 - 8:08 pm

Thank you Jocelyn! Hope you enjoy it!

Reply
Sara September 20, 2019 - 6:55 pm

5 stars
What a great looking and sounding squash. I don’t know that I have ever seen this in stores or my local market. But, I will be looking for it for sure!

Reply
Jamie
Jamie September 21, 2019 - 8:08 pm

Definitely look for it! 🙂 If not in your grocery store, they can be found in your Asian grocery store.

Reply
SHANIKA September 20, 2019 - 2:44 pm

5 stars
Squash is such the perfect veggie for the Fall season! I love the idea of roasting these! They can be eaten in so many ways!

Reply
Jamie
Jamie September 20, 2019 - 5:32 pm

Thank you Shanika! This is my favorite fall veggie to eat! 😀

Reply
Danielle September 20, 2019 - 2:19 pm

5 stars
If I make squash, I always almost roast it. Toasting brings up so much flavor in the squash that it’s hard to beat it. Definitely trying this kabocha over the weekend – just need to get the ingredients!

Reply
Jamie
Jamie September 20, 2019 - 2:35 pm

Isn’t roasting squash the best way to eat it? Enjoy this recipe!

Reply
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