Kabocha squash is one of my favorite squashes. I cannot resist bringing one home whenever I see it at the grocery stores. It is a sweet squash with a light and fluffy texture. Although the rind is very hard when raw, but is soft and edible after cooking.
It takes only a few minutes to cook cubed kabocha squash. It is delicious simply simmered in dashi, soy sauce, mirin, and sugar. This Simmered Kabocha Squash makes a wonderful side dish and is a great addition to the bento box.
One of my favorite cookbooks, Japanese Cooking by Emi Kazuko has a Kabocha Squash Cake recipe that I have been wanting to try. I made a few changes to the recipe by adding in some raisins and chopped walnuts. I also made it gluten-free so that Ro-Taro could enjoy it as well. The cake was tender, moist, and lightly sweetened. The raisins gave it added sweetness and the walnuts provided the crunch and texture.
You do need a sushi mat or a kitchen towel to help roll the squash mixture into a log. Apart from that, this Steamed Kabocha Cake is relatively easy to make with only a few ingredients needed. You should have no problems finding this squash as it is quite easily available at most grocery stores.
The recipe below was adapted from Japanese Cooking by Emi Kazuko.
- 1 kabocha squash, about 2 lbs (roughly 1 kg)
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup (30g) powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp rice flour
- 1 tbsp corn starch
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ cup (30g) raisins
- ¼ cup (30g) walnuts, chopped
Cut off the top and bottom of kabocha squash, and then cut in half. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Cut into wedges. Place in a steamer and steam for about 15 minutes or until squash is soft. Remove and allow to cool.
Remove skin from squash. Mash with a potato masher until smooth. Mix in egg, powdered sugar, rice flour, corn starch, cinnamon, and salt until well blended. Add raisins and walnuts. Mix well.
Place makisu (sushi mat)** on work surface. Place a piece of parchment paper of about the same size on makisu. Spread half of kabocha mixture onto the section of the parchment paper closest to you. Roll tightly with makisu. Close both ends by folding paper over. Repeat with the other half of kabocha mixture.
Place rolls (with parchment paper) in steamer and steam for 15 minutes.
Remove and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Peel off parchment paper and cut into 1-inch thick slices. Serve on small plates.
**Use a kitchen towel if you do not have a sushi mat.
This Steamed Kabocha Cake is a little different from your usual desserts or tea time treats but it is most definitely worth a try. It should be served warm accompanied by a cup of green tea and a few slices of fresh fruit like kiwi, pear, or persimmon.
Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day!