Frugal Foodie Friday: Quick Asian-Spiced Kabocha (Winter Squash)


Recently I professed my first trials of what seems to be the most popular new food among healthy bloggers, kabocha squash. This hearty winter squash is sold with the others … acorn, butternut, spaghetti … but it of course has its own nuances. After I gained my bearings with the flavors and cooking times of kabocha, I decided to experiment a bit. This Asian-Spiced Kabocha offers a wonderful side dish (or breakfast as I like to eat it) that is slightly sweet and spicy, and is a breeze to cook up.

Quick Asian-Spiced Kabocha

From start to finish, I had the kabocha ready in 20 minutes, and that was with minimal monitoring required. It was definitely a nice change from my usual roasting or steaming techniques with squash. Like most other winter squashes, kabocha is a bear to cut, but, on the bright side, no peeling is required! The skin offers a pleasant and unique texture to this asian-spiced kabocha dish.

No kabocha at your store? Have no fear; this recipe should also work well with your standard acorn or butternut squash variety.

Quick Asian-Spiced Kabocha

Special Diet Notes: Asian-Spiced Kabocha

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, nut-free, peanut-free, vegan, plant-based, vegetarian, and optionally gluten-free.

Quick Asian-Spiced Kabocha
Serves: 2-3
  • ¾ lb kabocha squash, cut in smallish chunks (about 1-inch in size, skin on)
  • ⅓ cup water, plus additional if needed
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce or wheat-free tamari (for gluten-free)
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons evaporated cane juice, brown sugar, or granulated palm sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
  • ⅜ teaspoon Chinese 5-spice powder (available in the spice section of most grocers)
  1. Place all ingredients in a skillet and heat to boiling. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and let it simmer for 10 minutes.
  2. Remove the lid and continue to cook (stirring occasionally) until the liquid is pretty much gone / thickened, and the squash (and peel) is nice and tender. This takes me about 5 minutes, but if the liquid evaporates and your squash isn’t yet done to your liking, add more water 1 tablespoon at a time, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally. Serve.

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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