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Kabocha Squash

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kabocha squash
Erik Bernstein

Kabocha Squash is an unsung hero of the autumn harvest. Sure people love apples, pumpkin and butternut squash, but kabocha has a more complex flavor than its gourd cousins. It is more savory and nutty than butternut squash. This makes it a perfect match for the caramelized umami-sweet flavor of this maple-soy brown butter. And, despite how fancy it sounds, it is an incredibly easy sauce to make.

Browning butter is simple as long as you take it slowly! If you manage to burn it, you can simply start over with a bit more butter. No stress! This dish is hearty enough to be a main but also could work great as a veggie side at your next Thanksgiving.

Tried this recipe? Let us know how it came out in the comments below!

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Yields: 4 - 5 servings
Prep Time: 0 hours 5 mins
Total Time: 0 hours 40 mins

medium (2 ½ lb.) kabocha squash

1 1/2 tbsp.

extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

3 tbsp.


1 tbsp.

low-sodium soy sauce

1 1/2 tsp.

maple syrup

  1. Preheat oven to 400º and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Halve squash and scoop out the pulp and seeds. (Seeds can be rinsed and reserved for another use, such as for roasting.)
  2. Cut squash into 1 ½” half-moon slices and transfer to prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss to coat, and spread slices into one layer.
  3. Roast squash, flipping slices halfway through, until tender and beginning to brown, 30 to 35 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter and cook until foam subsides. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until milk solids have turned brown and butter smells like caramel, 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Immediately remove butter from heat and stir in soy sauce and maple syrup. Stir for about 20 seconds until thoroughly combined and slightly cooled.
  6. Return sauce over medium heat, bring to a simmer, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until just slightly thickened.
  7. Transfer squash to a platter. Drizzle with maple soy brown butter to serve.

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