Kabocha Salad with kalabasa squash, carrots, and raisins tossed in mayo and topped with chopped walnuts. Creamy with a hint of sweetness, it’s the perfect side dish for your favorite Asian meals.
Hello from the Philippines! I am on vacation for three weeks, but although I plan to have as much fun as possible, I can’t neglect the blog for that long. I worked on a couple of recipes before I left the U.S. and I am hoping to get a few more done while I am here.
Korean BBQ is one of my favorite places to dine out. I love the casual dining experience and the smoky charred flavors of freshly grilled meats. And most of all, I can’t get enough of the banchan or assorted side dishes such as this kabocha salad that comes with the meal.
What is Kabocha
Kabocha is a type of winter squash known globally as Japanese pumpkin or locally in the Philippines as kalabasa. It’s a popular ingredient in Asian cuisines and often used in soups, stews, fritters, salads, desserts, and many other delicious applications.
Its appearance is characterized by knobbly-looking deep-green skin and a deep orange-colored flesh. It has a creamy texture and sweet taste that’s like a cross between sweet potatoes and butternut squash.
Other than being exceptionally tasty and versatile, the squash is also a good source of beta-carotene, iron, vitamin C, some B vitamins, and fiber.
How To Cook Kalabasa Squash
- Using a sharp knife, cut kabocha into halves and scoop out the seeds with a large spoon. Carefully peel the skin and slice the flesh into 1 to 1 1/2-inch small chunks.
- Place kabocha in a saucepan and add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook until kabocha can be pierced with a fork without resistance but not falling apart.
- Drain kabocha well and allow it to cool completely before proceeding with the recipe.
- Alternatively, you can steam the squash for about 12 to 15 minutes or until tender but not falling apart. Or, cook in the microwave with about two tablespoons of water for about 4 to 6 minutes or until tender but not falling apart.
If you love potato salad but are looking for a bit of variety, then you’ll want to try this Asian twist on the classic side dish. Kabocha salad is as rich and creamy but with a naturally sweet and nutty flavor from the kalabasa and extra crunch from the shredded carrots, raisins, and chopped walnuts.
It’s a great accompaniment to grilled or roasted meats and makes a festive addition to your family dinner or holiday party.
Looking for more Asian-inspired recipes? This salad will provide a great contrast of flavor and texture to Korean Ground Beef or Korean Beef Bulgogi. Enjoy!