Japanese Pumpkin Stuffed Squash
One of the best things about squash is it sits around the house waiting for a while and doesn't mind doing so.
It doesn't shout out I am turning brown and mushy like a pear, I am going to go bad if you don't eat me today.
It doesn't wrinkle its forehead like lettuce and say I am tired of waiting.
In fact, it's the most patient vegetable I know.
And in this world of honking the horn before the light turns green it's nice to have something that doesn't mind waiting for me.
Patience of the Squash makes time slow down and the art of the table become important.
That's Squash, always there, ready for me.
I know it is easier to buy pre-cut squash, but something about the smell of roasting squash in the oven on a cool crisp day brings out the: it's officially winter in me.
Don't get me wrong pre-cut is a timesaver and I understand and there are those moments when you want it quickly or just don't want to take the extra time to peel, cut, and roast.
However, do you ever notice that the taste is just not quite right? In the back of your mind you have a subtle nagging feeling of disappointment.
That's why sometimes the squash sits and waits for me for me on Sunday.
It's that day when you probably have a little more time. It's the day you laze around in your pajamas a little longer, or maybe even, gasp, All Day!
Gotta love that about a lazy day.
Maybe for you it's not Sunday, maybe it's Monday, cause the kids are back in school and the house is quiet.
Or maybe you work weekends and your first day off is Wednesday.
Whatever day you have to linger a teeny bit longer that's the day I encourage, no nudge you, to take the time cut the squash.
To pull out the seeds.
To glaze it over with olive oil and finger dust it with salt and pepper.
To smell the sweet scent of patience roasting in your oven.
Yes, it's the day to make Japanese Stuffed Squash.
It is gonna be a good day. I'm glad we shared it together.
You, Me and the Squash.
- 1 kabocha squash aka: japanese pumpkin or 1 acorn squash; cut in half, seeds removed
- 1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups of cooked white rice preferably japanese sushi rice
- 1 pound of ground pork
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 thai red chili diced seeds removed for less heat
- 1 white onion chopped
- 2 garlic cloves chopped
- 1 Tbsp fish sauce
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1-2 Tbsp chopped thai basil
- salt and pepper
- 2 lime wedges for serving
- Sriracha for serving
After removing seeds from squash, spread olive oil over inside of squash and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
In a preheated oven at 425 degrees Fahrenheit place squash cut side down on a baking sheet and bake for about 20-25 minutes until squash is tender with a knife inserted. Set aside.
While squash is roasting in oven, mix with hands baking soda and pork and 1 Tbsp water and set aside while sauteing onions and garlic. In a large saute pan heat vegetable oil under medium to high heat and then place chopped onion and thai chili and saute for about 5 minutes until translucent. Remember to salt the onions a little while cooking. Add chopped garlic and cook for about 30 seconds being careful not to burn. Next place pork and cook until pink is almost removed then stir in fish sauce and brown sugar. Cook for about 1 minute more and then add cooked rice. Mix all together and remove from heat.
Add chopped thai basil and squeeze lime wedge over the top. Scoop Rice/Pork mixture into each half of squash and serve with lime wedges and Sriracha sauce.
Enjoy bites of squash and bites of rice mixture. YUM!
- Using leftover cooked rice makes this meal simple to prepare.
- Prepare the squash the day before and reheat before serving.
- Sprinkle a bit of cayenne as well as salt and pepper over the squash to kick it up a notch!