Japanese Style Roasted Kabocha

I love winter squash, especially kabocha.

Kabocha are generally petit, usually sized like a mini football. Kacocha’s skin is dark green, with white-ish strips and intense yellow-orange flesh inside. Once they are cooked, they are creamy and sweet. I love to use them in chickpea curry or as an alternative to potatoes in a Japanese style curry. Their skin are edible and I think they are the best part of these pumpkins!

This recipe is a rather fresh, spring dish, by adding some dried seaweed into the marinade really give a great touch of umami with the sweetness of the kabocha. In Japan, kabocha are usually braised in a sweet soy sauce and serve as a side dish, for me, I am very satisfy to serve this on a bed of plain rice, with extra soy and sprinkle with togarashi. You can find video below for full cooking instructions.

Serves 3-4


  • 1 small kabocha, about 10cm in diameter

For Marinade

  • 2 tbsp soy
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp soft brown sugar
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp dried sugar kelp (I used Nordic Seafarm)

Recipe Preparation

If you are using an oven, preheat to 180C, fan assisted.

Wash kabocha. Split into halves. Deseed. Slice into 1cm half moons.

Combine all marinade ingredients in a small measuring cup or bowl. Mix marinade with kabocha. Set aside.

Preheat airfryer to 180C.

Gently mix kabocha again before placing into the airfryer, place them in single layer. You will need to cook them in batches. Airfry for 8 minutes and repeat for the remaining kabocha. If you are using an oven, line parchment paper on a baking tray and play kabocha in single layer. Place baking tray in the middle and bake for 4-5 minute on each side, flip pieces and return them back to the oven and cook for 3-5 minutes further, depending on your oven strength.

Serve warm as a starter as is, or on a bed of rice, with additional soy sauce and sprinkle with togarashi.

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